Life has its ups and downs. Seasons roll in and out, the twelve months are markers of memories of the past and targets for plans for the future. There are months that stand out for the change they bring. One of those months is September. August is the month when Summer really reaches its apex with parties, beach days, functions, along with last chance vacations. Usually, all this happens in August. Then suddenly it’s September.
Being well into my late sixties I still remember the first days of a school year as if it was yesterday. Whether it be my first days of college, high school, or grammar school, they all started at the very beginning of September. One day you are at the beach or a pool with friends, the next day you are sitting behind a desk in a classroom and later in life at work.
Back in our day there was no air-conditioning in the schools except in the “school office,” where the administrators worked. I remember the pleasure of entering that space to pick up things. As sixty-somethings folks we all remember when cars did not have factory air conditioning as even an option for cars. We used to have four-forty air-conditioning, that being four windows totally open while going forty MPH around town with our folks. Driving long distances in the car for summer vacations with the whole family was a hot ordeal in those pre-seatbelts, no car air-conditioner days with only limited AM radio for entertainment.
The first time I ever drove to east end, I drove some friends in an aqua-green 1969 Ford Maverick that only had an AM radio and definitely no air conditioner. We were coming from Pelham, N.Y. in Westchester and as I recall we felt like we were driving to Oz to see the wizard.
On the east end years back, the locals created the phrase, Tumbleweed Tuesday. It still refers to the first Tuesday after Labor Day when all the summer people have left. Back twenty years ago, folks would gather at a restaurant named Nichols, on Route 27 in Wainscott, and wave good bye to cars loaded with bikes etc. as they passed on Labor Day afternoon. Come Tuesday, the traffic on the roads would be quieter, the parking lots emptier as were the restaurants, because the summer season folks all left on Monday. One can still to this day feel the energy level in every village actually slowdown that first Tuesday after Labor Day.
I have a tradition of my own. On the pre-Labor Day Sunday night, I sail and slowly motor around Three-Mile Harbor with a friend to witness what I refer to as “the Harbor Festival of Lights.” On that pre–Labor Day Sunday night almost every light in every home is on. The venues, like East Hampton Point, Bostwicks, and The Harbor Bistro are filled with folks dining out that last time before their summer vacation ends. You can actually hear them dining, it’s just a higher pitch of energy on that night. The effect is almost like Christmas Eve with so many homes lit up and each of their windows brightly beaming out a festive glow.
Now when I lived all year round in East Hampton (Montauk) the mantra was in September after the seasonal folks leave is really the best time to be in the Hamptons. The only anomaly to this nirvana were the second home owners who rented out their homes for the season and now came out to experience the east end. They believe they are east enders, and to some extent they are, but they are just not “locals.” However, they too get to celebrate September in their homes and experience “Hamptons 201” the afterparty.
Suddenly it is September on the east end. The last act of the actual calendar summer season. Soon very hot days will start evolving to cooler, sweater and light jacket days of October. My wife has a saying, “Every month has a few days of weather of the previous month and a few days of weather of the month that’s coming next.” I intend to enjoy the August like days in this September 2021.