Image: Detail of “Injun Summer” (d. 1992), by John T. McCutcheon, once an annual fall tradition of the Chicago Tribune.
The old man tells the boy: “Don’t be skeered — hain’t none around here now, leastways no live ones.’”
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Stephan Benzkofer of the Chicago Tribune revisits the Trib’s annual fall rite of publishing John T. McCutcheon’s “Injun Summer,” a picture of an old man and a young boy surveying a field full of dried cornstalks under the harvest moon. “Yep, sonny,” the old man says, “this is sure enough Injun summer. Don’t know what that is, I reckon, do you?”
The drawing, first published in 1907, was once quite popular. But as the years passed, more people were offended by lines like: “Don’t be skeered — hain’t none around here now, leastways no live ones. They been gone this many a year. They all went away and died, so they ain’t no more left.” It was last published in the Tribune in 1992.