Friday, September 4, 2009
Labor Day Weekend
I think it fair to say, even though my family is away, and the eastbound arteries of the Island (the Long Island Expressway and Highway 27) are clogged with visitors intent on having a good weekend whatever the pain, and commuters still retuning from their urban stress-shops, that (and I get around to saying it now!) the Labor Day weekend has begun. At least for me. I know that's a selfish statement, but that's how I feel. I have completed the day's tasks and duties and, deo volente, nothing remains. I have returned home and metaphorically pulled up the drawbridge in order to sip a fine Italian wine, think about dinner, and relax in my own protectorate. I can pretend that it isn't hell out there on the pavements and sidewalks (which it is) and watch the sun go down with dogs at my feet and with an air of sniffy indifference. You get the picture? Pure escapism!
There used to be a reason and a motive for this holiday, both of which are inspired by a similar fete in Canada. The celebration of legalized trade unions and their strike activities, which were recognized in Canada in 1872, became a cause celebre on September 5th, 1882, in New York City. Never mind that the unions being recognized and even celebrated were, in the main, all Mafiosi or Irish gang controlled, it was the principle of it all that appealed to President Grover Cleveland. And there we have it. Congress rushed through the necessary pieces of paper, and soon all fifty states adopted the organized labor-fest.
Even with the return of my family this will be a quiet holiday. Eight Sunday guests for a barbeque does not a loud party make! Besides, Eric and I will probably pour large drinks and adjourn to a distant a spot in the garden to discuss affairs of state and catch up on editorial gossip at the Wall Street Journal. Now that's a reason to have a holiday!
Posted by Tim Lewis at 7:05 PM