Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

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things I used to look forward to happening


The onset of school reminds me of so many anticipations that guide one's calendar when one is a kid:

a. the beginning of school--the smell of that curious floor cleaning stuff that looked like purple sand and fluff,and was swept up by janitors with huge floor brooms; the feel of a new wooden desk in a new classroom; the sense of challenge as the teacher announced new things we had to learn, like cursive or long division (oh no, not division). Some new student or other, always so full of promise for a while, then just another old student.

b. the beginning of the new cartoon season. flipping among the channels, figuring our whch new shows were worth watching. I'll never forget the year that the parents' commission on violent in childrens' programming "got to" the networks, and all the adventure shows were replaced with stuff like the Smurfs. I'm a near pacifist on my good days, but those Smurfs brought out many more violent tendencies in me than Jonny Quest ever did. Just thinking about cartoons reminds me of Schoolhouse Rock, and, frankly, music doesn't get much better than "Conjunction Junction" and "Zero, My Hero".

c. The beginning of the new prime time season. Sitcoms were sillier yet somehow more fun when I was a kid--Bewitched, "My Mother, the Car", a world of failed parody superheroes failing to capitalize on the success of the kitschy "Batman" TV show. Our bedtime was 8:30 or so much of my childhood, so I guess that was 90 minutes of TV, flipping back and forth to see what was good. In those days, Friday and Sunday nights were big nights. In the afternoons, besides cartoon shows with a local Bozo the Clown, we watched Twilight Zone reruns and sometimes the Fugitive.

d. The first evening with a real cool tang in the air, usually in mid September, sometimes just after Labor Day, sometimes not until October. High school football, a sort of civic religion, copies of Dave Campbell's magazine, Arkansas Football, which recapped the chances for each high school team in the state, team by team by team. My unfortunate efforts at junior high football, doing interminable short jogs called "wind sprints" at the end of each practice, trying to tackle some life-sized dummy shaped bit of cloth covered metal on a rope, drinking a gator-ade like substance laced with more salt than a home-made ice cream grinder.
A huge thunderstorm each Labor Day, as a hurricane hit the coast, but all we got was the tip of the storms. The smell of wild garlic being mowed at the school fields in deep late August.

I don't regulate my calendar much by the school year anymore.
The new TV season is of passing interest, and I watch, one a one-off basis, a few cartoons, but do not systematically follow their ebb and flow. But I do love that first tang of cool weather in the air, when I always pause to think that this cool tang of changing seasons, of all things, is what makes life worth living.
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