“Such a week of reflection. To our dear friend’s final curtain call, my deepest bow to you Michael Sweetin. Well done!” writes my fellow thespian, Deon Green.

A week of reflection, indeed! I also have spent the week mourning the sudden death of my stage “son.” At first came the shock of hearing, then off and on there were bouts of laughing at his portrayal of the hysterical character “Igor” (what hump?) in “Young Frankenstein.” From his rousing songs in “Paint Your Wagon” to his role as Miss Daisy’s son “Boolie” in “Driving Miss Daisy,” Michael Sweetin was “Hey! Rube!” — born in a trunk, through and through.

He loved Auburn football, theater, guitar and his church. Most of all, he loved his family. We will miss him — not every day, most of us; but when a day comes when there is a little mischievous hint in the wind, when you think you hear a lilting laugh around the corner and you run fast to see if it’s Michael, knowing full well “it isn’t, can’t be!” When you remember the night when you were supposed to kiss him on the cheek, like Miss Daisy would kiss Boolie, and there’s an awkward pause because in all of your theater life you never kissed a man on stage. Michael immediately sensed your discomfort, grinned his wicked, Igor grin and said, “It’s OK, you can kiss me!”

The Service of Christian Burial will be held for Michael Sweetin at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Church of the Holy Comforter. A celebratory reception will follow in the Great Hall.

POTPOURRI

Drake White wants everyone to know about his Songwriting Camp in Hokes Bluff. He believes that some really good songs will be coming soon; watch for them!

School starts soon. It’s a month earlier than we old folks started, but there are good reasons.

I can remember the anticipation of a new year, with new clothes, new teachers, new classes — a whole new time. There also was football season with a chance to beat the school across Black Creek, whichever way your school happened to be (east of the creek if you were a Tiger, west if you were a Rebel).

Both are gone now, Tigers and Rebels morphed into one big ol’ Titan. It, too, is good. But about 3:30 p.m. over by Mr. Bonholter’s little store, or by Graham’s Drug Store. you can hear soft band music in the autumn air; the soft clash of ghostly cleats in the crunch of new-fallen leaves.

But it was only your imagination. There are no ghostly band members or football players playing their devil’s game in the deserted stadium; did a rabbit just run over your grave?

Oh, it’s a while before the leaves turn; days before school starts. You won’t even remember ghostly cleats or falling leaves.

I’ll remember. I’ll hear the cleats; I’ll see the pretty girls twirling their fire bedecked batons. Fall is on its way, ‘round town!

Glenda Byars is a correspondent for The Gadsden Times. Send submissions to glendabyars@comcast.net.