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September is my favorite time of year. Remember when it was not marred by a horrific anniversary?

Growing up in the northern plains, I looked forward to the harvest.  My mom's garden always yielded tons of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.  Tomatoes with real flavor.  Cucumbers with dirt on them.  Also crunchy kohlrabis, one of my favorites.  A huge beet crop meant we could look forward to borscht when it got colder.

September meant picking the choke cherries and watching mom make jelly, then giving half of it away to the neighbors.  Who even knows their neighbors these days?

September meant Labor Day, complete with picnics and parades.  September meant football, and dad taking us to the local college homecoming parade dressed up as the mascot.  We were too young and too naive in those days to wonder about a college that called itself the Savages, and encouraged little kids to wear paper feather headbands and war paint.

Best of all, September meant going back to school.  Unlike other kids, I looked forward to school.  Hell, if I had my way, I'd have gone to school every year of my life.

September meant mom's birthday, and mine right around the corner.  Although I wasn't sure exactly how it worked, September meant I could see Orion again.  I know, I was a strange kid, but my childhood fantasy was that Orion was my friend.  Maybe other kids had imaginary friends, but mine was in the stars.

September meant bonfires.  As I got older, it meant cross-country -- the sense of peace and calm and solitude that distance runners keep secret from the outside world.

September meant the start of new seasons.  A new television season on the two channels we got.  A new theater season at our rag-tag community theater or high school drama club.  That reminds me of a trivia question: what is the longest-running show in New York ever?  Here's a hint, it beat Cats by miles.  For another hint, click on this link.. I wish I knew how to embed, but the old adage about old dogs and new tricks came from somewhere.

On this horrific September anniversary, try to remember better times.  And enjoy a true progressive icon signing about it at that link above.

Originally posted to Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 07:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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