Reaching September On Main Street

One of my favorite renditions is Willie Nelson singing September Song – – Oh, it’s a long long while from May to December but the days grow short when you reach September….I’m sure you can’t believe, nor can I, that June, July, and August are behind us. A summer not without blessings, but over-all, a horrendous time.

At the beginning of most summers, I make a mental list of what I want to do again as in my childhood summers. To walk barefoot in the dew-wet grass, eat homemade peach ice-cream, lug books home from the library, run under the sprinkler, catch fireflies in a Mason jar, swing on the porch, have a picnic, see the fireworks at Northwestern’s Dyke Stadium, and ride my bike. The list goes on. I did eat watermelon, walked barefoot in the grass, and read books to my heart’s content. The rest of my list didn’t materialize. I traded it all away with the time spent watching the horror of mobs running loose, looting and burning, our historical monuments being pulled to the ground, jumping up and down over the Rocky Mount shenanigans of old. A terrible trade-off!

I’m not naive enough to think that because we have crossed the threshold of September that our troubles are over. Particularly, as we battle down the field to the elections. It isn’t a bad idea to pick one of your sacred places, like the beach, or a hidden spot in the garden, perhaps your favorite chair, and shelter there, if only in your imagination to put yourself right again when the world’s woes are over-bearing.

This brick wall is going to be my sheltering place, which I only discovered when a friend invited me over specifically to place my hand on her back garden wall. This wall is made of Silus Lucas brick. (Below). Mr. Lucas had a major brickyard here and sold brick in other states from the Civil War era to the early 1900s. This wall was laid around 1955 when the homes on Marvelle Avenue were being built in the West Haven area.

A brick can be used to build a courthouse of reason, or it can be thrown through the window.  –   Gilles Deleuze

Going back for photographs, I found the owners had pulled away some of the ivy. This fall I will think of this brick wall and remember how strong it is, how it has endured all manner of elements, its age has not mattered, it continues true to itself, a thing of beauty and stability. The same attributes I associate with America, the shining light on the hill that must prevail.

PS: The lovely home on Marvelle is for sale.

PPS: These are precious days I spend with you. SFH

3 thoughts on “Reaching September On Main Street

  1. Thanks Stepheny. Your words always bring a smile to my face and today, I needed to smile.
    Thanks again for all you do to enhance our world! 🙂


  2. Fall is my favorite time of year—it carries me back to my days at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The city is filled with magnificent trees that are fiercely protected and their colors in fall take your breath away. If you go to the to the 8th floor of the Harlen Hatcher Library, an outstanding example of historic brick library architecture, you can gaze south over the entire city and see fall at its best.

    Lately, I have been thinking of Ann Arbor and the university and how wonderful it was to have the opportunity to attend such a prestigious and important university. It was a unique environment that created debate, encouraged questions, allowed diversity to flourish and tolerated exuberant expressions of beliefs that were as varied as the color of the fall leaves—as long as there was not physical violence or destruction of property. It was wonderful.

    As a young man I learned to engage passionately with RESPECT and accept criticism and question with Style and GRACE. I was involved in campus politics, city politics and historic preservation—and I learned a lot about objectivity and lack thereof. Most importantly from all the collective experiences I learned that differences are differences and that is all there is to it.

    However, if differences are fueled by hate and lies, they are no longer differences—they become movements that disrespect the law, people and properties. Just as the falling leaves wither and dry on the ground so will all this misdirected civil unrest. Nonetheless, the aftermath of these unconscionable riots and demonstrations will linger. How many new brick walls will have been built socially and culturally? How far has this misguided Black Lives Matter movement set back cultural acceptance of others?

    I fear it has turned the clock back many years for many of us. As a friend told me (who happens to be a strong black woman) “I am embarrassed by all of this. I do not feel this way. I think all lives matter. If we keep doing this then what will it be like for our children—it will not be better, it will be worse.”

    I agree with her. So, think about that as the “…the falling leaves drift past the window”.


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