As this year comes to an end, it's only natural that we look back on it, even as we start thinking of what will come in the new year ahead.
There were a lot of good things that happened in 2011, but way too much sadness, as we lost some of our car friends and folks we knew through the newspaper business.
Mary Knox and Helene McKay battled valiantly, but ultimately lost their fights with cancer, as did our former Eagle colleague, Doris Benjamin Ashley. Charlie Pearson, former editorial page editor, passed away after a long, fascinating life.
It was the loss of Les Anderson, my college classmate during our days at Fort Hays State, that really set me back in my tracks.
Les was the guy we all wanted to be: a great family man, newspaperman, community leader and teacher of the next generation of journalists. And he was always fun to be around.
We'll miss all of them deeply.
But, as the hours of daylight finally begin getting longer, those of us with the affliction of automania have upbeat things on the horizon.
In less than three weeks, it will be time for the traditional kickoff of the car show season, heralded by the newly created Starbird-Devlin Rod & Customs Charities Car Show.
This will be the first show produced by the new owners of the show and most car folks are looking forward to seeing what changes have been made. One of those changes will be lower ticket prices, including a husband-wife discount package. And if you buy your tickets in advance at a participating vendor site, you can skip the ticket window at Century II and use your receipt to get directly into the show, which will run Jan. 20-22.
Dick Price, one of the show's directors, said show-goers can look forward to seeing some cars they've never seen before.
"We have 15 to 16 cars so far, for the Magnificent Seven... cars shown for the first time in Wichita," he said.
So the cure for the winter blahs is just around the corner.