Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

If you ask any American what Labor Day is, you will probably get a variation of answers. It's not like Independence Day or Thanksgiving where there is a story that gets repeated every year. How did Labor Day start? When was the first Labor Day? I have no idea.

For most school kids in the US, Labor Day means the last weekend of summer. Most schools begin classes the day after Labor Day. One distinct memory I have of this holiday weekend is going to our local fair. This is a huge annual event around here. I never lived on a farm, but I had a lot of friends who did. Their entire summer was centered around this fair. Some had prized animals that would be shown and judged every summer (horses, cows, etc). Others helped their parents in the garden and had prized vegetables that would be shown every year. We have a diverse community and there would be a showcase of different ethnic foods, arts, dancing, etc, during fair week. Lots of great memories from back then. There are times I wish I could go back to those innocent days. The days when my biggest worry was whether my friends and I would have the same teacher for school the next day. Ahhhh, those were the days.

Another memory I have is watching the US Open tennis tournament every year with my parents. I still do this, and I'm planning to go over there today. In high school, I was really into tennis (when I was more athletic than I am now). And my friends and I would follow the tournaments all through the summer with the pinnacle being the US Open. Yesterday, one of my childhood heros played his last professional tennis match: Andre Agassi. I have watched this guy for the past 20 years, at different stages in his career and in his life. I'm always inspired by a superstar athlete who admits when things are not going well. I learned a lot about tennis and a lot about life. Thanks Andre.

The final memory that I'll mention is the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Pk has had some very informative posts this weekend about muscular dystrophy. I encourage you to check them out. I had no idea what a telethon was until I started watching this as a child. I would ask my parents, "If the show goes on all day and all night, when do people sleep?" This was also one of my first introduction into fundraising as a child - not a bad thing, just a new concept that I learned as a youngster - the concept of philanthropy. I kept asking myself, "Why would people help other people that they don't even know?" I soon learned the answer to that one. Finally, it was one of my first introductions into medicine, or, at least, learning about a disease process. As a child, and even now, it was/is hard for me to imagine a child suffering for any debilitating disease.

Finally, I'm glad just to get August behind me. That was a very turbulent month on a lot of different levels. Thanks to May for giving me some closure and the ability to move forward. I'm ready to satisfy my blogging addiction again.


Dreaming again said...

I've done some educational postings on the Jerry Lewis Telethon on my blog ... I'm a Jerry's Kid ... so ...all you Bloggers Anon members ... go support the MDA this summer for the Jerry's Kid you blog with!!!!

Glad to see you back dr a!


JR's Thumbprints said...

I've often asked myself the same question: "Why help someone else?" Fortunately, the answer was quite simple: "Because they need it."

ClinkShrink said...

The Organization for American Historians sponsored a podcast called Talking History. Here's a link to the show where they talk about the origins of Labor Day:

Labor Day

Open the link and scroll down.

Mother Jones RN said...

Labor Day was a big deal in our house. You might say it was almost a religious holiday. My father was active in the American labor movement, and knew people who were present at the Haymarket Riot, and others who were beaten by US troops because they had the audacity to demand a 40-hour workweek and a living wage. People involved in the early days of labor movement died for benefits that we take for granted today. I also have fond memories of Labor Day, and I believe every act of labor is an act to be honored.

Anonymous said...

. . . for a few minutes it looked like blogger was down . . . anyhow, I'm glad you are still blogging!

Anonymous said...

thanks to you too...we all will get through this in a good way, in the end.

Dr. A said...

Thanks so much for the Labor Day info. I definitely learned something today. It is much appreciated.

JR, thanks for stopping by today. I'll be sure to check out your blog today, too.

Foo, what happened to your blog? Oh yeah, I'll click over there and read about it.

Anonymous said...

Im glad you decided to continue to blog.. we would have missed you. On the upside.. my life is to boring not to believe LOL

HP said...

Off topic but nice picture of Steve Irwin.

I hope you're not thinking of taking over the crocodile wrestling?

Anonymous said...

A sad ending to today. I just turned on TV for the first time today and saw where "Steve Irwin" was killed (by a stingray) today. I remember all the controversy when he was holding his child while feeding an alligator. Still, I always like watching him and it NEVER occured to me that he would be killed by a stingray! A crocodile, yes, stingray, no.

Sarebear said...

BA Meeting is tomorrow night, my blog! We're having cider, fire-roasted bratwursts, grilled chicken, olive salad, rippled potato chips, grilled veggie skewers, Spinach and strawberry salad, Cheddar pear pie, Chocolate angel food cake with caramel sauce, and vanilla bean ice cream.

BYOBG (Bring your own board game!) and we'll have alotto fun.

Good company, good conversation, oh yeah, and the Blogger's Anonymous song, for those who would like to join in.


Dr. A said...

Hi Sarebear, Thanks so much for stepping up and volunteering to host. I'm pleasantly surprised that someone would volunteer so quickly.

If you could hold off a day or two, I'd really appreciate it. I've been working on a post tonight to host a meeting. I hope to be finished in the next hour or so.

So, thanks again for hosting. But, if you could delay a day or so, I'd reallty appreciate it!

Sarebear said...

Sure, I can delay it to whenever! Consider it delayed. Remember your cider post from last week? and then later in it I asked if I could host. I didn't do it over the weekend cause you were gone.

Dr. A said...

Sorry for making you push it back again. I really appreciate it. You've got next dibs - whenever you like. Later this week, or next week, just let me know and I'll put up an announcement at my place for you!

Sarebear said...

That's ok! Consider the virtual food and the virtual fun, on ice!! Lol.

Sarebear said...

I've got "next dibs"? Is there a cure for that, doc?

hee hee.

NeoNurseChic said...

And if all goes well, we'll be having one in England! I just won't know for sure until I get there... ;)

Carrie :)