Labor Day

 


I realize that Labor Day has come and gone but my reminiscences of this celebration continue to materialize in my memory bank so I am sharing them before they disappear or dissipate; waiting until next September to write this column is unthinkable.  Just as Memorial Day signals the beginning of the summer season, the beach, swimming pools and outdoor parties, Labor Day heralds the end of summer vacation; it is about back to school, pumpkins, and hopes of cooler fall temperatures.


For countless years in Otto's family the holiday signaled a celebration of the birthday of his maternal grandmother, Lorean Johnson Woody, unfortunately, I misspelled her first name forever, but because of thorough research on the internet, I finally have the spelling correctly.  Now I have to search my writing archives and correct my past inaccuracy.


Mother Woody's actual birthday was 8 September so Labor Day was chosen for the family reunion/birthday celebration since it is also a long-weekend.  The first several gatherings were held at the American Legion Hall Post # 128 in Richland but then we migrated to the Kinchafoonee Sportsman Lodge in Webster County.  Because so many family members belonged to the local hunting club, we never had a problem securing the reservation.


It was an occasion for the ladies to prepare and share their favorite fares, and for the gentlemen to prepare the barbecue and Brunswick stew.  There was always enough food to feed an army of people and everything was delicious; what a shame that family reunions have become passe.  I miss the conversation, the country cooking and the desserts; the pies and cakes were indescribably delicious.


When we lived in Richland, we watched the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon each year and enjoyed seeing the entertainers, especially Wayne Newton, Tom Jones, and the legendary Tony Bennett. We were also busy getting clothing together because at Greenfield Academy, the next day was a regular school day and it was time to choose school clothes, pack up notebooks and locate lunchboxes.


We donated regularly to the Telethon but it did not become personal until we moved to Milledgeville and became acquainted with Ashley Peeler and his devoted mother, Doriann.  Suddenly we understood personally the importance of supporting our friends and neighbors who are affected by muscular diseases.  It is a well known fact that because of such loving care by his mother, Ashley lived years longer than ever predicted.


Currently I spend hours of Labor Day putting away most of my white apparel because of that ole wives' tale about not wearing white clothing after the holiday; now days generally people do not pay attention to such quirkiness and as I understand the rule, it does not count for athletic shoes and white garments are acceptable wear year round at any beach resort.


And what happens if you insist on wearing white after Labor Day?  Well the fashion police will confiscate your TJ Maxx card and you can no longer enjoy being known as a fashionista.

 

Brenda S. Brown 

 

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