9.01 Gazette editor’s note: the fruits of our Labor Day

September, often praised as the most beautiful month on the Oregon coast, has a singular appeal. The ninth month possesses an unusually slow-moving kind of charm, but those lazy inclinations are tempered here in Cannon Beach by the final rush of visitors enjoying a last lark before school starts and the evenings cool.

If July is a kicky rum punch and August is a tall, puckering glass of lemonade, September is a berry spritzer: cool and tingly on the throat, and best sipped slow.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve got a line on an untapped local source of fresh produce perfect for concocting your own version of this classic end-of-summer potable.

I recently discovered an unruly bramble of blackberry bushes in an undeveloped lot a few blocks from my house, its branched bowed over from weight of ripe, unpicked fruit. Twice now, I’ve dragged friends down to help me fill buckets with the fat berries.

I’m poorly versed in the ways of canning and jamming, but I’ve been turning my fresh-picked produce into pancake topping and yogurt filler. And, as I am a native Oregonian, I also recognize the importance of rationing summer’s spoils: for me, a stockpile of frozen berries is as essential to surviving the rainy months as is a pair of clod-hopping, fur-lined boots and a value-sized bottle of Vitamin D caplets.

It may seem sacrilegiously early in the season to be thinking of such things, but the start of the school year always conjures up in me an irresistible instinct to nest and organize, to squirrel away essential goods and to clear away any physical or metaphysical junk I’ve permitted to accumulate during the whirlwind months of summer.

Local teachers, too, have been busy making way for the new the past few weeks, sweeping the summer lazies from their eyes and prepping their classrooms for the return of students and studies come Sept. 6.

But if August’s balm has left your brain feeling mushier than a bowl of fermenting blackberry mash, we’ve got a mental exercise that’s certain to kick-start your senses. Turn to page 16 to test your eye for identifying local signage – you might win a prize!

We’ve also assigned a few locals and visitors some homework: Over Labor Day weekend, we’re handing out disposable cameras to folks around town and asking them to document their time here in Cannon Beach. We’re calling it the September to Remember Citizen Photojournalism Project, and we’re hoping it will cast fresh light on just what it is that makes Septembers in Cannon Beach so fabled. Check out our next issue or our website for the results!

Those interested in a local history lesson are invited to attend the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum’s Eighth Annual Cottage Tour Sept. 10, which will offer attendees a glimpse into the colorful pasts of new and old homes around Tolovana Park. (For more info on the event, see our front-page story.)

I am very tempted to give in to my cornier sensibilities and to wish you, dear readers, a berry good September. Instead, I’ll point you to our website, www.cannonbeachgazette.com, where I’ve posted links to a few favorite fruit spritzer recipes. Drink up!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

OHSU dental students take on a monumental task

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