A Labor Day jingle

Published 11:55 pm Friday, September 3, 2021

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Daddy’s favorite day in the whole entire year was Labor Day.

From the time I was old enough to labor, he had me going at it.

Every night, he called for his pipe and he called for his bowl of ice cream. I loved the aroma of his fresh-lit pipe and the first taste of Daddy’s ice cream so those chores were not so laborious.

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But taking out the garbage can and shoveling the coal weren’t all that much fun.

Picking up limbs so Daddy could mow the grass with the push lawn mower, feeding and watering the dogs and pulling the weeds out of the flower beds weren’t fun either. When the corn was ready to pull, I labored at that and Mama got in the laboring with hampers of peas.

When I was old enough to “help out” at the ice house, I did my laboring over there. I pulled ice and dumped ice and crushed ice, swept the big porch and cleaned off the butcher’s block in the meat room.

It was not until I was early in my teenage years that I realized that laboring was something that you should be paid to do. So, I mentioned that to Daddy and he said that was true but you had to labor for someone other than your daddy.

So, I went around looking for a paying place to labor. Mrs. Mable Rodgers gave me a job as a laborer at Belcher’s Dry Goods. I put Christmas wrapping paper on box tops and bottoms. When a shopper bought a gift, all the clerks had to do was put the gift in the box and put on the top and it was wrapped.

The next year, I labored at O.K. Ramage company really wrapping present at Christmas time.

Another year, I worked the candy counter at the dime store. I had to figure the weight, the cost per pound, the tax and make the change. I had a very responsible job but it prepared me to work the counter at the drug store and later to be appointed by Senator Lister Hill to work at Yellowstone National Park.

But first, I labored collecting and returning glass Coca- Cola bottle for the 5-cent deposit, so I could pay for my train ticket to the national park where I worked as a clerk, a pantry girl, a maid and a waitress. For there, I began, what might be described as “grown-up jobs.”

Daddy never said anything about once you started laboring, there is no stopping. So, on this Labor Day 2021, I will labor – sweeping, mopping, cleaning, pulling weeds and picking up sticks. The next day, this ol’ gal will labor to put a little jingle in my pocket.