The Oaks Ignore Their Pleas

Labor Day Notes II

Posted in General by Jeff Graves on September 4, 2006

While Labor Day is a great holiday for barbeques, family get-togethers, and outdoor activities in general, one of my favorite Labor Day activities is to watch the movie “American Graffiti”.  For me, this 1973 George Lucas film really seems to summarize summer and everything that is carefree and wonderful about summer, while still maintaining an eye towards the inevitable demands of adulthood.  It’s a perfect cap to a summer, as the cast enjoys their final night of freedom, before they all leave their childhood behind, and move ahead into adulthood.  The final scene, as Richard Dreyfuss’ character Curtis Henderson leaves for college in an airplane, looking out over the Souther California landscape, and spotting the white T-bird driven by a young Suzanne Somers that he unsuccessfully chased all night, is, to me, as poignant and touching as any movie ending that I can recall, and really captures the joy and heartache of growing up.

In many ways, the end of summer is kind of a return to reality, at least here in New England.  While I love autumn, and everything that it brings, I still feel that certain pang of sadness ingrained into me after many years of school, knowing that the freedom that summer brought was coming to an end.  And, almost magically, every year, right around September 1, the weather itself really takes a sudden turn, and the warm humid summer weather gives way to cool, dewy mornings, and breezy afternoons. 

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