Skip to main content


We are now a full week into autumn of 2008. With the world facing an apparent financial meltdown shortly, I thought it might be a good time to turn my back on reality and look down on the ground.

There, the five-year-old and I found a leaf on the way to school yesterday. It was bright pink, not a color I usually reference to autumn although it's as valid as any of the sundry others that fill the trees, streets and lawns. The veins were thin dark branches against a near fluorescent shade. He held the leaf all the way to school and then left it in his backpack until we got home. I found it again on the dinner table, crunched on one side but still radiating its beautiful death hue alone in our home. It won't be the last leaf he brings home this year.


Growing up in Winston-Salem, the ultimate autumnal drives were through Reynolda Gardens and down Runnymede Road. The Gardens, a usual weekend hang for the teens, had massive amounts of grass on the grounds, and the trees were concentrated along the edges like a Civil War battlefield looks. Lots of leaves all over the driveway.

Runnymede Road was and is the deal. Many's the rainy October afternoon we would glide home in our semi-legendary 1967 Olds Delmont 88 convertible (pale yellow, pale yellow interior and pale yellow top, what aficionados call the 'triple dip') down Runnymede, a split road connector between two of W-S's busiest streets that features several tiny parks and gardens along its midst. The leaves would have carpeted the road in yellow, brown and deep red and the rain shellacked it clear. The trees hung onto their leaves on Runnymede until they'd made a good show of it each year, then hung bony and barren the whole winter.

I would walk with my friends to our various schools. The damp cold smell of the leaves was especially strong in the morning, fresh to the nose, like the curing tobacco smell that permeates my hometown in late summer afternoons.

I drove down Runnymede Road the other day when I was visiting Winston-Salem. It runs past my high school and dumps out onto Hawthorne Road, past my junior high and elementary schools as well. Having been thinking about how R. J. Reynolds High School, while being designated an arts magnet school, is really more beholden to the physical education department's strong fundraising arm, I wanted to drive by and look for the new Sports Hall of Fame. It's not a physical building, apparently. So I drove on down, hoping to find the leaf cover of autumn ready for visual consumption.

A few weeks too early, I'm afraid. I go back for a book-signing on Sunday, so maybe I can drag the family along then, and see if we can enjoy the maximum fall has to offer on a sweet road of wonderful memories.


Anonymous said…

Congratulations on your 100th post. I'm sorry to hear about the Hootie gig.

Not sure you'll remember me, but we knew each other Freshman year at UNC—including, among other things, astronomy class and Tequila Sunrises on the roof of Granville Towers!

I've got me a little blog, too. I was reminded of one of the books I reviewed there ( while catching up reading your recent posts (which I discovered through your NYTimes gig—congrats): Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. I highly commend it to you. The last line, in particular, resonates:

"The wind still came icily down between the houses from the river, and my hand felt swollen and sore where the nails had pierced the skin when I clenched it so hard, but all the same everything felt fine at that moment; the suit was fine, and the town was fine to walk in, along the cobblestone street, and we do decide for ourselves when it will hurt."

We do, you know.

Good to see you're doing music and journo and being familial.

Jim H.
I am going to try to make the book signing.
I may not be able to stay long, the four year old
is, well, four. Will Mark Williams be there?
Jeff Hart said…
i'm with you peter. i so look forward to fall, especially the "first sweater day" of the season. i feel more alive in autumn than any other time.
Anonymous said…
好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 中国皮肤网 癌症康复网 中国公文网 工作总结 个人工作总结 半年工作总结 年终工作总结 单位工作总结 教师工作总结 教学工作总结 学校工作总结 德育工作总结 财务工作总结 医务工作总结 安全工作总结 乡镇工作总结 党员工作总结 团委工作总结 公司工作总结 实习工作总结 班主任工作总结 党支部工作总结 办公室工作总结 学生会工作总结 工作报告 政府报告 述职报告 述职述廉 考察报告 自查报告 情况报告 调研报告 调查报告 申请报告 辞职报告 实习报告 验收报告 评估报告 工作汇报 思想汇报 汇报材料 情况通报 情况汇报 心得体会 学习体会 工作体会 培训体会 读后感 领导讲话 庆典致辞 节日致辞 开业开幕 演讲稿 竞聘演讲 就职演讲 比赛演讲 征文演讲 节日演讲 演讲技巧 工作意见 活动策划 工作方案 整改方案 实施方案 企划文案 营销方案 培训方案 应急预案 规章制度 法律法规 事迹材料 先进事迹 个人事迹 申报材料 学习材料 考察材料 经验材料 交流材料 自我鉴定 工作计划 工作规划 年度工作计划 学校工作计划 个人工作计划 团委工作计划 工会工作计划 单位工作计划 党支部工作计划 民主生活会 入党志愿书 入党申请书 入团申请书 转正申请书 党性分析材料 先教活动 整改措施 剖析材料 公告通知 模板范例 贺电贺词 常用书信 合同范本 社交礼仪 法律文书 论文

Popular posts from this blog

Back in the saddle again -- new shows and updates from Peter H

  Outside The Hit Shed, Durham NC Hi everyone, Getting ready to start back up again, after a year-plus out of action onstage. I have five shows opening up for  Tommy Prine (son of John) coming soon:     August 6 - Georgia Theater (Athens GA)     August 7 - Cat's Cradle Back Room (Chapel Hill NC)     August 8 - The Grey Eagle (Asheville NC)     September 3 - 118 North (Philadelphia PA)     September 4 - Rams Head (Annapolis MD) I'm also going to open for the Connells , whose new album Steadman's Wake is superb:     September 18 - The Eastern (Atlanta GA) You all probably already know about Our Back Pages  (by Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey) being released on LP and CD via Omnivore Recordings, but if not, here's a link to the new video for "Today Could Be the Day." The songs on OBP are from the catalog of The dB's but given new and interesting treatments by Chris and me. I've been working in The Hit Shed, my home studio, over the months, writing a

CANCELLED - the new Bandcamp single by PETER HOLSAPPLE - released today, December 3, 2021

  Today, December 3, 2021, I have released a new single on Bandcamp entitled CANCELLED.  Just to be clear, the song is called CANCELLED. There was some question on social media whether the release had BEEN cancelled, which it had not, as it was just released.  Or dropped, if you can do that with ephemeral stuff like downloads. You can buy it here .  And you can watch my lyric video here . I hope you like it.  Remember I'm heading out on a house concert tour in March, so come to a show in your neck of the woods!

NY Times blog part three is up

I know, I know. You haven't heard from me lately, and I'm sorry. The future's looming large, and distractions have been keeping me away from DTBMMLF. Meanwhile, the Times songwriting blog is up so you can go read that for the moment. I'll be back soon, I promise. Thank you for your patience.