So what IS Labour day. Eh? (other than the last long weekend of summer)

 

rosie-the-riveter-1943I’m a very kind person.

I’m writing this post for you, the 4 people who aren’t at the cottage, back to school shopping or suffering from a hangover so large you not only look like death, you’re kind of looking forward to it.

So, you 4, wanna know why you have the day off?

Labour day is a holiday that happens all around the world but in North America, where I am writing to you from, it always happens on the first Monday of September. Which just happens to be today. Which is also why this is going to be a short post, because why should you get the day off, but not me? And don’t bother getting ready to yell at me if you happen to be working today because you’re currently browsing the Internet while you’re supposed to be hard at work. So you’re slacking just like me. Slack all you want at work today, I don’t give a care. Unless you’re a firefighter, cause duh. People still need their cats rescued even if they were the one to chase it up a a tree while wearing a pool float as a hat last night.

All my American friends out there can thank your lucky stars and stripes that you live right next door to Canada because we’re the ones who gave you the idea for Labour Day. Or Labor Day as you call it.

In April, 1872 there was a big stink going on in Toronto, Canada. 10,000 workers took over the streets in the first organized labour demonstration. That was 10% of the population in Toronto at the time. They were protesting on behalf of 26 typographical workers who had been sent to prison for striking. These typographical workers wanted their work week to be shortened from 72 hours to 55 hours. Lazy, lazy, lazy. This was frowned upon so they were sent to jail. Unions were outlawed at the time you see, making striking an illegal offence punishable by being throw in the clink.

For the next decade Canadian unionists and workers organized a day of celebrating and fighting for the rights of labourers. After ten years of celebrating like this, in 1882, the event organizer invited an American union activist to speak at the Canadian labour festival. He was so impressed he immediately went home and started organizing a similar event in New York City for that year.

And you know the rest of the story from there. We get a day off to relax from our 40 hour work week.

Those typographical workers in 1872? I’m sure they knew they were taking a chance by doing what they did. But chances are they didn’t know they would change history. Immediately after the ruckus, the Prime Minister of Canada updated the laws to allow unionization. And whether or not you agree or like unions now, if it weren’t for those typographical workers and the unions that followed you might just be reading this post from work today instead of from your pool float.

 
p.s.! Betty, Pink Tool Belt, Fish Pedicure and I are going to GRACELAND in a few days. I’d sure appreciate some recommendations on what else to see and where to eat from anyone familiar with Memphis/Tennessee!

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92 Comments

  1. Brit says:

    Greetings from one of the four. 🙂
    Brit

    • IRS says:

      I guess I’m one of the four too, since I don’t have kids to outfit for another school year, and I don’t have a spare million bucks to buy a summer “cottage” that is within reasonable driving distance of Toronto. I also don’t have a pool or a cat, but I can manage a respectable hangover from time to time. I have no quibble with unions who are just trying to prevent their members from being screwed; I just resent the unions who seem to think they are entitled to get that which the rest of us can only dream of. Like 10% pay raises and 2 months paid sick leave, every time they have the sniffles. They can bite me. The only unions in the news in these parts these days are the teachers. I say give ’em whatever they want, so long as the tiny little terrorist bastards are off the streets, off my lawn, and back in the classroom come Tuesday. I mean the kids. If the teachers go on strike, and the kids are back to infesting the neighborhood as they have all summer, I will be extra cranky. That’s why I’m willing to give the teachers whatever they want; I can only imagine how cranky they must feel, being stuck in a room with 30 kids, and being responsible for teaching them how to read and write. And all the other things that kids these days do not seem to be learning. I couldn’t do it.

      • jainegayer says:

        OMG! I can’t stop laughing. I can’ stop. I was a teacher for 20 years and yes, they should give us whatever we want, we deserve it. I am still laughing at “infesting the neighborhood” and they do with their little pink bikes and skateboards and all that screaming in their little pools. The best sight ever are those yellow school buses to take them away. And now that I’m retired I can enjoy my nice quiet neighborhood starting tomorrow.

