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Our Opinion: The winds, the gridiron

September 09, 2004

here are old-timers in the Imperial Valley who will tell you that Sept. 8-16 (or thereabouts) is when the west winds arrive to signal a change in the weather. There are others who insist the window of time is much shorter than that, and the actual start date is Sept. 12 (give or take a day or two, either way).

The late Virginia Horn was a member of the latter group; in fact, we always suspected she was its de facto leader, mainly because she wrote about the supposed phenomenon every year in this newspaper, most often in late August or early September.

So, depending on who is right, we are either a day into the annual westerly window, or it is still three days off. In any event, no matter when they actually show up, the west winds are coming, and they bring with them the prospect of happier and cooler days ahead.

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While we're all for that, we realize that whatever cooling trend the west winds are able to muster will only last as long as they do. Still, the glad tidings that accompany these temporal winds, namely a return to seasonal normalcy, can be seen and felt throughout the Valley.

In Imperial County, the end of summer and start of fall coincides exactly with the first Friday night high school football game of the season. The night is warm, but not unpleasant, the air is tinged with the smell of carne asada and popcorn. There are marching bands, cheerleaders/song leaders (how do you tell the difference?) and color-coordinated crowds.

Adult men wear ball caps emblazoned with the letter "B" or "C" and their wives carry miniature team bullhorns. If they kiss after each score, it is a pretty good indication they have a kid on the team.

What you will see, in other words, when you go to just about any local team's home opener tomorrow night, is the Imperial Valley at play. And you may even feel a slight breeze coming from the west, an annual omen of good will and better weather.

The only real question is this: Are you ready for some high school football?

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