In a strange way, nature cooperated with leaf clean-up this fall. Hurricane Sandy’s glancing blow provided enough limb-shaking wind to bring most of the leaves to the ground. This weekend, three days long for some, provided perfect weather for working outside. After filling 120 of the brown paper 30 gallon leaf bags one year, I improvised: first I rake the leaves into piles; then I slowly run the mulching mower through the piles which grinds most of the leaves into postage-stamp size fragments. Then you rake up the remnants and shovel them into the same brown paper bags. One bag of leaf fragments equals about five bags of whole leaves. There’s probably a better way (like hiring the professional who thrust a flyer at me from the cab of his pickup equipped with a massive plywood leaf container on back), but this one works for me and now it’s all done.

Scott Brown’s next Senate campaign

Each Monday after the 9 a.m. news, I call in to radio station WCAP (980 AM) to talk about local history, politics and anything else that comes up. In the midst of my segment this morning, co-hosts Todd Robbins and Mara Dolan (Ted Panos is “on assignment” this week) put me on hold for an important and seemingly unexpected incoming call. It was U.S. Senator Scott Brown who said he was on his way back to Washington to do some National Guard duty at the Pentagon (he temporarily transferred into the Maryland National Guard to make it easier to do his service while in Washington). Senator Brown was calling to thank folks for their support and wish everyone well. When the hosts complemented him on his graciousness on election night, he remarked that he has a wonderful wife and family and having those things helps put other things in the proper perspective. When Mara asked if we would start seeing (Brown’s spouse) Gail Huff on Boston TV again, Brown replied “she has job obligations in Washington” (she’s a reporter for ABC7 in DC). Then Todd asked Brown if John Kerry were named Secretary of State and there was a special election for Kerry’s U.S. Senate seat, would Brown be a candidate. “It’s certainly something I would take a look at.” replied Brown.

As stimulating as doing real estate closings at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds might have been in his pre-U.S. Senate days, I’m guessing Scott Brown is not anxious to get back to that life. His unscheduled call into WCAP today, his current assignment to a Washington-area National Guard unit, his spouse’s job with a DC television station, and his “I’d certainly take a look at it” response to the “would you run” question should remove all doubt that he would. Despite having just lost to Elizabeth Warren in one Senate race, Brown would be a very formidable candidate, particularly in a special election. That’s how he was elected in the first place. For that reason, I can’t see the President putting a safe Democratic Senate seat (Kerry’s) at immediate risk by appointing Kerry as Secretary of State.