Sunday column

February 23, 2013

Friday will be the first day of March, and I just wonder how many of you overlook its significance, or just take the month for granted.

OK, it’s one of the 31-day months, and that seems like a long time to wait for April Fools’ Day. There is no Christmas in March, no Thanksgiving, no Fourth of July, no preseason football games, no World Series, no Valentine’s Day, no Stanley Cup.

Oh, but there is March Madness, when 64, or maybe now, 68, college basketball teams are turned into office pools and become known as “seeds” in a “bracket.” It is when an unheralded team can knock off a king. March is indeed an unpredictable month.

And, of course there is St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, and who really needs those other holidays because aren’t we all Irish anyway?

I wonder if Friday comes in like a lion, will it then leave as a lamb?

With March being such a changeable month, with warm springlike temperatures or late-season snowstorms, it’s easy to understand how this saying might hold true.

No one speaks too much about the middle of the month, weather-wise, that is. But as I recall back in 1993, on March 13, I believe, this area experienced one helluva snowstorm.

And just in case anyone is interested, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has predicted the March weather for our area: 1st to 3rd – showers, warm; 4th to 7th – rain to snow, then sunny, cold; 8th to 12th – showers, then sunny, warm; 13th to 18th – rain to snow, then sunny, cool; 19th to 24th – scattered thunderstorms, warm; 25th to 31st – sunny, then thunderstorms, cool.

Take what you want from it.

And what about those Ides of March? It sounds like a doomsday warning, but really, March 15 is the first day of the Roman New Year and it also marks the first day of spring in the Roman calendar. But on this day in history, Julius Caesar was warned by soothsayers to “beware the Ides of March.” Apparently, he did not heed the warning strongly enough, as he was stabbed by Marcus Brutus on the Ides of March in 44 B.C.

But March is so much more than college basketball, Irish whiskey and unpredictable weather.

On March 10, we turn our clocks ahead one hour. The first day of spring is March 20. Passover begins at sundown on March 25; Good Friday is March 29 and Easter is March 31.

And on a more wacky note, Multiple Personality Day is March 5; National Potato Chip Day is March 14, and Something on a Stick Day is March 28.

Is this a great month or what? No wonder it’s 31 days long.

Jon Stevens is the Greene County bureau chief. He can be reached at



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