Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day, 2010 - Here's One for the Workin' Man

Labor Day. The first Monday in September since 1894 and always the Monday following the Saturday that is International Bacon Day. The Unofficial end of summer. A day to visit with friends and family for burgers, hot dogs and all the fixin's, maybe a beer or two and a baseball game on TV. Labor Day - a day to salute the working people of this country. And that's what I'll do today - as best I can. See that forest green big rig in the photo? My Dad drove for that company for over 37 years and 4,000,000 miles before they closed the doors. Guys like my Dad are what Labor Day is all about. Men who endure endless miles of  "white line fever" and the incessant droning of 18 wheels on the pavement, being away from their families for days at a time, getting a 3AM phone call saying "Jim Bob called in sick, Shoe (my Dad's Nickname), can you haul a San Angelo this mornin'?" and then draggin' his wore out ass out of a peaceful sleep in his own bed to do it all again - for his family. Or guys like my long-time friend, Clay Money who's an insurance agent in Midlothian, Texas. I am sure that when he gets called to a claim site in pouring rain in the middle of the night, he doesn't jump out of bed singing "Oh what a beautiful mooooorrrrrning....". But, he does it and does it with pride because it's name that's on that insurance agency and he wants his clients to know that he is there for them, willing to go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that they and their family are taken care of in a time of uncertainty. Clay is what Labor Day is all about . In this 21st Century, women are bustin' ass as hard as the men to provide for their families. I can two of them off the top of my head - Kim Milam and Linda Miller. These ladies work in Interior Design and Photography, respectively. I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to say that, these women run into a "picky" client from time to time. Yet, they handle such situations with grace and dignity. That ain't easy. Kim and Linda are what Labor Day is all about. I could name any one of my Facebook friends and say the same thing about him/her. Think about it for a minute. What would it be like to not have folks like this around when we need them? No truckers? No food on the shelf in your local grocery. No insurance guy? Nowhere to stay and no way to repair your storm-damaged house, unless you have a big bank account. Tons of folks need, nay, require, the services of  Kim and Linda - people like me, who couldn't photograph nor interior design his way out of a wet paper bag. Kim and Linda are what Labor Day is all about. The four people in this piece I have used as examples for what Labor Day is all about, are a microcosm of what this great country is made up of - men and women whose pride in their work and dedication to the exceptionalism that is a cornerstone of what the United States is, are what Labor Day is all about. Thank you Dad, Clay, Kim, Linda and the millions of our fellow Americans who are the high-test fuel that powers the economic engine of the United States of America. God bless you all and may God continue to bless America.. Happy Labor Day!

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker