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Along Twin Ponds Road

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Autumn’s splendor

By Ray Willis

I hope you are one moved in a positive way to the beauty and splendor of autumn and able to observe the spectacular changes of color at this wonderful time of year.
Most Floridians, outside of Gadsden County would probably have to drive fairly long distances to view the fall foliage.
My wife and I missed viewing the fall colors while we lived in Florida.
Before I left New England, I was always awed by the beauty of autumn and the graceful falling of the leaves of red, brown, green and yellow.
Words from Seema Chowdhury’s poem, “Beautiful Leaves of Autumn,” capture my feelings:
“Lovely memories of the Autumn appears once again in life with yellow, brown, red and green leaves of life that scattered and survived.”
It has been a few years since Judy and I made any attempt to drive a long enough distance to observe the changing colors of the trees.
I talked her into attending a college football game with me next Saturday in northern South Carolina.
Watching a local college’s football team, preferably a smaller one, on a sunny, fall afternoon has always been one of the highlights of my life.
Perhaps you remember when I wrote of a few football games I attended when I watched the Western Carolina Catamounts play or of the days I spent amid the stacks of books on the top floor of Wesleyan University in
Middletown, Conn.
When I took breaks from my graduate research at Wesleyan on a Saturday afternoon, I used to longingly peer down onto the football playing field from a window on the top floor and catch glimpses of the game being played.
Whenever I did attend a game, I usually sat on the visitor side with the sun in my face and away from most of the crowd in order to take in the beauty of the surrounding
countryside.
My old friend and teaching partner, Jim Rogers, went to college at Wofford, S. C., about 100 miles away, in Spartanburg.
I chose to honor Jim, in a sense, by choosing to watch Wofford play my old sentimental favorite, Western Carolina.
The last time Judy and I drove north to take in the beautiful fall season was
wonderful.
We drove for miles and miles along the East Coast from Connecticut almost all the way to Florida.
A few hours after we returned was when we received that dreadful call informing us of Judy’s oldest son’s death in St.Louis.
This fall season is also special for anyone watching our favorite major league baseball team in the October playoffs.
I’m sure some of you enjoy watching sons or daughters playing their hearts out at some fall sport at school or college.
It has been almost 10 years since I’ve had the good fortune of being able to watch the New York Mets in a fall playoff.
One of the sports announcers a few nights ago compared a loyal baseball fan watching his/her favorite baseball team for half of the year to someone who’s intrigued by a favorite soap opera.
I believe the comparison is a fair one.
Just about every night of the baseball season is reserved for watching one’s favorite team. Most of us wouldn’t think of going anywhere we didn’t have to during those hours your team is playing any more than one would miss a favorite soap.
Last night I couldn’t wait for a church meeting to end as the Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers were playing the last game of their series in a quest to the National League pennant. The Mets pulled it out and won 3 to 2.
How well I remember the year, 1967, when my former family and I returned from having lived in Hawaii for several years.
The Boston Red Sox were on their way to winning the American League pennant and the “Impossible Dream” that year. The team had not won a pennant since 1946.
My ex-wife and son were as caught up in the fever as I was and what seemed most of New England.
In Hawaii it was difficult to root for a favorite major league team because one almost never got to watch them play.
The Mets will meet the Chicago Cubs to decide who will win the National League flag and go on to the World Series.
The Cubs are coached by Joe Maddon who had coached our favorite Florida team, the Tampa Bay Rays, when we had lived in north and central Florida and unable to watch the Mets on tv.
What an enjoyable time of the year is promised if you are able to get out and enjoy the change of season and Natures’ wonderama or to watch your favorite sports team play.
Here are a few more words from the poem I opened with by Seema Chowdhury:
“For God has made this lovely season, a source of love, peace and cheer, in which we get another chance to shed the burden of pain’s layer.”
God bless you.