Saturday, September 5, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: Summer Swan Song

Globe slipped right past fall and has us in winter already (so Monty Python):

"At a Dorchester playground, school beckons, as summer gives way" by Peter Schworm Globe Staff  September 05, 2015

Maybe a lot of people were out of town for the holiday weekend, summer’s last hurrah. Maybe it was the vague hint of fall in the air, and the cooling breeze off the water. Maybe the rush of back-to-school errands left no time for even a quick visit to the park.

Whatever the reason, the crowd at the Chief John A. Martin Playground in Dorchester was well off its summer peak Friday, surprising visitors eager to coax a bit more fun from the fading season.

“Trying to squeeze in a few more days,” Laura Boehler of Milton said, as she watched her two young boys ricochet through the playground. “I don’t want to see summer go. Not yet.”

Me neither.

All summer, the popular playground and park across the street were bursting with activity, a swirl of sprinting kids, bikers and joggers, people strolling along the river. For parents and their children, it was a summer escape within reach, almost an extension of their backyard.

No shootings?

But on Friday, the summer bustle had given way to a quieter, more subdued feel. People were hesitant to even suggest the season was winding down, and quick to note that it might reach the 90s next week. But when the wind picked up, it almost felt like fall. 

Is that why I'm so unenthusiastic when it comes to the Globe now?

“You can feel it in the air,” said Brenda Drew, a Milton resident who was watching her 5-year-old niece. Drew, a nursery school teacher, figured parents must be busy with last-minute back-to-school shopping.

“I bet it’s crowded at Staples,” she joked.

I'll bet it's not.


Margaret DeLuca, 34, found herself shifting into fall mode quicker than she would have liked. Summer should ended after Labor Day, she said. Not before.

“I felt like we got robbed of a week,” she said.

As if the seasons and calendar somehow carried a personal grudge and it was some sort of conspiracy!

Are these people real, or does the Globe just make them up?

Most parents at the cozy neighborhood playground live nearby, many close enough to walk. But Dianne Bluestein came all the way from Plymouth to meet her longtime friend Jennifer Hockert, who drove down from the North Shore.

Related: Self-Centered Jewspaper 

It has to be; those are the only sources.

It was a great playground for their kids, and in a stroke of luck, was just about halfway between them.

But this visit felt a little different. September’s arrival, coupled with the cooler weather, stirred thoughts of apple picking and corn mazes.

Cooler weather? Where?

School was gearing up, and some stores already had Halloween candy on the shelves. 

(Cue lecture by authority regarding obesity and diabetes)

At least they haven't put out any Christmas stuff yet like last year.

Still, most people weren’t quite ready to turn the page. Hockert was looking forward to a Labor Day party on her block, a last blast of summer before fall settles in.

“I’m just not ready for it to be over,” she said.

Across the playground, where kids darted and climbed, chased and hid, Mary Santiago looked after her grandson, just 18 months old.

She wanted to spend as much time outside as possible on a day like Friday, knowing this weather won’t be around much longer.

“I just love it,” she said.

Some parents said the park is beautiful in the fall, and that they won’t miss the heat. But New England falls, no matter how lovely, inevitably bring winter one step closer.

“Not again,” said one mother.


Care for one final swim before taking flight?