        • IRS says:

          Yeah, what is it about small humans, and the way they were raised, that renders them incapable of having a good time without screaming like banshees? If I had ever done that, all it would have taken is “the look” from Dad, and I would have been quiet. Why can’t these parents tell the screeching banshees to shut the hell up? Can I do it for them?

      • Susan De Masi says:

        You must have terrific ESP powers, because this is what I have been thinking ALL SUMMER!!! The little gangsterwannabes will be safely incarcerated tomorrow, thank God. Give teachers double their pay and outfit them with mace and riot guns I say!

        • IRS says:

          A woman after my own heart! If I could bear to take the job, (and was allowed to) those little bastards would be well behaved and respectful, AND they would know how to read and write. And have math skills, and know how to find Afghanistan on a map, and know who Winston Churchill was, etc., etc. I love how you put it – “safely incarcerated”. 😀

    • Larry says:

      Being retired, everyday to me, is a day off. But, I did just make a batch of that bruschetta you posted and will be taking to a end of summer dinner party this evening. ( I added some husk tomatoes as a treat )

  2. Becky says:

    I also am one of the four. I just spent most of the day purging my craft room and reorganizing, so I can use my Grandma’s sewing machine.. which has more knobs and buttons than my simple one, so its a wee bit daunting. I have had it for eight years and am finally overcoming my fear of those knobs.

    You HAVE to see Graceland at night… even if you only drive past. (I hope they still do it, and I’m not giving terrible advice) All the trees are lit with colored (sorry, coloured) lights and the house itself is lit in white… its quite a stunning sight.

  3. Monica says:

    #3 of 4 checking in. Thanks for this. You crack me up. Oh, and the history lesson was fun!

  4. brenda says:

    looks like I got home from the cottage just in time to be one of the t̶w̶o̶ ̶f̶o̶u̶r̶ four t̶w̶o̶ ̶ too

  5. Nancy says:

    Well, I love Corky’s BBQ. Love. But, I’ve been told by locals there are better places. I’m from Louisiana so that’s my BBQ background. I have never been to Graceland. I think the Biltmore is so beautiful in all seasons. But, it’s a different state and y’all’s trip, not mine. I currently live in Seattle and work in an ER. Recently there was a couple from Memphis that had to come in, for a minor thing, don’t worry. I went around to all my coworkers telling them to go talk to this couple and hear the Voice of My Southern People. Oh, they sounded so gorgeous. Do have a lovely time and talk to strangers.

    • Jenny Brandon says:

      Central BBQ is where you want to go! Get the ribs, dry rub (or wet, whatever). Have a lovely beer. I also hear the Barbecue Shop is great – it’s a hole-in-the-wall more in midtown with parking around back. There’s some kind of junkers show in Overton Square this weekend – sounds like lots of fun – Overton Square is great for walking around, having a nosh and a beverage, catching a play. Then you can go down the street to the Cooper-Young area and pet some cats at the crazy cat lady’s cat petting place, enjoy some food/music/beer at the Celtic Crossing, eat at the Beauty Shop (hair dryers add to the ambiance) or browse around Burke’s used bookstore. Then there’s Beale St., the Civil Rights Museum and G-Land, but really, check out Overton and C-Y, the midtown area. You’ll like it. Call me. I’ll show you around. Great zoo too. God I love a good zoo even though I suffer from zoo guilt. Have a great trip!

  6. Gillian says:

    Well, never expected to learn anything today. Yay Canada!!

    As for graceland I’ve never been. My Parents and sister have though. They didn’t take me. ? mean.

    Have a good time and I can’t wait to hear about it!

    Oh, go on the Quiz Show!! It’s Friday morning at 11:30 Mountain Standard Time. I’m not sure what that is Elvis Standard Time. Wait. 1:30? Yeah.

