NWOSU students serve community
November 20, 2020
Many individuals and groups like to do community service and I saw some students who saw a need for leaves. These students decided to collect leaves. They were not doing this to get rich and famous but they were making some old people happy (over 80 years). They had rakes, bags, a trailer and a powerful leaf blower.
And masks. They wore masks.
They would not accept any money. Some were members of the NWOSU President's Leadership Class and some were in Student Government Association.
I mentioned masks partly because of the virus that is going around and partly because of the history of people wearing bandanas or paper masks while raking leaves. Rakers and baggers for many years were aware of the variety of germs, molds, dirt, etc., that were stirred up when leaves were raked. You don't even want to know exactly what is in leaf dust.
Some people are not allergic to leaf dust and manage to survive without a mask and gloves.
One reason I felt the need to write something is that some of the other people over 80 can remember that one big part of the fall season was the smell of burning leaves. There were no big plastic bags. On a day when there was very little wind, leaves were raked past the curbs into the gutter and street. Then the kids would walk over them to mash them down. While they had their rakes out, some of the men and boys would go to the houses of the neighborhood widows and rake their leaves into the gutters.
Before the wind could come up, the leaves then were burned, except on blacktop streets. Concrete and brick streets were OK. Apparently no one was allergic to leaf smoke. Some people even liked the smell of the smoke.
So these are some of the annual signs of fall that we see and smell: red and yellow leaves, friends out working in their yards and community service. But sorry, no smoke anymore.