Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Indian Summer



When I was a little girl, every year in the fall, I'd wait for the Tribune Magazine with Injun Summer, a cartoon by John T. McCutcheon. It was originally published in 1907. I loved it when I was a child and still do. The cartoon is of a granddaddy, telling a tale to his grandchild, about the Indians, now gone from the prairie, that come back each autumn as spirits. It stirred my imagination then and now it takes me back to the early years of my life, when everyone burned their autumn leaves. It seemed every house had a fire burning in the street. My Buscia would rake, and then start a fire. I loved watching that smoldering fire. The smell is magic, better than woodsmoke, more fragrant than any man made candle or spray. My husband and I travel the countryside, looking for the tell tail signs of leaf burning. (Still allowed in some small towns.) When we see a cloud of smoke ahead, we roll down the windows, and inhale deep the smell from our childhood. I think of the Indians that lived here for thousands of years, their campfires, their lives. I think of my Dad, smoking his pipe, spinning a yarn of his own. It's pure nostalgia, and all it takes is a whiff of smoke to take me there. Enjoy this beautiful day.

Reposted from my very first year of blogging.




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4 comments:

Suzanne said...

Yes, YES!! I've blogged about that cartoon also. It just didn't seem to be fall until it appeared in the paper. I love that cartoon.

Unfortunately around here there are burn restrictions and I just don't see and smell the burning leaves as in days gone past.

Lisha said...

Hi Penny, I have never heard of that cartoon but enjoyed your post.I too like the smell of burning leaves.I love how a certain smell can bring back to mind something long forgotten.

suzan c said...

I remember this from the Chicago Tribune, also!!!

Terri Cheney said...

I have an old black and white copy of that hanging on my wall in the living room. My 'other daughter' had one framed, as did her grandma. She sent me her grandma's copy to hang in my home so we'd each have one. It goes perfectly on my wall.