    Anyway, have fun!

  7. Kim says:

    Hmmmm…..looks like there is actually only two of us at this point. Happy Labour Day Karen 🙂

  8. Pam...not the same Pam that posted earlier says:

    Looks like there are at least five of us! Thanks for labouring on our behalf!

  9. Deb says:

    Graceland is interesting but currently located in a declining area of the city. Please do not miss the ducks at the Peabody hotel and an AMAZING store inside the giant pyramid by the river. Eat all the BBQ you can find!

    • Mary W says:

      I’ve heard the ducks are too fun! They even have cousins in Miami now. Ducks are related to chickens so I would think Karen would appreciate the care they are given – maybe a remodel of her coop is in store LOL.

    • Karen says:

      That’s the Bass Pro shop Deb. We actually have one of those here, but apparently the Memphis pyramid one is something else! ~ karen

  10. Kat says:

    Love Norman Rockwell’s rendition of Rosie The Riveter. Here is a link on the painting that I found on Wikipedia with some interesting tidbits to read.
    Saturday Evening Post
    Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover featuring Rosie the Riveter

    Norman Rockwell’s image of “Rosie the Riveter” received mass distribution on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Memorial Day, May 29, 1943. Rockwell’s illustration features a brawny woman taking her lunch break with a rivet gun on her lap and beneath her penny loafer a copy of Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf. Her lunch box reads “Rosie”; viewers quickly recognized this to be “Rosie the Riveter” from the familiar song.[42] Rockwell, America’s best-known popular illustrator of the day, based the pose of his ‘Rosie’ on that of Michelangelo’s 1509 Sistine Chapel ceiling image of the prophet Isaiah. Rockwell’s model was a Vermont resident, 19-year-old Mary Doyle, who was a telephone operator near where Rockwell lived, not a riveter. Rockwell painted his “Rosie” as a larger woman than his model, and he later phoned to apologize.[43] The Post‍ ’​s cover image proved hugely popular, and the magazine loaned it to the U.S. Treasury Department for the duration of the war, for use in war bond drives.[44]

    After the war the Rockwell “Rosie” was seen less and less because of a general policy of vigorous copyright protection by the Rockwell estate. In 2002, the original painting sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $5 million.[44] In June 2009 the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas acquired Norman Rockwell’s iconic Rosie the Riveter painting for its permanent collection from a private collector.[45]

    In late 1942, Doyle posed twice for Rockwell’s photographer, Gene Pelham, as Rockwell preferred to work from still images rather than live models. The first photo was not suitable because she wore a blouse rather than a blue work shirt. In total, she was paid $10 for her modeling work (equivalent to $136 in 2015). In 1949 she married Robert J. Keefe to become Mary Doyle Keefe. The Keefes were invited and present in 2002 when the Rockwell painting was sold at Sotheby’s.[46]

    In an interview in 2014, Keefe said that she had no idea what impact the painting would have. “I didn’t expect anything like this, but as the years went on, I realized that the painting was famous,” she said. Keefe died on April 21, 2015, in Connecticut at the age of 92.[47]

    • Edith says:

      What is that white ring above her head? Her halo?

      I like the way she steps on that horrible book.

      • IRS says:

        Good question. That ring is odd. Then again, I have always considered this whole picture rather strange. Rosie has the arms of Mike Tyson, and the face of a 12 year old boy. And while I get the symbolism of her treading on Hitler’s “masterpiece”, it looks more like she dropped her lunchtime reading. Nope. Never liked this painting, no matter how famous it is. I have always fumed about the circumstances of the message in this as well. While the men were off at war, suddenly women were good enough to do “man’s work”. And they did it well. As soon as the men returned from war, women like “Rosie” immediately lost their war jobs – even if they were now widows, and had children to support by themselves. The whole thing smacked of sexism and hypocrisy.

