We’ve reached the point on the calendar when people start to accept the fact that glorious summer days are numbered and now we begin hearing comments, such as: “Well, at least there won’t be any more mosquitoes,” or the ever-popular, “Well, you know, fall is one of my favourite times of the year,” which, of course, is true for a great many of us. We just wish that summer could go on a little longer and then, when we’re good and ready, we’ll move into the next season. It always seems like Mother Nature rushes us out of the summer season prematurely.
The same applies to the start of school — it seems to start earlier every year. If you happen to be at the traumatic stage of sending a little one off to school for the first time, you can probably relate to the following.
Mom’s first day of school
She used to say, “Boy, I’ll be so glad when he’s old enough to start school.” Now, that day has come and she’s not so sure. It was going to be her day of liberation, but it didn’t turn out that way.
She had a lump in her throat as she dressed him for the first day of school, and she wondered where all the years had gone since she brought him into this world. What happened to the big day? Why no cheering, no music, no streamers — only that strange pang of regret and bewilderment. As she walked him to school, her little one had never looked smaller. She fought back the tears and said a quiet prayer that everything would go smoothly and that he’d learn the ways of the world well, but gently.
• Grandma asked her little grandson when he was going to learn how to count, and he said, “Oh, I can already count, grandma. But only up to one.”
• Mom and dad enrolled their little boy in a private school some distance from home. His mom reminded him to write home often. After about a week, the first letter arrived. It said: “There are 280 boys here. I wish there were only 279.”
• September is when bright, shining, happy, laughing faces turn toward school. The faces belong to mothers.
• September 4, 1888 — George Eastman patented the first roll-film camera and registered the name Kodak. His friends, Manny Minolta, Fred Fuji and Peter Pentax all said they thought it looked like a good idea.
• September 22 — The sun will be directly over the Equator, so it must be the Autumn Equinox. Soon the sun will be rising about two minutes later each morning and setting about two minutes earlier each evening.
Can the infamous Winter Solstice be far behind?
But before the snow flies again, we’ll relish yet another beautiful fall season. As a connoisseur of leaves said: “Autumn is the peacock of the calendar — strutting, preening, wheeling and dipping its way through September and October, clearly mindful of all the attention it’s getting.”
• September 22, 1927 — Babe Ruth crunched his 56th homer of the year, a ninth-inning game winner. As he circled the infield, the Babe carried his bat with him. Suddenly, a young boy ran out and tried to grab the bat for a souvenir. The Babe held on tight and ended up dragging the kid across home plate.
Eight days later, Ruth hit home run No. 60, setting a record for a 154-game season.* In September 1934, seven years later, the Babe played his last game as a regular with the Yankees.
* In 1961, Roger Maris hit 61 homers in a slightly longer season, resulting in extensive worldwide over-use of asterisks.
And speaking of asterisks and home runs — even though Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa all hit more than 61 in a season, they have all been linked to steroids, and the debate about all of this will go on for years.
• September 23, 1938 — A time capsule was buried at the New York World Fair. It will give people in the year 6938 a look at what life was like in the 1930s. At the rate we’re damaging the planet, it makes you wonder if, maybe, they should have picked a much earlier year.
• September 28, 1904 — A woman was arrested in New York City for smoking a cigarette. Murder was fine, gambling and drugs were okay, but “no smoking!”