Whatever Happened to August? by David Shribman
It used to be the perfect peak of idleness, but we've ruined the month with work, school and calendars run amok.
It's the month when the summer nights have a consistent, delicious crispness to them unknown at any other time of the year. It's when the corn is sweet, the plums are purple and pungent, the baseball pennant races are mature, the ocean temperatures are warm. It is the very best month of the year. And we have ruined it.
Not so long ago—well within the memory of half the American population—August was the vacation month. It was a time, much anticipated and much appreciated, of leisure, languor, lassitude and lingering at the beach well into suppertime. Unlike July, it had no holiday disruption, no grocery-store rush, no rituals, no reason to hurry, except maybe to get to the ice-cream stand before closing time, and even that was flexible, depending upon the length of the line. Hardly anyone got married, and no one went to class. Congress barely met, and then it departed for most of the month, a great relief to them and an even bigger one for the nation. It was an idyll of idleness, a time of pure ease—and now it's gone.
We've made August a horror of back-to-school and blinding activity, a time when offices are open late and summer camps close early.
August is America at its best. Let's take it back.
Hear, hear.Posted by Jill Fallon at August 19, 2013 9:02 PM | Permalink