    • Karen says:

      Yup. I used it because most people think the “We Can Do it” poster is Rosie the Riveter. It is not. THIS is the real Rosie the Riveter. ~ karen

  11. Kathleen says:

    Well, I’m labouring on your Labour Day, as we don’t have that here in sunny South Africa. We have lots of unruly strikes though! :!
    Enjoy your day off, Karen.

  12. TucsonPatty says:

    Here is another of the now a few more than the four peeps who love ya for posting today. Today is still Sunday here, and I went in to work on my day off, and my stinking pool is green and so unusable, and no summer cottage. Thank you Canada for our Labor Day. Nice history lessons from all!

  13. mia pratt says:

    The civil rights museum is near Graceland, too…but what I really wanted to say was, I want to see photos of you all in Elvis’ house. Seriously, in front of some antiques and cool stuff. I always wanted to go, so I’ll thrill vicariously through you all<:}

  14. amanda says:

    man, Graceland made me sad. I love Elvis, but it all seems so…capitalized. I hope you enjoy it more than I did. I mean, it’s nice to see where the King lived and all, but sometimes, when you go someplace like that, you can still get a feel of the persons spirit in a quiet moment, but I didn’t get that there. 🙁

  15. Milton says:

    Thanks for the history lesson, Karen, our hats are off to our Canadian neighbors this holiday due to you. No trip to Graceland is complete without a short drive to Tupelo to visit Elvis’s childhood home. You can contrast the glitter and glitz with an appreciation of the poverty where he came from. The National Civil Rights Museum is an educational stop located in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was shot. It is a worthwhile stop to appreciate some more recent history. Oxford, Mississippi, is a beautiful place to visit, not far from Tupelo. Corinth is a historic town also not far from Tupelo, rich in Civil War History. The Mississippi Delta is just south of Memphis with a wealth of casinos at Tunica along the Mississippi River and a lot of blues history and prehistoric Indian history in Clarksdale. No visit to Memphis is complete without seeing the ducks in the Peabody Hotel and the BassPro shop in the Pyramid is spectacular even if you don’t go hunting and fishing but only tend chickens. I’ll send my barbeque recommendations separately, I’ll need to know how long you’re staying to properly prioritize the long list.

  16. Auntiepatch says:

    Those of us who actually worked all our lives thank you Canada!

  17. Dianne says:

    Memphis has a great zoo. Overton Square, nearby, is experiencing a resurgence. If you enjoy the Blues, go to Beale Street. Interesting night life to say the least. For barbecue go to The Rendezvous. It is the best! If you are out east of Memphis, The Commisary in Germantown is very good. I don’t think I’ve ever had bad barbecue in Memphis, but those two are my preference.

  18. Dianne says:

    See the ducks at the Peabody Hotel!

  19. Jani says:

    Elvis still is alive……in Vegas on every corner!! Uh huh…wearing the white studded jumpsuit…uh huh. LOL.

  20. Grammy says:

    I think I’m about #20 in the group of 4. You Canadians sure have weird math.

    Thanks for the history of Labor. Seriously. I had no idea you friendly folks to our north started it all. I’m retired, but my husband and I still love to say things like, “What shall we do? We’ve got a three-day-weekend!” That’s not entirely unreasonable, since we have our grandson every day after school. And a new puppy. You never get a day off when you have a puppy.

    You may or may not be interested to know that my late mother was a riveter during “The War”. She didn’t look like Rosie, though.

    Please send us pix and stories about Graceland. I hope Betty doesn’t have to ride an elephant there.

    • Karen says:

      That IS interesting to know! Another interesting fact is Rosie didn’t look like Rosie. The model for the Norman Rockwell painting was slight and actually a telephone operator. 🙂 ~ karen!

    • Mia says:

      My mom was a riveter too and she was also Canadian (Vancouver)! She worked at Boeing.

