October Leaves

There was something special about late October and early November Saturday’s for me.  Particularly if Yale was playing at home.  Walking back from the Bowl in the declining light, the air crisp and dried leaves underfoot.  I loved it.  Some of the homes had neat piles of leaves gathered curbside along the street.  And on occasion there would be a homeowner shepherding his leaves into a low smoldering fire. Carefully monitoring the consumption of leaves.  Slowly adding more as needed.  I think of it in the way that a pipe smoker carefully keeps his bowl of tobacco lit.  

I loved the smell of those burning leaves.  Too bad that the air from burning leaves is as bad, if not worse, than the fumes of a diesel bus.  Well, burning leaves smell a lot better than the exhaust of a New Haven City bus!And then there is this.  Bessie told me that when she was a child in North Carolina, that they would put potatoes at the base of a leaf pile that was on a low flame.  I think of Bessie as a young child finding joy in that.  And I can imagine that there wouldn’t have been a potato to surpass the ones that she enjoyed from that leaf pile.

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