It’s 86 degrees (feels like 91) here in Bradenton, so if it was New York, it could be the last day of July. There’s just something unnatural about having the AC on as we approach Halloween.
Nevertheless, there is a hint of Autumn’s chill in the air even here in Bradenton. We’ve already had a few days that we didn’t climb out of the sixties, but lately, it’s been back to the mid to high eighties.
I’ve learned that the sun and heat do nothing to stifle the early arrival of Christmas.
Christmas is quite evident when you go to the mall and enter the few department stores that haven’t been put out of business by Amazon. I have yet to hear Christmas music, but I haven’t been to the mall often.
Eileen and I did visit a big Christmas shop in Sarasota, and there was a line at the register on a Monday morning. I guess the people down here haven’t gotten the word that the economy is struggling. They mustn’t watch TV because every republican candidate likes to remind us that we are suffering and that the election was stolen.
It’s funny how they all seem to forget about 2000.
It was reported that home heating oil was costing more than five dollars a gallon. That is one good thing about living in Florida, but the price of oil and natural gas will affect what we pay for electricity and gas for our stove, clothes dryer, and bbq grill.
Big oil gets you no matter where you live.
But, I’ve drifted away from the last Friday of October.
There was a time when I went to Catholic grammar school and high school that a big thing was made of First Fridays.
In grammar school, we were always expected to go to mass, and we were rewarded for our faithful adherence by a late start to our school day. The notion was that we could receive the Eucharist and then go home for breakfast. You see, in those days, you couldn’t eat anything for at least three hours before you received it. So, the late opening was our payback for receiving.
Whether it was the last Friday of October or the First Friday of November, we were all into the fall.
It was football weather. The temperature was cold enough to warrant a heavy sweater or warm jacket.There was a smell that defined the season. Maybe it was the leaves decaying at our feet as we played football on Theriot Avenue.
Even as an adult living on Long Island, I loved this time of year, raking leaves and all.
It was also a great time for holidays.
There was Columbus Day. Then on October 31st, we had Halloween, which was not a day-off holiday but going to Catholic School, we got the day after, November 1st, off for All Saints Day. Then there was Election Day and then Armistice Day or Veterans Day as it was called in 1954.
The big holidays, however, were in the bullpen, ready to start the festivities.
Thanksgiving (Can’t you still smell the turkey cooking in your mother’s kitchen?) ushered in the Christmas season. We didn’t call the day after Thanksgiving Black Friday back then, but it was a special day, notwithstanding.
You see, if you had a set of Lionel or American Flyer trains, this was the day you began to get them out of the box and begin to construct your layout. I still get goosebumps.
It’s good to remember these things. Sometimes we may forget how grand life was and continues to be. One thing I am sure of is that our parents were right. Television should be taken in small doses because I find myself getting more frustrated than entertained after a heavy TV day.
I’m not just saying that because the Yankees were swept in the ALCS.
Happy Friday, this last Friday of October, and know that the First Friday of November is just around the corner.