Hints of fall are in the air, television

Published 3:26 pm Monday, October 3, 2005

By By Janet Little Cooper
The fall months are officially here. Living in the south however, you would never know it by the weather. The temperature is still scorching and the leaves look pretty much the same. Southerners do not get to experience the crisp fall air and the majestic changing of colors until late in the season, if not completely in the winter months.
So how do we know when fall has arrived in the south? High school football games are usually good indicators that fall is here, although no blankets are needed to shield the cool night air. There is just something about Friday night football that gives one the feeling of fall.
The new selections of fall clothing in stores are another indicator for southerners who remain stuck in summer heat that fall is present. The only problem with that however, is that the clothes are nice to look at, but it is never going to be cool enough for us to actually wear them. Unless, of course, you just absolutely have to have the outfit and then you sweat profusely. Normally, by the time our weather matches the season, the fall clothes will be on clearance or long gone.
And of course the return of school days is another way Southerners can tell it is fall. In the last couple of years however, the school calendar keeps inching further and further away from the fall months to the summer. This year Florida schools went back earlier than I have ever recalled, August 2nd. Typically, schools do not begin until mid September.
Probably the most prominent way Southerners realize that fall is upon them is with the fall Sweeps on television. The beginning of fall is the breakout month for season premieres. In the day, it was just ABC, CBS and NBC that we stayed glued to in mid September. Now in the day of mass media, we have an endless number of cable channels to monitor as well. Everyone cashes in on the fall sweeps.
Just once I would like to experience fall on the official day of its arrival by the weather. Waking to multi-colored leaves being caught in the brisk, cool air as it causes them to cascade to the ground would be a welcome sight opposed to the dry stagnant air with temperatures in the high 80's by 7 a.m.
But until that time comes, I guess I will be content with watching my son play football while I wipe the sweat from my brow as I keep telling myself fall is here, browsing the new fall clothing selections even if I can't wear them yet, hunkering down in the school routine and watching my favorite season premieres.
Janet Little Cooper is lifestyles reporter for the Atmore Advance. Her column appears weekly.

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