I switched the Sirius radio over to the '60s channel; I needed a break from Tom Petty. Also, I'm paying for a hundred channels, so I might as well use them. The '60s were a good time for me as my age range was 3 to 13, though there were plenty of bad times for others. My parents insulated my siblings and me as best they could from the civil unrest, riots and Vietnam war images on the news. They also had a radio on most of the day, set to stations playing show tunes and country music. Roger Miller, Perry Como, and The Statler Brothers were staples we grew up on.
The second song to air on the '60s channel on my latest drive was "Try To Remember," sung by Andy Williams. It's a song about nostalgia, inviting the listener to remember September when life was slow, tender, and less complicated. A love in September that was but an ember could soon be a billow of flames. The writer then beckons us to remember September when the chill of December comes along.
The month's name is confusing, as the Latin septem means "seven." While it is the ninth month of our calendar, it was the seventh month of the Roman calendar, which begins in March.
September bears the autumn equinox on or around the 22nd day and marks the transition from Summer into Fall. Labor Day is the well-known holiday of September, but we also celebrate Native American Day on the month's 4th Friday. Grandparent's Day is observed on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Constitution Day marks the ratification of our governing document on the 17th.
Some fun days in September are National Cheese Pizza Day (5th), National Teddy Bear Day (9th), National Play-Doh Day (16th), and International "Talk Like A Pirate Day" (19th).
Of historical note, the 1st Continental Congress was called to order on Sept. 5, 1774. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862, though it didn't become effective until the following January. President William McKinley was shot on Sept. 6, 1901, and died eight days later. Hitler invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, starting WW II. President Gerald Ford issued a pardon to Richard Nixon on Sept. 8, 1974.
Perhaps more meaningful to Americans is the terrorist group al-Qaeda's attack on Sept. 11, 2001. More than 3,000 people lost their lives in the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil to date. What a stark and horrific contrast to the lovely lyrics of "Try To Remember"!
This year's September is nothing resembling "tender and mellow." Partisan divisions inflamed by political rhetoric, selfish agendas, and unthinking social media idiots leave little to inspire love songs. No good things to remember in this September, unfortunately. I hope December brings something better.
But today marks a September I will always remember and treasure. I married my life's love 42 years ago on September 9, 1978. While many had their doubts, we had none. We endured many Septembers of hurricanes, travels and moving, and loss of family. While I was not always a "tender and callow fellow," she was my anchor while I found my way. She never doubted me, never gave up on me, and never not loved me. She deserves more in a husband, but would never say so. She is more than I deserve, and I should tell her that every day. Our cold December is coming, and when it does, we will still remember September's fire.
Happy anniversary, Trish.
-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.