  21. Bobbie Bonner says:

    There is a lot more than 4 reading. Great article. I am originally from Mississippi, about 3 hours from Memphis, so went there a lot. Live in the Pacific Northwest now. First of all stay safe there. But you can’t see Memphis without having Central Barbecue! Also Mud Island is really nice at the river. And make sure to drive through victorian village. Tupelo is not that far, about an hour and 45 to get there to see his Elvis’ birthplace. I hope you have a wonderful and safe trip!

  22. AngieC says:

    Spending my weekend dry-walling the bathroom. Cannot wait to read about your Graceland adventures! Another “4”

  23. Amber says:

    The only thing I know about Graceland is that you can tell the tourists by the way they dress up in cowboy hats and boots. But I hear that Nashville is spankin’ stylish, so you all should fit right in!

  24. maggie van sickle says:

    One Funday is the same as the next Funday when you are retired and I am that. I am not rich by any means but I do live on a lake all year round does that count as a cottage? When I did work and I was not unionized I loved any holiday I got. That is all I have to say about that. I have never been to Memphis Karen so I can”t comment on what is good to see and what to avoid but I can wish you a happy and safe holiday with your family. You are very fortunate to still have your Mom, she has such energy and a sense of humour. Have fun kids.

  25. Kitten Caboodle says:

    I’m still at the cottage reading this post on my phone blessed to be in an area where I can still access a cell network. Presently plotting how I’m going to rudely wake the neighbors who threw a bender in their front yard until 2am.

  26. Thera says:

    Another one of the four here!
    I was born, raised and lived in Toronto for the first 27 yrs of my life, hubby has never been lucky enough to get a union job, we cant afford a cottage and neither of us drinks enough for a hangover.
    We do have 5 kids though, only 3 left in high school, but thanks to you Karen, I now approach back to school kinda like Christmas! So everything is done and organized and today I can just sit back, melt in the humidity and watch our teens piss and moan about summer being over.

  27. MTRetired says:

    My first post ever – sipping coffee on the shores of the Ottawa River, enjoying a labourless day so far, except for the kayaking we’ll be undertaking shortly.
    Re: Memhis spots – Beale Street (for the blues and some BBQ, and if you have time, there is a small portrait museum featuring photos taken by Ernest Withers, Martin Luther King’s personal photographer);
    Sun Studios tour (where Elvis first recorded); the Peabody Ducks are a hoot (quack?) but get to the bar for cocktails about 45 min prior to their departure from the fountain for a good view; Gus’ s Fried chicken. If you love fried chicken, go to Gus’s; if you think you don’t like fried chicken, go to Gus’s. They serve fried chicken (!) with a bunch of different Southern sides, all delicious (only beer and soft drinks but you can byo wine).

  28. Patsy says:

    Memphis is great! My husband and I just got married in June at Graceland. They have a small chapel down the hill from the house. Elvis and Priscilla did not marry at Graceland (they chose Vegas), but for us it was way more interesting than a justice o’ the peace at City Hall. Allow plenty of tome to see the various exhibits. Visit the Civil Rights Museum…excellent! Central BBQ is only steps away, and offers loads of personality with the tasty food. The Sun Records tour was much more interesting than I expected. And even if you don’t stay at The Peabody, drop by to wander around. It’s an enormous, beautifully maintained hotel that was built in 1925. Memphis has lots of good restaurants and such a friendly, lovely vibe. Report on your adventures.

  29. Mary W says:

    Thank you Oh Canada! I always loved Labo(u)r Day since it was a free day to play and we were expected to play. We would go out to eat and be served by those that couldn’t take off. We went shopping to be checked out by those that couldn’t take off. We enjoyed so much at the expense of those that we take for granted everyday. I always loved the song from Alabama – Let Me Thank You For Your Time. I am grateful to all those serving in the armed services, hospital, police force, bars, etc. HAPPY LABOR DAY!

