On Tuesday, August 24, school resumes in both Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, and it’s back to work for not only those tens of thousands of students but also for principals, teachers, counselors, librarians, cafeteria workers, custodians and school bus drivers.
For as long as my soon-to-be 10-year-old grandson Jack Knoll lives in Anne Arundel County, where he was born — or at least until he graduates high school — he’s likely to celebrate his August 25 birthday in the classroom, getting to know a new teacher.
Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., schools start a day earlier, on Monday, August 23.
Other kids have it worse. In St. Louis, my five-year-old granddaughter Ada Knoll started kindergarten this week, on August 16. Kids in Phoenix, Arizona, have it far worse. School out there started on August 4. But for Montgomery and Baltimore counties and most Baltimore city students, summer lasts to August 30.
I note these dates in commiseration, because we’re all staring down the short neck of summer. Long gone are the years when I had summers off, but I still think of those fleeting days between Memorial Day and Labor Day as luxurious free time. The other nine months is plenty for orderly, duty time.
Those of us who haven’t already been confined retain permission to let summer rip until the Tuesday after Labor Day tears it away.
These late days of August are prime vacation time. Back before Bay Weekly, they’re when husband Bill Lambrecht and I used to take two, sometimes three weeks for vacation. People still do that, I’m glad to see. Vacation has practically emptied out my neighborhood and the Bay Weekly office, as Jack and his family take a week off.
Me, I’m ending my summer on staycation, which means indulging in every pleasure of summer I can fit into a still-working week.
I don’t have to leave Bay Weekly’s pages — or screen — to find that music’s summer schedule reaches crescendo these last weeks of August. Festivals add to the already lively scene of nightly music and outdoor concerts in our parks, gardens and community stages. From The Four Freshmen to Mambo Sauce — from the well known to the will-they-be-known? — in this week’s stories and, as usual, in 8 Days a Week, you’ll read who’s playing where and when during summer’s last stand.
Music’s only one of summer’s pleasures I’m holding tight to all summer long. I’ve got lots more swimming to do while the outdoor pools are still open. There’s more watermelon, corn and peaches to be consumed at my house, where we’ve already named Calvert County farmer Allan ‘Sambo’ Swann our Most Valuable Player, for producing each one of those staples to perfection.
My copy of this year’s Bay Weekly Summer Guide isn’t used up yet.
Lots of things that I’ve never done, but I ain’t never had too much fun, sings Bill Kirchen, who you’ll hear next weekend at the Annapalooza music festival.
And as long as summer lasts, I’m still trying for too much fun.
P.S. Thanks for all your letters and comments on our revamped website. Yes, it’s still a work in process. Bay Weekly general manager Alex Knoll and web designer Matt Grasmick continue to shake out the kinks, which you’ve been so helpful in spotting for us. Your reports of what you like — and what you don’t — help us get it right.