Friday, October 16, 2009

Discovering what fall is all about 9-30-09 Editor's Column

Depending on who you ask, many things could represent “what fall is all about.”

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to experience some of those possibilities by simply driving around Mahomet and spending time with local residents and visiting citizens.

For instance, this past weekend saw the conclusion of the community wide garage sales that I had the opportunity to take part in with my wife and my mother.

While out and about, I was able to see some familiar faces, meet some new people and pick up a few items that had stories of their own.

Two such items were some simple folding chairs that had been painted orange and blue and been given the traditional Illini “I” on the seat-back.

Upon talking to the woman selling them, I learned that the chairs had been her mother’s and that her mother had used the chairs at every home contest the Illini had during tailgates.

I wouldn’t even try to put a guess on the age of the chairs, but they have had their fair share of use over the years, sporting the blemishes that come with time.

Yet, those very blemishes are what I have come to believe make these chairs so valuable, which is why I look forward to continuing the stories that these simple chairs will collect.

Another sign that fall is here came in the form of a fall-favorite past time on Saturday afternoons: football and barbecue.

For those of you who were unable to make it to the first annual barbecue cook-off at the Hideaway of the Woods, it was a great example of why communities such as Mahomet are so valuable.

It brought friends and strangers together to compete in the name of the great love of barbecuing and fun. Between the bags tournament, the variety of tastes and the football game (however dismal), the commonality present was the good time that everyone was having without having to put too much effort into it.

Despite the threatening rain and the brief spits of precipitation, people were enjoying the weather, the food and the new-found friendships.

Obviously the list of things that remind us of the season could go on, but being able to experience them first-hand is what really makes them special.

Who knows, maybe this coming weekend you’ll encounter something new for your list. No matter what, though, enjoy the view.

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