  30. Alice says:

    Thank you for the information on Labour day. Now I want to know more about Canadian labor history. Memphis: there is a great iron works museum with hundreds of samples of wrought iron. Also, there is (or was) a farm to table restaurant called something like the Gentleman Farmer. I haven’t been there but the description provided by some relatives made my mouth water. This is the hottest and most humid time of year in Memphis, so be sure to wear light clothing and drink plenty of water.

  31. Ev Wilcox says:

    Guess I’m only a “1/2”, as we are going to our daughter’s for a quiet cookout, no pool. Thanks Canada, for starting the unions and Labor Day. Grateful! And I will keep a good thought for those jailed heroes of long ago.

    Hope you are enjoying your stay in America, Karen! Oh, and Rosie is now my backdrop pic on my Mac-thanks for that, too!

  32. elizabeth says:

    I went to Memphis State U for two years back in the sixties…loved that city !
    Ask a local where you can find Lotta burgers…the real kind, not a knock off. HUGE juicy hamburger with fixin’s….oh….I might have to fly down there if you tell me they still make them.
    Have a good trip !

  33. Jennie Lee says:

    I’m glad you’re going to Tennessee, where I was born, even though you’re going to the other end of it. Tennessee has 3 stars on it’s flag, because from west to east, it has 3 totally different types of geography. By the way, it’s western, middle, and eastern Tennessee. Not central. Middle. Somehow, I’ve always found that funny. Anyway, I’ve heard that it’s fun to tour Sun Records. And if you can possibly find an excuse, go to eastern Tennessee. I highly recommend seeing the Great Smoky Mountains. 🙂

  34. Jennifer says:

    I’ve spent my long weekend pressure canning roasted red pepper and tomato soup with my friend/neighbour. And when I say, spending the weekend, it’s been the whole weekend. . We bought 2 bushels of red peppers plus other supplies at the farmer’s market early Saturday morning and have been working away at this ever since (do you know how long it takes to blacken and peel 2 bushels of red peppers–most of a day…) This is the first time either of us have ever used a pressure canner, so it’s probably taken us a bit longer than someone more experienced.. Babysitting the pressure canner sputtering away on batch #3 right now. Two more to go…

  35. Jackie says:

    I hope you all like Graceland. My husband & I have been there 3 times & I love it. Every time we’ve been there has been something different. They change out some of the exhibits. We’ll get back there again some day. I could probably go every year or two & still love it. Have a great time.

  36. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Well, I’m another in the gang o’ four in freekin’ hot and humid southern Ontario. I did not know that info about Labour Day . . . quelle surprise! As someone said earlier, when one is retired, all days are pretty much the same. I’ve done my bit for the economy and now get to sit around posting stuff still in my nightie and it’s almost noon. But the laundry IS on.
    Btw, is this a road trip to Memphis or are you flying? Cuz I have a few ideas for on the way there or home which would be tricky if you’re in a plane.

  37. Gordy says:

    Greetings from a volunteer Firefighter. So far, no cats to rescue, but we did have a small fire last night.

    Happy Labour Day to All!

    Gord

  38. Bill says:

    Karen,
    I spent my early years in Memphis. Just a warning….Graceland is pretty much in Gangland. Be careful. Drugs, Inc. did a tv show about how bad the neighborhood is. Make your way to Oxford, MS. You will love it. Home to William Faulkner, John Grisham and Eli Manning to name a few. Go to the beautiful Ole Miss campus. YOU HAVE TO VISIT THE “Grove” on game day. You will see tailgating Southern Style to the EXTREME. Southern Belles dressed in their Sunday best. Tailgating with crystal chandeliers! The best food you will ever eat. Nobody is a stranger. People will be happy to share their food with you. Then go to the game. A true Southern tradition….College Football!!
    After all of that, your can drive 40 miles South and come see me!!! I live in Calhoun City….. where the grass is green and the girls are pretty!

