Tuesday, November 03, 2015

A Favorite Annual Event

Injun Summer is happening now. Addled white P.C.progressive leftist types hate that term.

So how about "Native American Post Equinox Weather Phenomenon"?



For years The Chicago Tribune published this John T. McCutcheon illustration annually. It was part of Americana, tradition and as apple pie as anything Norman Rockwell painted. I have published it here before skipping a year or two. Just hanging on to the past I guess.

Injun Summer always takes me back to my childhood. It was then that this illustration captivated me. I wanted to draw like that. Just looking at it I can smell the leaves burning in the acrid, decaying autumn evening air. After school we played football in a nearby field with that same sky in the background, that same smell in the air and the early evening darkness eventually chasing us home for dinner.

By definition Injun Summer is the first warm spell following the first frost. The frost came and went last week surrendering to a warm trend this week with temperatures in the 70's.

In honor of Injun Summers past, I will go out at sunset tonight and burn some leaves.

The text for that illustration also written by John T. McCutcheon follows….

Injun Summer Yep, sonny, this is sure enough Injun summer. Don't know what that is, I reckon, do you?


Well, that's when all the homesick Injuns come back to play. You know, a long time ago, long afore yer granddaddy was born even, there used to be heaps of Injuns around here thousands millions, I reckon, far as that's concerned. Reg'lar sure 'nough Injuns none o' yer cigar store Injuns, not much. They wuz all around here right here where you're standin'.
Don't be skeered hain't none around here now, leastways no live ones. They been gone this many a year.
They all went away and died, so they ain't no more left.
But every year, 'long about now, they all come back, leastways, their sperrits do. They're here now. You can see 'em off across the fields. Look real hard. See that kind o' hazy, misty look out yonder?
Well, them's Injuns Injun sperrits marchin' along an dancin' in the sunlight. That's what makes that kind o' haze that's everywhere it's jest the sperrits of the Injuns all come back. They're all around us now.
See off yonder, see them tepees? They kind o' look like corn shocks from here, but them's Injun tents, sure as you're a foot high. See 'em now? Sure, I knowed you could. Smell that smoky sort o' smell in the air? That's the campfires aburnin' and their pipes a-goin'.
Lots o' people say it's just leaves burnin', but it ain't. It's the campfires, an' th' Injuns are hoppin' 'round 'em t' beat the old Harry.
You jest come out here tonight when the moon is hangin' over the hill off yonder an' the harvest fields is all swimmin' in the moonlight, an' you can see the Injuns and the tepees jest as plain as kin be. You can, eh? I knowed you would after a little while.
'Jever notice how the leaves turn red 'bout this time of year?
That's jest another sign o' redskins. That's when an old Injun sperrit gets tired dancin' an goes up an' squats on a leaf t' rest. Why I kin hear 'em rustlin' and whisperin' an' creepin' 'round among the leaves all the time; an' ever' once'n a while a leaf gives way under some fat old Injun ghost and comes floatin' down to the ground. See here's one now. See how red it is? That's the war paint rubbed off'n an Injun ghost, sure's you're born.
Purty soon all the Injuns'll go marchin' away agin, back to the happy huntin' ground, but next year you'll see 'em troopin' back th' sky jest hazy with 'em and their campfires smolderin' away just like they are now.

3 comments:

Dan from Madison said...

Love this.

Carl from Chicago said...

I remember every year when they used to have this in the Chicago Tribune. I would usually sit down with the big newspaper and read through all of it. Seems like a long time ago!

creakypavillion said...

Isn't burning leaves now verboten by municipalities? Siting some sort of public air quality danger or some such nonsense?

I love the smell of burning leaves...spells "Autumn" to me.