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It’s Labor Day. Go Wild.

September 3, 2012

I was walking past a store in a suburban Chicago mall on Saturday and glanced at a sign in the store window: “Open on Memorial Day 9 a.m.-5 p.m.”

The shopkeeper meant Labor Day, of course. It’s not the first time someone didn’t remember what we call the holiday on the first Monday in September. I once overheard some young colleagues, fresh out of college, arguing when Labor Day occurred. They finally reached a consensus: sometime in November, before Thanksgiving.

Labor Day: No fireworks, and if there are any parades they’re small.  Cookouts, sure, because Labor Day is the last holiday of summer. For some people Labor Day has special meaning: Time to put away the white seersucker and bring out the fall wardrobe.

Who remembers that Labor Day originated as a day to honor our nation’s labor movement? Well, I certainly do. I’ll spend the day as I always do, reading chapters from Studs Terkel’s “Working” while listening to U. Utah Phillips sing songs of the Wobblies. My favorite is “Dump the Bosses Off Your Back.”


From → Verbiage

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