    • Karen says:

      Hey Bill! Not to worry. I’m sure we’ll hop on a tour bus and then hop off right inside Graceland. We won’t be roaming around. I’d love to see a true college football game but I’m not sure we’re going to have time to do everything that everyone is suggesting, lol. We’re really only going for a few days. But if my sister hears about tailgating with crystal chandeliers it might be difficult to dissuade her. ~ karen!

    • Phyllis Kraemer says:

      Oh boy Karen…I think you need to let Pink Tool Belt experience this one…I’ll be putting this place on my list of “where I need to go”!!

  39. Stefani says:

    I am amazed at the people that think we have 40 hr workweeks and lunch breaks because of the benevolence of management. And…I can’t wait to hear about your trip to Graceland!!!

  40. Bill says:

    Karen,
    It’s me again. Just google “the grove at Ole Miss” and just look at all the pics and watch a video or two. You need to put it on your bucket list. I promise you will have a blast. You need to go to the game too to get the full experience. Y’all have fun on your trip.

  41. Ruth says:

    I lost count, so I have no idea which number I am, but… we Jamaicans celebrate Labour Day on May 23 each year. In light of that (since May comes before September), I have a suspicion that you Canadians stole the idea from us. ;-D

    Happy (belated) Labour Day to you and yours.

  42. Barbie says:

    LOL …..looks like WAY more that 4! But you already knew that!
    Have fun on your Vaca with the fam! Lucky Duck! No pun intended!

  43. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I have never been to Memphis Karen and never will so I look forward to hearing about your trip..You girls all have fun as I know you will…

  44. ronda says:

    Happy Labour Day to all! Would have LOVED to spend the weekend in Muskoka, but the parents sold the cottage many years ago. No possible way to afford anything now. Nothing like sitting on the dock, listening to the loons in the evening. sigh.
    If you’re travelling down I75, it runs through the Smoky Mountains. There are some amazing views as you drive through. Have not had a chance to explore tho … only overnight stops as we pass through to Florida. So, please let us in nowhere you go! I would love to stop and linger.

  45. IRS says:

    I have never been to Graceland, despite sharing a birthday with the King, but I have the best suggestion of all. Be sure to save every single last stinkin’ receipt. Since you are a professional blogger, and you will no doubt feature your trip here (as we all expect), hopefully you can write a lot of it off. That includes Pink Tool Belt’s and Fish Pedicure’s and Betty’s expenses as well, since they are an integral part of the story. Oh, and I require at least a couple of photos of Betty’s disgruntled reaction to something. Anything.

  46. Cindy says:

    Big hint would be not to snicker and point at the tacky decor. I mean expensive, tasteful decoration.
    Almost got us mugged by a pack of diehard fans. Fastest exit we ever made.
    Food : dry rub bar b q …..and ya gotta try the sweet potatoe pancakes ! !

  47. Jay says:

    Here in the UK our labour-inspired holiday is the more traditional May Day (a day off for agricultural workers through the centuries linked to a break between planting and harvesting, and the pagan holiday of Beltane, with fertility rites, maypoles and the never-sufficiently-explained morris dancers). For the past 100 years or so it’s been a celebration of workers’ rights, usually with a march through London and other major cities.

    We should never forget the debt we owe the union movement (even self-emplyed types like you and me). Safety at work, a working week shorter than 60 hours and sick pay are all down to the campaigning of the ass-kicking women and men who came before us. Thanks for the reminder, Karen

    We English and Welsh have our end-of-summer weekend as the last Monday in August, the Scots at the start of August. Other than fancying a day off at the end of the summer, I can’t find a single reason for it. Still it’s nice to have a day off while the kids are still on holiday.

    As a kid growing up in Canada (in Dundas, coincidentally, so I am always examining your photos for hints of my childhood!) I used to flip through the calendar every New Year to see when Labour Day would fall. School would start the day after. I used to dread the years September would start on a Sunday or Monday because it meant shorter holidays!

  48. Patt Rimmer says:

    Thank you for this writing about this and helping me to better understand a very important piece of history that has changed my view on unions.

