November 23, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 4:35 pm

Leaves.jpgThis morning, as I walked the usual route, the temperature was 27 degrees, with gusting winds. Seeing that The Hawk was making its first appearance since spring, I had dragged out my sweat pants, woolen cap and painter’s gloves — the basics for cold-weather walking.

It was a beautiful, clear morning as I walked on streets on either side of which were piles of leaves waiting to be picked up by men with front loaders, dump trucks and rakes.

I remembered as a boy how much we loved to play in piles of leaves, which often included pitched “leaf fights” (probably not making the person who raked them very happy). We would also completely bury ourselves in piles of leaves during games of hide and seek. That practice came to an end when we were told that a kid somewhere was run over and killed by a car when the driver thought he was only passing over a pile of leaves.

One of my fond memories of autumn was the smell of burning leaves. It was quite common back then to gather the leaves into a large pile and set them on fire. In fact, you couldn’t go anywhere in the town during the fall (especially on the weekends) where you wouldn’t smell burning leaves. The fathers seemed to take pride and no small measure of enjoyment in burning their leaf piles. They would stand by with a rake and a garden hose, lest the fire get out of hand.

These days, anyone setting a pile of leaves on fire would receive an instant visit by the Fire Department, and the Police Department, the latter being armed with a Summons. Hell, I would not be surprised if a Department of Environmental Protection Swat Team were to show up in space suits looking for the enviro-criminal polluting the air and contributing to global warming.

I suppose that it makes sense to pick up the leaves and cart them off to their final resting place, which doubtless is a giant compost pile somewhere, but I miss the days when they were given a something more like a Viking Funeral and I could smell the smoke.


  1. While I was thinking about it — and before Baby Brainâ„¢ kicks in — I wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, Jim of the Farookin’ Great Hair!


    Comment by Margi — November 23, 2005 @ 6:54 pm

  2. Hehe, you just reminded me of a problem we used to have with some young jerk with a Camaro who always zoomed up our block. Aside from having a lot of kids on our block who were in danger of getting run over by this guy, he would run over the leaf piles, blowing them back onto our lawns, etc.. Well, a neighbor of mine finally got fed up and left a huge leaf pile around a couple of cinder blocks. I was away at work when it happened, but there were pieces of IROC air dam all over the place. 🙂

    Gobble gobble,
    Ed T.

    Comment by Ed Tapanes — November 23, 2005 @ 8:00 pm

  3. I believe there are still a few places in the country where one can burn leaves on one’s property. Imagine one of the Founding era citizens being told he couldn’t burn leaves on his own land. Or in the middle of the public thoroughfare — or tavern — for that matter. Heh.

    Comment by dogette — November 23, 2005 @ 10:54 pm

  4. Hell, the fire was the only thing about raking leaves that I liked. I’ll be damned if I’m going to rake leaves for someone to cart off. They want’em, they rake’em.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jimbo.

    Comment by That 1 Guy — November 24, 2005 @ 12:28 am

  5. Burnt or unburnt, I love that leaf smell.

    Hate rakin’ ’em, though 🙂

    Comment by Harvey — November 25, 2005 @ 9:54 am

  6. The irony of course is that many are now using gas-powered baggers or leaf blowers that will pollute more than the leaf fires would have.

    Comment by MCPO Airdale — November 25, 2005 @ 11:10 am

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