in my humble opinion

The autumn leaves…

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 10/7/20

For something completely different, I’m feeling slightly pensive, a little wistful—maybe even downright maudlin. But it’s temporary (I hope) and has a name. Autumn. To the best of …

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in my humble opinion

The autumn leaves…

Posted

For something completely different, I’m feeling slightly pensive, a little wistful—maybe even downright maudlin. But it’s temporary (I hope) and has a name. Autumn. To the best of my knowledge, it’s the only season with two monikers, but when I turned to the almighty internet to find out why, I discovered lengthy drawn-out answers. Since time is of the essence when it comes to all things fall, I’ve decided to spare you the details for now. Because (IMHO) I’m a hopelessly romantic sap, there’s always a song to match my (hopelessly single) mood, and each year at this time, I drag out the Victrola (look it up!), dust off the old LP (ditto) and listen dreamily to Nat King Cole’s 1955 recording of... (drum roll please) “The Autumn Leaves.”

“The falling leaves drift by the window, the autumn leaves of red and gold...” Softly humming along with Nat, I sighed audibly while the record played, moodily gazing out my own window and petting the dog, who tugged at my heartstrings along with my sleeve, making her wishes known. Before leashing her up for an autumnal stroll, I posted a short video of leaves falling outside my window along with a link to the old recording on my social media page last Saturday, which elicited responses from like-minded friends both near and far.

“One of my mother’s favorite songs,” lover of all things vintage Amy Ronai (www.in2retro.com) wrote in the comment section below. “Not much better than this, thanks, Nat! Thanks, JCF!” artist Wm Landau concurred before life-long best friend Lucia Davies weighed in: “Love the ugly-cry consequence of that song,” she wrote, clearly illustrating why we are so close. “Never Fails.”

Normally, in my neck of the woods (Sullivan County), the color-drenched foliage peaks around mid-month, but this year most of the brightest hues have faded already, leaving behind the equally lovely but more muted shades. Still, there are isolated patches of the aforementioned red and gold to photograph, adding to what I’ve already captured, and thankfully Pennsylvania is always a little slow on the uptake, helping to extend the season just across the Delaware River.

“We’re already losing leaves here,” I moaned to friends Ryan and Nicole, who had been planning a “leaf-peeping” tour of the east coast for months. “Better get in gear, before the trees are bare,” I cautioned. “You won’t see this in Texas!” They arrived a few days ago, ready to catch autumn in all its glory, not just here in the Catskills, but armed with a plan to visit Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine before swinging back around to Camp Fox in another 10 days or so.

“Let’s do this!” Ryan exclaimed stepping out of the largest pickup truck I’ve ever seen. “Boy, howdy,” I shot back, with my best (probably insulting) Texan drawl. “I guess it’s true what they say: Everything really is bigger in Texas!” I led the charge, having scouted out some of my favorite spots, including a few “secret” locations dotting the landscape of the Upper Delaware River region. “Just honk if you wanna pull over,” I suggested since Dharma and I were driving ahead of them, keeping the lovebirds a safe distance from us in their own larger-than-life vehicle. “Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the ride!”

We drove, we stopped and we strolled. Although we were always six feet apart, I felt closer to my friends than ever before; observing the couple holding hands made me feel slightly pensive and a little bit wistful. If that makes me a hopelessly romantic sap, so be it. Of course, I sang softly to my dog, who scampered ahead, uninterested in my musical reverie, sniffing for squirrels and playing in the leaves. “I see your lips, the summer kisses,” Cole’s voice echoed in my head. “The sun-burned hands I used to hold.” Understanding that my favorite season would be nothing but a memory all too soon, I sighed once more. “Since you went away the days grow long, and soon I’ll hear old winter’s song,” Nat lamented. “But I miss you most of all, my darling... when autumn leaves start to fall.”

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