Labor Day, 2020
OK, I’ll fess up: Before beginning this piece, I did a search of past columns using the phrase “Labor Day.” I was considering running what I like to call an encore edition, and what others might call a “repeat” or “waste of newsprint.” While, in the opinion of your humble scribe, there were a couple of decent Labor Day-related columns in years past, I decided that a Labor Day piece requires a bit of … labor. Also, it’s long past time to thank the folks laboring every day on behalf of themselves and their families; those who provide goods and services the rest of us need to live something approaching a normal life in these abnormal days. Especially the folks who have to wear masks at work all day. I’m fortunate, both to have a job and to have one that has allowed me to work from home at least a couple of days a week the last few months. When I am here, if I’m near Bob or Hope or Cathy, etc., I don a mask, as do they. Otherwise, I’m in my office or at home, mask off. I joke that I lose 30 IQ points when trying to compose a text or email via phone; I’m not sure mask-wearing wouldn’t have the same effect. (No, smart alecks, I’m not wearing one now.) I don’t think anybody likes wearing masks, except for bank robbers, rioters or folks with a blemish somewhere on the lower two-thirds of their face. Yet many Woodford County residents do wear them on the job, for hours at a time, and we should take a moment now and then to thank them. On a semi-related note, the day this is being written (Sept. 4 – hey, I’m hoping to take Labor Day off) happens to be my birthday. Lots of old and new friends emailed to congratulate me for being alive and to ask why Facebook said I was celebrating my 115th trip around the sun. The answer is two-fold. First, when registering for Mark Zuckerberg’s money-making machine that’s siphoning away advertising dollars from local newspapers, it amused me to give my birth year as 1905. Also, I thought I’d do my tiny part to mess up the algorithms Zucky uses to determine how to siphon away advertising dollars from local newspapers. Another birthday/Labor Day tradition here at the Sun is the delivery of homemade brownies by the inimitable Peggy Carter Seal to yours truly. Early last week, Peggy called to ask if I’d be at work Thursday or Friday. I told her I usually worked from home those days. She said she’d come by Thursday morning. I told her I’d be there. I wasn’t. These things happen when you were born in 1905. I did remember to call her to apologize, and she gracefully accepted the apology and was kind enough to offer input on matters such as how the Sun should cover the 2020 elections. I’ve long wondered what we’d do without Peggy’s advice, and this 115-year-old hopes he’ll never have to find out. Peggy, thank you for laboring on behalf of myself and my coworkers. The brownies are wonderful. And yes, I’m sharing. To the folks who have to wear masks 40 hours a week, thank you. I’ll save a few brownies for you. Just keep that mask on when you walk in. Happy Labor Day, y’all.