Well, here we are on the cusp of the autumnal equinox. One of two days throughout the year when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward or away from the sun with the result being equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes. It’s a popular date at the Star, because the staff feels like no matter when they show up for work, they can’t be early or late.
While it’s popularly thought that the four seasons, with two equinoxes and two solstices, typically arrive on the 21st of the month in September, December, March and June, the autumnal equinox can very rarely fall on the 21st. This year it hits on September 22. A September 21 equinox has not happened for several millennia, although the trend of a later arrival will be broken in both 2092 and 2096. We’ve already marked our calendar for expanded coverage.
Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.
This year’s equinox is also a good reminder that there are only 3 months until Christmas, so dust off the decorations and start your shopping early. If not careful, our supply chain deadlocks may prevent your gifts from not arriving until the vernal equinox next March.
Moving quickly from political humor, the staff at The Star was shocked earlier this month when we discovered the Chief had snuck off to the British Isles. Needless to say, rumors and speculation were rampant around corporate headquarters on what The Chief was up to. Our senior intern, the exceedingly vivacious Babs, was convinced he had rushed to Britain for the coronation of King Charles III, hoping to be one of the first in line to be dubbed a Knight by the new King. It’s all we’d need around here to have to call the ole boy, Sir Chief.
Another speculation, after an expense from a bait and tackle shop at Inverness, Scotland filtered in, was that The Chief was using our beautiful Captain Caro to lure the Loch Ness Monster within sight of his fishing line. They even went as far as to say he had a taxidermist on standby.
And, one rumor had The Chief in Scotland to buy a new kilt. This one ended with suggestions it would be validated only when we start hearing bagpipe music coming from the executive suite. We’ll keep you informed once the Concorde returns from across the pond.
Now, to local sports where things always get interesting as we approach the December 21 solstice.
The Salem Red Sox just finished another entertaining season of professional baseball at Salem Memorial Stadium. The Sox just missed out on capturing a slot in the Mills Cup Championship series which is currently down to the two finalists, the Lynchburg Hillcats and Charleston RiverDogs.
Things are buzzing around the upcoming Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs season. After a near miss to Peoria in last April’s Southern Professional Hockey League championship, head coach Dan Bremner has already assembled a stellar group of returning players to the upcoming camp in October. The Dawgs’ season home opener is set for Friday, October 21 at the Berglund Center. Season tickets, flex packages and group tickets are already for sale at the Dawgs headquarters. The Star will follow the team in the upcoming 22-23 campaign.
The local “Big-11” high school football season is heading to week-5 and here’s our squads with winning records and .500 records to date. Sitting at 2-2 are the Glenvar Highlanders and Hidden Valley Titans. At 2-1 are the Patrick Henry Patriots and North Cross Raiders. Leading the pack at 3-1 include the Cave Spring Knights, Salem Spartans and Lord Botetourt Cavaliers.
Our first player of the week to make the watch list goes to Glenvar freshman quarterback Brody Dawyot, who led the Highlanders to an impressive 52-14 win over Hidden Valley last Friday night, throwing for nearly 300 yards on 9-of-13 attempts.
Finally, we take a season-ending look at local golf where the Roanoke Valley Senior Golf Tour plays out its final two of nine monthly tournaments. The older guys hit the fairways of Great Oaks Country Club in Floyd on Monday, September 19 for their penultimate tournament of the year, followed by the grand finale at Roanoke Country Club on October 24.
Tournament winners to date (with tournament course included) are Bill Houck (Ivy Hill GC), Greg Chlan (Blue Hills GC), Mike Sims (Botetourt G&SC), Bill Houck (Ashley Plantation), Rick Crotts (Pete Dye River Course), Gary Harper (Hanging Rock) and Mike Callahan (Draper Valley).
Until next time, when our annual Christmas edition unfolds, we’ll be following The Chief’s directive that the lobby staff shall wear tall bearskin hats indicative of the Beefeaters. At least we know The Chief did make it to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.
– Bill Turner