Berger’s Burg: Month of September important for life’s beginnings, endings

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Gloria Ruth Cream and Alex Berger, after a whirlwind courtship, were married Sept. 1.

Scholars have long lauded September for its symbolic and emotional importance. They believe it is the month that arouses the most contradictory emotions. Its 30 days embody various beginnings and outsets, as well as a myriad of endings and finalities. So, allow me to begin at the beginning and end with the endings.

My son, Vance, the most brilliant male Virgo in the world, was born Sept. 17.

One of the fresh starts is the beginning of the school year and one conclusion is the ending of summer. As September progresses, we all have a tendency to look back to measure what we have accomplished during the past year as we look ahead to the dwindling time that remains of the year. Ambivalent feelings that may arise reflect the extreme swing of diverse weather in September — from sultry heat to cold snaps and everything in-between.

My daughter-in-law, Alicia, the most brilliant female Virgo in the world, was born Sept. 16.

Other important September beginnings are the fall TV schedule, eating of oysters and Jewish New Year. Actually, the origins of 8 percent of everything on Earth can be traced to the month of September. Los Angeles (1781), the nickname “Uncle Sam” (1813), “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1814), the New York Times (1851), carpet sweepers (1876), chop suey (1896), General Motors (1908) and Mickey Mouse (1928) were all established, created, composed, published, patented, concocted, founded or born during September.

My grandson, Brendan, the most brilliant 14-year-old in the world, was born Sept. 28.

September is also a time for endings: the lease on your summer retreat, reruns on TV, summer movies, the eating of fresh corn and the slathering-on of sunscreen. It has also been the end of the old city of London (1666), Nathan Hale (1776), public life for George Washington (1796), heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan (1892), William McKinley (1901), child labor (1916), Huey Long (1935) and the Japanese in World War II (1945). Washington had given his farewell address and the others were either burned, hanged, K.O.’d, assassinated, prohibited, shot or defeated in that order.

The fall of the World Trade Center occurred Sept. 11, 2001. How soon we have forgotten.

September is also a time of beginnings and endings in planting. We plant spinach, lettuce, radishes, winter wheat and celery. We harvest squash, pumpkins, apples, grapes, kale, peppers, cranberries and collard greens. Birds begin their southward migration. Meanwhile, in our neck of the woods, our deciduous trees are turning brilliant colors, mornings and evenings become chillier and nights grow longer as fall falls in.

[September] weather turns the leaves to flame. — Maxwell Anderson

For many people, September is a time for reflection and despair as the year prepares itself for extinction. Remember, there is a bright, new year a-coming with a fresh opportunity to close out the old. The hectic holiday season also has not arrived as yet, with its focus on shopping, menu-planning and family visits, so take advantage. Relax, settle back, sit on your favorite couch and return to the comfortable realm of daily routine by watching the new Conan O’Brien or David Letterman.

My sister, Florence, a regular nurse, was born Sept. 25. She was awarded the title of honorary chief by the Blackfoot tribe of Montana after completing a one-year term of service by caring for their sick and infirm.

September is an exciting time for sports enthusiasts, as the grueling professional baseball season enters its home stretch and we watch to find out whether our favorite Boys of Summer will continue into the playoffs. Both professional and college football fans, who have suffered withdrawal agony since early February, will get to see their teams back on the gridiron as the new football season unfolds.

I cannot wait to see my Men of Autumn, the Giants, play the Washington Redskins Sept. 13. High school sports teams — football, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, gymnastics, track and field, hockey — are also back in action.

We moved to Queens Sept. 16.

Do not take September for granted as you don your first sweater, drop your child off at practice or see that first yellow leaf blow across your doorstep. Think about where you are, where you have been and where you are going. September will be filled with many shining moments worth savoring. Try not to miss a single one.

Contact Alex Berger at

Updated 6:34 pm, October 10, 2011
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