Happy New Year!

Enough already about New Year's Eve, Y2K and the mil . . . the m-word. The first parties of the New Year were a time to look to the future and celebrate that we made it to 2000.

One of Saturday's sweetest events was the joint birthday party for Rockville couple Saul and Posey Rogolsky, who were both born on Jan. 1--Saul in 1925, Posey in 1930 (her parents received $15 for producing the first baby of the year). The two psychologists married in 1958.

The party at Mykonos restaurant in Rockville featured 70 friends and a cake with 14 candles--one for each decade for each of them. "The cake couldn't handle 145 candles," said Saul, who penned a long poem for the occasion (here's a snippet):

Two birthdays at the end of an era

A time to reflect and meditate

Time has passed like a fleeting chimera

No need to effuse or congratulate

But perhaps a slight encomium

Is okay on the millennium. At Howard University's Cramton Auditorium, the Listening Group held its eighth New Year's Day family gathering. The group of 50 men meet every month to study and listen to jazz; twice a year they include wives, kids and grandchildren at a potluck dinner and concert.

"We're trying the best we can to support and help jazz musicians," said Harold "Foodhead" Finley, a retired dentist. "And to see to it that the classical music of America--which is irrefutably jazz--is preserved and continued for future generations."

The party included some great jazz, of course: Fred Foss, a music teacher and original member of the group, played first with his quartet and then led an ensemble of elementary school and junior high musicians. President Lew Marshall presented awards to WPFW jazz deejay Bob Daughtry and group members Foss, Norval Perkins and Willard Jenkins. It was a propitious way to start 2000, but the overflowing buffet included the traditional New Year's Day black-eyed peas for good luck--just in case.

And what would this day be without a football party? Wisconsin and Stanford battled in the Rose Bowl; fans from both schools gathered at the Mister Days sports bar downtown to cheer on their teams.

There were dozens of Badgers fans but only a handful rooting for the Stanford Cardinal. Ona Kennedy flew in from Milwaukee to visit Tammy Pertmer, her best friend and fellow alum. "We know half the bar now," Kennedy said. "It's a Wisconsin thing."

While the Badger fans guzzled beer, Stanford alum Jonathan Fritz spent most of the game transferring phone numbers from his 1999 date book into his 2000 date book. How Stanford is that? "It's not over till it's over," he said, glancing at the television screen. Then it was over: Wisconsin, 17-9. Maybe Stanford could have used some of those black-eyed peas.

Oh, well. Maybe next year.

CAPTION: Willard Jenkins, above, and the Warners--Melva, Gino and children Victor and Nyeja--at the Listening Group jazz-fest.

CAPTION: Below left, Saul and Posey Rogolsky celebrate their double birthday; below right, joining them are friends Ray Jacobson and Leo Young. Right, at Mister Days, Stanford fan Jonathan Fritz is outnumbered by a host of Badgers.