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From Where I Sit: September is last gasp of summer

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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We welcome the month of September to the relentless march of the calendar pages. A quick search of Wikipedia reveals that the name means “seventh” and that September originally was the seventh month of the Roman calendar. We have held onto the name for over 2,000 years. Some traditions die hard, if at all. Do you remember the old saying we learned in school to help us learn the months? It said, “Thirty days has September, April, June and November.” One game I like to play is to see how many songs have a reference to the topic at hand – in this case, September. The first one to come to mind was the 1978 song by Earth, Wind and Fire (starts off, “do you remember?”). And what about “See you in September” by The Happenings? Neil Diamond sings about “September Morn.” More recently Green Day sang “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Maybe it’s me, but most songs about this month have a sort of bittersweet quality to them. Maybe it’s because the carefree summer is over and school has begun. Maybe it’s because my favorite season, melancholy and pensive autumn, is coming later this month. One song that especially captures this mood is from the play “The Fantasticks.” The name of the song is “Try to Remember.” It begins by encouraging us to “try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh so mellow.” I won’t recite the entire song, but it seems to evoke not only memories of a season of the year, but also memories of the seasons of life. This is especially true with the third and final verse that says, “Deep in December it’s nice to remember although you know the snow will follow, Deep in December it’s nice to remember without a hurt the heart is hollow; Deep in December it’s nice to remember the fire of September that made us mellow. Deep in December our hearts should remember and follow.” So here comes September — the last gasp of summer, the early hints of winter frost. Here come the monarch butterflies and colorful leaves. Here come scampering squirrels that dart about with a sense of urgency at the impending winter. Here come earlier sunsets, shorter days and the beginning of holiday plans (sorry, didn’t mean to bring that up already). Let’s try to remember September, while we still have it. Reach Tom Rupp at truppfoslom@yahoo.com.