Opinion Column

Falling for this spectacular season

Bruce Cameron

By Bruce Cameron

Mid-September is a great time of year.


It makes me think of Rick Shanahan lighting an Export ‘A’, slouching against the white stone wall directly across the street from St. Joe’s, back when it was a small Catholic junior high school on Mulcaster Street.

Downtown courthouse traffic, the frenetic clatter from the typing room… fading brick that started as dark red… those long, black fire escape stairs in need of a fresh coat of paint… a subtle September morning sun over a dozen sketch pads, each of them charcoaled with the same sprawling Victorian house at the corner of Peel and Codrington streets… guys in grade eight losing their minds if Karen Taylor – a senior in Grade 10 and permanent belle of the hallway ball – happened to walk by.

Ah, the memories… The stern but fair (emphasis on stern, when in the wrong situation) Mr. Murphy sitting at his principal’s desk, blue Irish eyes blazing accusingly, lips opened just wide enough for me to hear “Mr. Cameron: to what do I owe the honour of your esteemed presence?”

He said those very words to me, once. I remember thinking at the time that, with such a jumbled, formal syntax, I could pretend not to understand the question and thereby haul in a few more precious seconds to think of a good explanation for whatever infraction I was sent to the office for.

You can’t talk about this time of year without mentioning maple trees, which are starting to respond to cooler temperatures by turning yellow and red with frustration on their way to resignation. It is, of course, a beautiful frustration.

What else is there to like? Plenty.

The Brady Bunch Blows Game One: I am a fan of the eternal ’72 Dolphins. They ran the table, up to and including that season’s Super Bowl championship.

Every year, right about now, the very efficient, very powerful, very annoying New England Patriots start winning. And winning.

But last Thursday, in this NFL season’s kickoff, the Patriots got their lunch handed to them by Kansas City.

The familiar red, white, blue and grey threat has been averted. This is a wonderful thing.

We’ve Seen This Movie Before: We see it every darned year with the same plot, same sorts of characters, and I for one am glad when the credits roll on the annual Toronto International Film Festival.

When TIFF is over, Toronto relaxes and goes back to being its natural self - a very cool, vibrant burgh not overly awed by Hollywood B- and C-listers.

The Raking of Leaves: To clarify, “the raking of leaves by someone else while I watch.”

Actually, the best part of this scene is the audio. It’s got that “swish-swish,” but it’s earthier, with more grit.

If I were an insomniac, I’d get a recording of someone raking leaves and solve the situation, pronto.

Speaking of… Yes, my fellow followers of the Blue and White, the certain journey to shinny joy starts soon. I have, by the way, two friends who are Ottawa Senators fans. You know who you are and, as always, the gracious gate to Leafs Nation is always open, should your misguided souls ever decide to return home.

Quiet Before The Storm: Nearing the year’s three-quarter pole, these next few weeks are relatively quiet, the peaceful prelude to being tsunamied with non-stop advertising for Thanksgiving-Halloween-Merry Christmas-Happy New Year! I used to be in the advertising business and worked with lots of great people, but it’s not a spooktacular way to make a living.

Bruce Cameron is a Barrie freelance writer. 

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