  49. Annie1946 says:

    Thanks for the history lesson. My Dad was a Union Shop Steward he worked in the shipyards in Glasgow. We live in Muskoka (no cottage) and were sitting on our front porch enjoying the beautiful evening thinking about people having to drive back to the city from their cottages and we get to stay here.

  50. marilyn says:

    have a great time karen!

  51. Scott says:

    Have a Grand time in Tennessee. Try the ribs at the Rendezvous.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve actually heard from a very, very reputable source (a friend of mine) that the ribs at the Rendezvous aren’t what they once were. :/ This person is a competitive BBQer who often competes in Memphis … so I’m torn. ~ karen!

  52. Sboo says:

    If the weather is nice, you might enjoy a steamboat tour on the Mississippi. You get some nice views of the town and learn some of its history, plus they sell local beer on board! BBQ is a given; I like Central. Breakfast at the Arcade. Never been to Graceland though.

    Heading west into Arkansas, cross the Spring and White rivers (great canoeing, if you’re a fan) and into the Ozarks. You can turn south to Little Rock or keep on to Fayetteville/Bentonville where you can visit our fabulous Crystal Bridges museum and see Rosie in person!

    • Karen says:

      I think our days are pretty much filled now, but we have a couple of nights to fill (with something other than bars). Because one night of Beale street will be enough I think. 🙂 ~ karen!

  53. Debbie says:

    I have very mixed feelings about unions. I’ll leave out the details, but when we were kids, veiled threats were made about our lives to my father by a union. We could not even walk to the bust stop alone. We had a small family business. As a teacher, my union both worked for me and against me. Sadly, prejudice trumped union help when I needed it. Later on, a union was helpful in making sure I received the benefits I deserved.

    BTW – I’m one of the four – an empty-nester without a cottage who doesn’t drink.

  54. leslie says:

    Just a couple of points…

    1. I have decided to dedicate Labor Day (or, Labour Day) to all the mothers and children (ergo, everyone) born all over the world. To me, the ultimate in labor is pushing a 5 to 10 pound lump of wailing flesh out of your body after carrying it (and all it’s accessories) around for 40 or so weeks.

    2. Whatever you do, don’t wear an Elvis wig or cape to Graceland. I have a friend who went with her husband and 2 sons, all dressed in Elvis garb and they were refused entrance. They had to go back to the car, change and act like a completely different family that had just arrived.
    Just saying… awkward.

    • IRS says:

      1. Hey, you already get Mother’s Day! And now you want a second day? Just for carrying the baby, developing stretch marks and hemorrhoids, pushing it like a mid size frozen turkey through an opening designed for a smallish chicken drumstick at best, and then spending the next 18-20 years (or 28-30) feeding, clothing and housing an ingrateful brat, all the while losing your youth, energy, and retirement nest egg, while baby daddy drinks beer and watches football? For THAT you expect a second day? Sheesh!

      2. What the hell? If ever there was a place to dress like a corpulent, over the hill lounge singer, who never met a rhinestone or a strip of bacon he didn’t love, it’s there. Why won’t they let you in if you’re dressed as Elvis? Are they afraid other patrons will be confused? Do they not want you to sully the elegance and gravitas of Elvis’ memory? *ROFLMFAO* And is there a sign posted near the cash register advising guests of this rule?

  55. Milton says:

    The Arcade in Memphis is a regular tourist stop and pretty good for breakfast but a good bit overpriced. A lot of movie scenes were filmed there which makes it a popular tourist stop just down the street from the National Civil Rights Museum. Groupon has a 40% off coupon at https://www.groupon.com/deals/arcade-restaurant. Nearby is Gus’s which is a good place for fried chicken lovers with Southern side dishes like fried okra and mac and cheese. The Ornamental Metal Museum is a must stop for a girl who does stuff. They have all types of metal artisans and a full compliment of working forge and metal projects going on along with some lovely examples of metal working art on display.

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