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Letter: In Defense Of Summer
The Grass Is Greener
September 5, 2014

T
his summer has had it cool moments. And some heat. We’ve had periods of rain and heat and resulting steaminess — sometimes all in the same day. Or even the same hour. On one occasion, the TownDock staff muttered that we wished autumn would just get here already. Reader Russ Boltz took issue. In a Letter to the Editor, he comes to the defense of our Eastern NC summers, making the “grass is greener” argument. Literally.

Dear Editor,

While I certainly understand that feeling steamy and sweaty isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – and getting a ton of rain lately certainly makes it steamy, I’ll agree – I have to put in a vote for slowing down the rush to autumn. We moved last fall from Southern California – Orange County, to be precise – where the national color is brown. “Brown” as in brown bushes, brown grass (unless you’re rich enough to water it), brown bushes, brown flowers (a few are just orange), and brown animals, snakes, and even birds. You know, desert brown. That’s because God doesn’t really let it rain in Southern California, unless you climb a mountain, and most people don’t. So it’s brown.

That was pretty much one of the biggest reasons to come to North Carolina, and especially Oriental. It’s green. Green as in pretty much everything that isn’t water (some of that’s green, too) or sky (occasionally). Trees, grass, flowers, the works. Even the town dragon is green. And green is just a whole lot better than brown; evolutionary biologists even tell us that the human eye evolved “for” green in the forests and savannah of Africa. So I get up every day and see green flower plants, green pines, green grass, and a lot of other things that have one thing in common: They aren’t brown.

As Kermit the Frog knows, “It’s not easy being green.” (Yeah, we have green frogs, too. California has brown toads. The prosecution rests.) To be “green” we need rain, and rain makes things, yeah, well, wet. If it’s wet, it gets steamy and even – quel horreur! – buggy. But it’s nice, too: Living in a functional rain forest is a whole lot neater than living in a desert-with-lawn-sprinklers. Trust me on this.

So don’t rush autumn too much. When it’s hot, that’s a good excuse to get out on the river, and when it’s steamy, that’s a great reason to pop a Lager and try to outrun the skeeters, which is good for a few laughs. Don’t worry. Autumn will still show up.

Russ Boltz
Oriental


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