My dad was a blue-collar worker all his life. He put in long hours on the family farm; he served the Army as an electrical repairman in Korea; he helped build Eisenhower’s interstate system; and he operated a crane for a local construction company and then in the coal yard of the local power plant, where he eventually retired as a senior mechanic. Even now, he spends some time each day performing some type of physical labor around the house.
Labor Day was made for guys like my dad. First celebrated in 1882, it became an official federal holiday in 1894. Today, the first Monday in September has become a day to celebrate the unofficial end of summer and “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” with parades, cookouts and sporting events. In reality, for many folks it is a labor-less day.
On this Labor Day, I will enjoy grilled burgers and authentic Wisconsin bratwurst with friends and family. I will go for a run and probably end up tossing a frisbee or a football. And I will raise a glass to my dad, who taught me how to work hard, how to grill brats, and how to properly enjoy this blue-collar holiday. I hope you enjoy it as well.