This is my final Hometown View of the year as I have the WOBM Christmas Classic all next week and will then take a few well-deserved days off…and I say that with all sincerity!

It’s hard to believe that 12 months have passed since I wished you all the best in 2016 and that period has been filled with good times and bad, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears.

I have learned that as you get older the days, months and years fly by at an alarming rate and while you can’t stop Father Time I guess each year you get to add another number to your age has been a good one.  As like every year 2016 brought new friends but at the same time had me saying good bye to others with those good byes getting far too frequent.

Ironically one of those will occur later today as family and friends gather to bid farewell to Lester Konyhas of Toms River who passed away Wednesday night at the age of 86.  He is too many the “Godfather” of soccer in this area and was the first coach at then Toms River High School before moving to Toms River North when it opened its doors.  It was fitting then when he was inducted into the Toms River Schools Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 he went in with his wife Jean who was also a successful soccer coach at TR North for many years.

As a teacher and coach” Big Les” mentored many but his true passion was his family and he was a Hall of Fame husband, father, grandfather and uncle.  Just two days before Christmas they will all gather at Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home on Main Street in Toms River from 4 p.m. -8 p.m. to bid farewell to one of the good guys.

I have been reminded through many Facebook posts this past week that the holiday season is not a good time for everyone.  Many don’t have a loving family to spend it with and feel there is little to celebrate.  I truly hope you can find some joy and that 2017 will indeed bring better times.

Here’s also hoping we’re all together at this time next year. If that’s the case then it won’t be a bad year.