Annual Macy's Labor Day Parade
with Snoopy the Roofer Float
No one gripes at all about that other holiday season that starts early and goes long. Who doesn't love it when every July 15 or so we all first hear those voices raised in song:
It's beginning to look a lot like Labor Day!
A Fair Deal for every Jane and Joe,
Take a look at that closing mill, jobs are going to Brazil,
But we'll honor every worker as they go!
Yes, Labor Day Season!
The most wonderful time of the year!
And we all know why: that first Monday in September is a joyous day filled with barbecues, pool parties, marathon drinking into puking sessions, and deep reflection on the contributions to the nation of the American working man and woman. Many others enjoy this day devoted to honoring the American labor movement by playing golf or tennis at posh country clubs, driving down to their condos at the shore, or eating out at fine restaurants where they tip the waiter zilch because the bread basket was late.
Yes, what can match the grand buildup to that special September day with its lights, tinsel, and "Unfair to Local 457" picketing signs? Everywhere you look you begin to see Labor Day Villages springing up - many made of candy, chocolate, and other treats - all with the Triangle Shirtwast Factory right at their heart and center. And here he comes to your local mall or department store, boys and girls, none other than ...
Old Grandfather Gompers!
Children love to sit in the lap of Old Grandfather Gompers as he regales then with tales of 19th Century Labor Disputes, including the Chicago Haymarket Riot of 1886. But the true joy of Labor Day takes place on that magical eve just before that most blessed of days. As Clement C. Moore penned in the classic The Night Before Labor Day:
'Twas the night before Labor Day when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Bain Capital louse;
The organizing kits were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Grandfather Gompers soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of higher wages and shorter hours danced in their heads.
After all, not every holiday can be Labor Day.
As Clement Moore wrote:
And I heard him exclaim as he strode out of sight,
Happy Labor Day to All and to All, a Collective Bargaining Right!