Best Month of the Year

Best month of the year? Clearly October.

It’s a great month weather-wise for traveling abroad, to the country, the lake, or for most of us, finally just sitting outside in the backyard.

What could be better than fall foliage, sports competitions, and entertainment in all the arts?

Dallasites kick off the month with Texas/OU weekend bringing traffic to an even slower crawl while the revelers pour into town. The mostly friendly football fans result in clusters of aging jocks, neighbors’ barbecuing, even the oldsters playing bridge arguing, boasting, wagering, and joining in the rivalry. Such rivalries extend to local and pro teams as well. Who doesn’t love good competition?

Then the month ends with many kids of all ages’ favorite holiday, Halloween. Dressing up, parading about, playing tricks, giving out candy.

Despite the glory that is October, already the fall has been dimmed with the steady drumbeat of that most unsportsmanlike competition: politics. The unending barrage from newscasters, late-night comedians, and social media posts is numbing.

This year for the first time (at least for me) text messages from campaigns ping my phone. Is that even legal?

Team rivalries survive until another season, but can our country endure another election slugfest?

If there was one takeaway from September’s funeral for John McCain, it is that America yearns for a hero, a man who tries to work with all people. The man’s patriotism, dedication to service, and desire to extend hands across the aisle was unassailable. Even though he was a maverick and had political differences with many, he was an honorable opponent, never personally demeaning. No junkets, cash in his freezer, string of affairs, nor conduct unbecoming for this gentleman. He left his first wife brokenhearted, faulted his own immaturity, later became friends, and took care of all his children. He had decency. Courage. Integrity. Gratitude. His tough mother and his distinguished military family tempered his mischievous, roguish nature. So did someone else.

Less noticed in the funeral was this hero’s hero, Chuck Larson, McCain’s old roommate and four-star admiral by whom he requested to be buried at the Naval Academy. Google Larson. Every student, teacher, voter, citizen, and particularly, politician should strive to emulate him. John McCain did and was elevated in the process.

That would make a great month even better.

Len Bourland can be reached at [email protected]

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