August is supposed to be the month in which nothing happens. There should be nobody available for boring, meaningless meetings because rich parents are treating their kids to happy times at expensive theme parks and poorer parents are treating their kids and maybe a neighbor kid to even happier times at rented, run-down lake cabins where they play Yahtzee far into the sultry night.
The loudest noise in August should be the drone of the cicadas, and maybe the sound of a few tree frogs and the occasional rattle of a kingfisher. The afternoons should be warm and quiet, tranquil and windless dragonfly afternoons.
August is when we remember what tomatoes are supposed to taste like and wonder why we even bother to buy them the rest of the year. It’s the month that the prairie ripens into a vast sea of coneflowers, swamp milkweed, compass plants, and black-eyed Susans. They in turn bring the butterflies that flutter soundlessly around the big bluestem and the grasshoppers that flit away just before your foot touches them.
August should be, and used to be, that pause at the top, before the roller coaster begins its long and increasingly frantic descent toward January. Today, as Nature abhors a vacuum, which it obviously doesn’t because there is probably more vacuum in the universe than anything else, people seem to abhor an August day without ticket-requiring activities to fill it up. A quick glance at the Sun calendar should prove the point.
But, as you know, I like free stuff, even though there’s a lot less of it. Last Sunday, for example, I went to India Fest, the 68th celebration of India’s independence, which was held in Central Park. There were food booths, art and craft booths, speeches, and dance performances in which the young dancers wore the most exquisite fabrics imaginable. It is, I think, the special gift of the Indian old to the young that the old carry away with them the bitter memories of partition, leaving only the triumphant memories of non-violent resistance.
Next weekend there’s not much free stuff, but there is music Friday night at 7 p.m. when Rollin’ on the River happens at the Riverwalk Free Speech Pavilion, on Jackson Avenue and Webster Street. And if you are in Downers Grove at 7 p.m. on Saturday, you might catch “Bard in the Park: A Flight of Shakespeare.” It’s in Fishel Park, 1034 Grove St. (take Maple to Main and go north a block).
Labor Day weekend, of course, is when the Naperville Jaycees hold their Last Fling. But there will also be the K-9 Frisbee World Championships, which will be held along the Naperville Riverwalk at the Grand Pavilion behind the Judd Kendall VFW Hall at 908 W. Jackson Ave. You won’t need a ticket to see people having a great time watching dogs having an even greater time.
On Aug. 29, starting about 2 p.m., there will be a Last Chance Qualifier for the Ashley Whippet World Championships. Aug. 30 will be the actual Ashley Whippet World Championships, starting at 9:30 a.m., while the next day there will be the UFO North American Cup Championships, also starting at 9:30 a.m. Fifty to seventy teams from around the U.S. will be joined by teams from around the world. To learn more, contact Tom Wehrli, 630-913-5933.
If you’re not partied out Sept. 5 through the 7, consider following Winfield Road north to the Winfield Good Old Days. There’s the Family Rides Carnival, live music, a beer tent, a meatball eating contest, and a teen dance. There’s a free pancake breakfast Sunday morning, a big screen to watch the Bears game, and a garden hose water fight at 2 p.m. Who could ask for more?Tags: Bill Mego, event roudups, free