The start of November is beginning of the end

Published 8:05 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

You’re reading this column on Nov. 2, but it’s being written on Nov. 1 — one of the worst, most depressing days of the year for me.

There’s no horrific incident that happened on this day, thankfully. Nor is anything bad about to happen, as far as I know. The sadness that comes over me on Nov. 1 each year is more of the general kind because of what the day represents.

Much like Memorial Day kicks off the summer and Labor Day the fall, no matter what the calendar says, Nov. 1 is the unofficial start of winter. Four months of darkness, cold, and gray skies.

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September and October is the best time of year. I’ve always considered it a rebirth, with a new school year and football season starting, and it basically being the beginning of the sports year. My birthday is in September as well, so on a personal level it really is like turning to the next page.

All of that crests with Halloween. It’s a candy- and fun-filled party, full of good times and good scares. One of the best nights of the year.

Then, the next day, it’s all over. We clean up the candy wrappers, sometimes with a little shame and regret, and then turn an eye toward Thanksgiving and Christmas. All of a sudden it’s the holiday season, not the fall season. The holidays themselves are fun, but we lose so much in the run-up to them that it almost seems not worth it.

The clocks go back an hour this weekend, which means driving home in the dark and not seeing the sun if you work a long day in an office.

It’ll be 80 degrees for the next week at least, but before long we’ll be in the hot-stormy-freezing weather cycle unique to the South. The trees are about to become skeletons, the grass a dormant brown.

The World Series ended last night. College and high school football season is winding down. The NFL season is already halfway over. Even NASCAR’s long slog of a season is only a couple of weeks away from a three-month hibernation. Early-season basketball games are glorified exhibitions.

The hope that comes with September is washed away by the onset of November. There’s nothing to do but push through it, play “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” on a loop, and hope it passes quickly.

It’s a long, hard road to March 1. It’s time to start putting some miles behind us to get there.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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