Berger’s Burg: September days easy to ‘Try to remember’

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September, which “hath” 30 days (as well as April, June, and November) is the ninth month of the year. In Roman times, when March began the year, September was the seventh month (the name September coming from the Latin word septem, which means seven).

When the Romans made January the first month, September was pushed back to the ninth position. Several Roman emperors tried to rename the month, but had no success. Imagine what a poorer world this would be if they had succeeded. School children would be deprived of the poem illustrating the months of the year containing only 30 days.

September may be the ninth month, but it heralds many beginnings. So, I will take a deep breath and start at the beginning of the these beginnings:

The school year (for most schools in New York, anyway), as well as a new football season, begins. The fall TV schedule, the eating of oysters and the Jewish New Year will commence.

Indeed, the origins of I’d say 8 percent of everything on earth can be traced to September -— chop suey (1896), the city of Los Angeles (1781), General Motors (1908), The New York Times (1851), Mickey Mouse (1928), the “Star-Spangled Banner” (1814), the nickname “Uncle Sam” (1813), and carpet sweepers (1876), were all concocted, established, founded, published, composed, thought up, or patented in September.

September is also a time for endings — the lease on your summer retreat, the regular baseball season, reruns on TV, the eating of fresh corn, summer, and the slathering on of sun screen. In years past, September has been the end of the line for George Washington (1796), William McKinley (1901), Nathan Hale (1775), Huey Long (1935), John L. Sullivan (1892), child labor (1916), the old city of London (1666), and the Japanese as a military threat in World War II (1945). George Washington gave his Farewell Address in September; the others were assassinated hanged, shot, KO'd, prohibited, burned and defeated, in that order.

September is also a time for putting certain things into the ground and for taking others out. We plant spinach, lettuce, radishes, winter wheat and celery. We harvest squash, pumpkin, apples, grapes, Brussels sprouts, kale, peppers, cranberries, and collards. In September, birds begin their southward migration following the sun as it slips below the equator and brings summer to the Southern Hemisphere. Meanwhile, up in our neck of Queens (i.e. Little, and Throgs), deciduous trees turn brilliant autumn colors, mornings and evenings become chilly and once again the nights grow longer than the days. Fall arrives!

Other important events in September are: Labor Day (1), Singapore’s Feast of the Hungry Ghosts (6), Brazil’s Independence Day (7), Primary Day (11), Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah (19), Jewish Day of Atonement (27), Mexico's Day of Independence (16), and Korea’s “Ch’usok” or “Autumn’s Eve” (20).

You ain’t read nothin’ yet — Color television was first demonstrated (1940), Elizabeth Barren and Robert Browning eloped (1846), Alex and Gloria did it the proper way and were married in the Bronx (1963), Scotland Yard was founded (1829), and Thomas Edison’s company gave light to New York City (1882). And can anyone forget Maxwell Anderson’s September Song: “Oh, it’s a long, long while - From May to December - But the days grow short - When you reach September. When the autumn weather- Turns Leaves to flame- There isn’t much time - For the waiting game.” Whew! What a month for memories.

All well and good, you say. However, I better not forget my wedding anniversary on Sept. 1. Before the nuptials I purchased a gold wedding band for Gloria, and inscribed it with: “ ’Til Poets Run Out Of Rhyme.” When I slipped it on her finger during the ceremony, Gloria lovingly whispered in my ear, “You better not forget it.” My ear is still ringing to this day. Before I married I thought I would let Gloria know who was the boss. Right off, about 10 minutes after the ceremony, I looked her right in the eye, and said authoritatively, “You’re the boss.” Imagine, I went to school to learn to express myself, then I marry and learn to keep quiet.

We have been married for 38 years but it won’t last much longer if Gloria ever gets her bands on this column. Luckily, we will both be out of the country, vacationing in Aruba, when it comes out.

Readers, when we return Gloria probably won’t ask, so don’t tell.

Gloria honey, pay no attention to the above. I was just kidding. I love you and I am delighted, pleased, joyful, glad, happy, lucky and blessed that you are my wife.

Thirty-eight more to go.

Reach columnist Alex Berger by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 139. .

Posted 7:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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