Ahh, fall.

Time for the corduroy.

Followers of this column know Iím no fan of winter. I hate scraping ice, shoveling snow and always feeling cold.

I enjoy summer because of the warm weather, but the humidity can be draining.

Springís fine, but around here, itís too short. Seems like we go from snow to summer.

Then thereís fall.

And corduroy.

There are many reasons to love fall. Some folks like to use the word ďautumn.Ē I say fall. It seems a bit pretentious to say ďautumnĒ unless youíre singing ďAutumn in New York.Ē

Whatís not to love about fall?

Leaves turn gorgeous colors and then you get to jump into a pile of them.

Folks hand you candy.

A crisp nip fills the air (but not as nippy as when Jack Frost nips at your nose).

Football is in overdrive.

Baseball is in crunch time.

You get to breathe in that first whiff of burning wood.

Drink apple cider and eat roasted pumpkin seeds.
Thatís all nice. But I contend whatís really best about fall is corduroy. The cloth of fall.

Or more specifically, the ďcloth of the king,Ē when workers in England discovered that the ribbed cotton fabric was tough yet lightweight. The name derives from ďcord du roi,Ē fashioned for the sporting use of the French royal court in the 1600s ó although the connection to the king of France remains a bit ambiguous.

Donít worry, thereís no test.

But Iíve done some extensive research over the last several months and found that in survey after survey, most people, like myself, say their favorite season is fall. Not even close. By more than 2-to-1 over spring.

I donít know if the wearing of corduroy came up in the surveys, but I say itís not a coincidence that folks love both the ribbed garment and fall.

(If youíre keeping score at home, 3 percent of folks say they love winter. While I back free speech, I say we round up that 3 percent ó you know who you are ó and ship them in ice to Siberia. Or Plattsburgh.)

It kills me that on a cool summer day, Iíll think nothing about pushing my head through my winter turtleneck. Yet Iíll intentionally stay away from the wale.

You know, the wale.

The wale is the ribs or cords.

The size of corduroy wales range from 1.5 to 21 (i.e., the number of ridges per inch). The low number are referred to as wide wales and the higher numbers as fine or pinwales. Mid-anges are the most commonly worn wales. The garment also affects the choice of wales. Understand?

But if youíre like me, the appeal of corduroy has less to do with either its rich history or the fact that soft and velvety fabric is one of the marvels of everyday apparel.

Shirts, pants, hats, vests, jackets, suits, ties. Whatever.

You wear it because it makes you feel good and look good. Cozy, yet unconceited. Like a fall afternoon full of pretty leaves that you can admire from afar and yet toss into the air, in your cords.

Enjoy the fall.

Feel the wale.

Barry Lewis is executive editor of the Times Herald-Record. blewis@th-record.com