In several weeks Labor Day will be upon us, by conventional wisdom marking the end of the summer vacation season. As the day (by law the 1st Monday in September) approaches we will note a subtle shift in the Ocracoke scene. Our own children will be back in school, busily coming and going in clusters- most go home for lunch. School activities command community attention, with basketball (really good basketball), PTA, our new volleyball program and welcoming our new Principal, Laura Kelly. Visiting families with schoolage children will become fewer, and gone until next year will be the bike learners on training wheels, the joyful squeals on the beach and the high chairs in restaurants.
But back to Labor Day. Most of us have lived around it all our lives, but what do we know of its origins? The first such celebration seems to have taken place in New York in 1882, organized by the Central Labor Union. Gaining widespread support surprisingly swiftly, the occason was designated by the Congress a national holiday in 1894, Forefronting the American workers and their contributions to American progress. The original meaning may be a bit blurred, but it’s a welcome milestone nonetheless.
It’s been a grand summer, and we anticipate a more leisurely but still delightful autumn. Birds and turtles will become less influential, the beaches will still be soothing and we’ll be here enjoying our happy little island.