Debra and I had an extraordinary experience this New Year’s Eve, attending the Ruby Drop in Franklin, North Carolina, famously known as the Gem Capital of the World. As midnight approached, the excitement in the air was electric, with people from all corners gathering to witness the spectacular event. The streets of Franklin were abuzz with energy, illuminated by vibrant lights, and filled with the cheerful chatter of families, friends, and visitors, as well as a live band called the V-8s. Of course, the highlight of the evening was the Ruby Drop itself. As the countdown began, everyone’s eyes were fixed on the giant, glittering ruby poised high above the crowd.

Debra and I joined the countdown, 10…9…8…7... The dropping of the ruby symbolized not only the ushering in of the New Year but also the rich heritage and pride of Franklin’s gem mining community. 4…3…2…1! Once the ruby dropped and the 2024 new year was welcomed with cheers and kisses, we strolled back through the town with family, soaking in the festive atmosphere.

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