Western Impulse: Chapter Three

Fall in New England for many means leaf peeping. Leaf peeping, v. The act of driving north to Vermont from New York or New Jersey in the autumn in a sport utility vehicle with an I heart Vermont bumper sticker to gaze at picturesque foliage and go outlet shopping. For many New England kids though, the turning color of the foliage means work. It’s the season when the old man sends you out to do a little bit of raking. Well, a ton of raking sometimes. When we were younger, this work had its benefits though. When you were finished, you always had a pile of feather-light crunchiness in which to jump and perfect the moves of your wildest imaginings. We used to even put a bike ramp up to freshly raked piles.

But leaves and skateboarding? Many skaters avoid the sidewalk patches and piles as a hazard. They can be damp and slippery underneath, holding rainwater left over from showers that happened days ago. Loss of control is likely. But you know what, loss of control feels good sometimes. It feels liberating, like that midair moment before you cannonball into a pile of leaves that took an hour long of raking.

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