We'd been bimonthly for our first two 1994 issues - now things began a sort of downward slide . . .

We were having difficulties getting the newsletter out in time for the advertised sales - for some reason they were getting held up in the post, thus rendering them all but useless.

At any rate, we issued only one newsletter to cover May through August, and that one basically consisted of a few quick announcements from Mike and a notice of our current sale.

I should point out that at some point in 1993 we had reverted back to our original single sheet - 1 1/2 page format, which meant that there was now less space to cram everything into than there had been since November 1986! With Mike's announcements, there was no room for a folklore column.

The writing was on the wall.

Our final issue for the year covered September through December - Autumn, always my favorite period. I thought about all the fun I'd had coming up with ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in past years. Now, I had less than a page to play with - and that was only because Mike had graciously refrained from contributing a column of his own.

And I had been gazing northward toward the San Fernando Valley more and more frequently of late . . .

In short, I had a feeling I might not have another opportunity to write about this, my favorite time of year, hence this nostalgic little piece - less a folklore column, per se, than a sort of verbal painting, a quick sensory trip through the Fall Season . . . a way, perhaps, of saying farewell.



And so again we come to my favorite time of year: Autumn . . .

When leaves die and blow across your sidewalk, brushing up against pumpkins that spontaneously ignite, illuminating a shadowy procession of strange, bag-laden creatures, their laughter filling the night as the days grow shorter and shorter, and the pumpkins shrink in upon themselves and are turned to pies, and now the unmistakable scent of turkey fills the air, as friends and family from far off corners of the ever-shrinking planet converge to eat, to laugh, to remember . . . and the days continue to shrink until the year threatens to cave in upon itself, and then the smell of fir, of cranberries, of mulled wine and cider, the sounds of greater merriment than could ever dare be hoped for, laughter and suits of red, and packages of gold, sounds of song and worship, and bacchanalian cheer, and still MORE friends and family than even before have gathered, and the memories are stronger yet, the wine more potent, the joy and love almost tangible things, and then as if by magic the days begin to lengthen again, slowly but surely, and another year has passed into the magic realm of memory.

It was an Autumn evening some eight years ago that I began writing the first BOOK AGAIN folklore column . . .

The Happiest of Holidays to all of you, and here's to memories!

This would be the last folklore column for three years.