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The summer knows…

The historic Stone Arch Bridge, near Jeffersonville, NY provides great photo opportunities in the fall


September 25, 2013

I never used to think of myself as predictable, but as the years pass, certain traditions I hold dear seem more firmly rooted in my psyche than ever before, and I’ve surrendered to the possibility that I mark time in ways that make sense… to me. It’s a bit daunting that the calendar year seems to fly by these days, but I’m of “a certain age” and as the days grow shorter, I’m reminded that I have more summers behind me than lie ahead. With fall officially here, I’m doing my best to live in the moment and not worry about frigid temperatures and shoveling—there’s plenty of time (uh huh) for that down the road. Meanwhile, as the leaves begin to turn, I hear the strains of haunting music that imprinted on my young mind many years ago, in a darkened theater, watching “The Summer of 42” play across the screen.

The theme song, "The Summer Knows," is (IMHO) beautiful, haunting, and captures the end of one season and the beginning of another in such an evocative way, that I download and post it every year on the first day of autumn to share with anyone who cares to listen. The music, written by the incomparable Michel Legrand, moves me deeply and the lyrics, by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, capture the essence of the passage of time. “The summer smiles, the summer knows, and unashamed, she sheds her clothes,” drifts through the air as I think about raking, pumpkins and attempting to snap photos that will linger beyond the last leaf fluttering to the lightly frosted blades of grass. Slightly unwilling to let go, I let the words and music wash over me. “The summer smoothes the restless sky, and lovingly she warms the sand on which you lie.” I play it over and over these first few days, as I make my way through the Upper Delaware River Valley, camera in hand, as Dharma and I stop to hand apples to our neighbor’s horses, while observing the barns fill with hay.

As predicted, we spent two days last week with scores of volunteers, working the phones and soliciting donations on-air for Thunder 102’s third annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon. Still in the midst of a difficult economic climate, I was unsure how it would all turn out, but I continued to listen to the song: “The summer knows, the summer’s wise, she sees the doubts within your eyes,” and let go, hoping for the best. The event (with the help of so many members of the community) was a huge success, and together, we raised more than $38,000 (in 48 hours) to help fight childhood cancer. On behalf of everyone involved, we thank you.