March: A Month of Mirth and Madness

Published 12:40 pm Friday, March 1, 2019

“In like a lion, out like a lamb” is an old proverb that you may have heard in your childhood. Or maybe your parents or grandparents remember it from their childhood. The idea is that when March starts, it’s still winter. By the end of the month, spring has begun. And, in between, who knows what the weather will really be like?

One source of weather forecasts for farmers and farm families through more than 200 years has been The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Historians have proclaimed it to be the oldest continuously-published periodical in North America. The first edition was in 1792.

The publication is often called a reference book because it contains not only weather predictions but also planting charts, a calendar, gardening information, cooking recipes, and other articles. Sports is another topic.

Email newsletter signup

Long before March Madness, The Old Farmer’s Almanac was there for the sports fan. And, before Hunter S. Thompson wrote this paragraph about the month and the madness that engulfs many of us near the end of the month:

“March is a month without mercy for rabid basketball fans. There is no such thing as a ‘gentleman gambler’ when the Big Dance rolls around. All sheep will be fleeced, all fools will be punished severely …There are no rules when the deal goes down in the final weeks of March. Even your good friends will turn into monsters.”

Thompson was born in Louisville, and one might wonder what he knew or thought about the rivalry between Kentucky and Tennessee. The author and newspaper columnist died about 15 years ago.

March is the month that brings us the start of Daylight Savings Time (on the 10th), St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th, the official beginning of spring on the 20th, and some “Just for Fun” Days that we might enjoy.

Oops! Because this column is scheduled for Saturday, the second day of March, we missed a very special day. National Pig Day is an event that is held annually on the first day of March in the USA to celebrate the pig. Two sisters are credited with starting this observance “to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals.”

Finally, at the end of the month, there’s a special day that’s just right for individuals, families, and groups. It’s “National Take a Walk in the Park Day.” It’s March 30. Why not plan to take a walk in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park or one of the other nearby parks?

In addition to possibly improving your health, maybe it will help clear your mind from the stresses of the day. If you take a camera with you, maybe you will capture a beautiful photograph. It’s springtime, and a walk in the park could re-introduce you to nature’s great beauty in the Tri-State Area. And, the walk could get you away temporarily from March Madness.