Rosemary Clooney recorded “When October Goes” in her 1987 tribute “album” to Johnny Mercer. I discovered the song in the fall of 1991 while trying to hold tight to my sanity and navigate unfamiliar events. I like fall. Although fall in Houston is a bit different than the fall seasons of the Northeast or Midwest. The high for today is 85 degrees, a bit warm by my definition of “fall.” There is a sense of melancholy to fall. Fall is an in-between season. The summer fruits are long gone from the grocery store bins. I’m a little suspicious of strawberries and peaches innocently offered for sale this time of the year. I generally refrain from asking out loud to no one in particular as I stand in the fruit aisle “where in the world is this from?” October is Nature’s way of saying “slow the hell down.” The rush to do or the rush to be is less pressing. There is time to have that extra cup of coffee. There is time to make that “been meaning to” phone call to a friend. There is time. I do, however, sense a hurriedness in folks these days. You can literally see it on the freeways. I feel a frenzy and urgency as the cars race by. I suspect November is approaching much too quickly for many. The unknown that lies ahead terrifies many of my friends. Earlier whispers of leaving Texas, and possibly the country, are now bold statements. I’m not leaving. I’m staying for the fight, the revolution or the bake sale, as the case may be.

“And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years
I turn my head away to hide
The helpless tears
Oh, how I hate to see October go

I should be over it now, I know
It doesn’t matter much how old I grow
I hate to see October go.” – Johnny Mercer/Barry Manilow 1984