You all celebrate it, have for years. My question though, is do you know when Labor Day came about and why we even have it? Well don't fret; don't get all worked up. I consider it my duty to let you know why you will not have to work tomorrow, but instead can enjoy that outdoor barbeque with family and friends.
My research confirmed that Labor Day was first observed by a western state. Which one you ask? I'll give you a minute to guess. ... OK, time's up. In 1887 Oregon decided to have the very first Labor Day celebration. The day did not become a national holiday until 1894. By then, 30 states were already observing it.
So why did the day come about? There seems to be a difference of opinion on that, but I came to the following conclusion. The day is designed to honor all golfing fanatics, such as myself, because of our hard work and dedication to the game that we consider a labor of love. No, seriously.
To prove my point I will select an average golfer. Alright, we'll use me for the example. I'm a typical workaholic golfer. I'm constantly working to improve my game. Why, it's not uncommon to find me working my tail off hitting golf balls from dawn to dusk. I'm just like your normal "nobody works harder than me" amateur golfer.
When I go to a driving range, my workouts are labor intensive. I try to work the ball from left to right. Then I will toil to work the ball from right to left. I will work on my putting, and work on my chipping. By the end of the day I will have blisters on my hands, but it's the price one pays when you have a "no pain, no gain" work ethic.
Come on folks, you need to work with me here.
I just can't believe that anyone works harder than a golfer. We spend hours working up a sweat, all to become better at the game. Our biggest concern, given our workload, is the chance that we may get hurt with so much arduous activity. Last week, that is exactly what happened to me. After one smooth but aggressive swing, my lower back balked at being overworked. Now some of my friends might try to tell you that I hurt my back reaching for yet another hot dog off the grill. Do not believe them, as the cookout is not until tomorrow.
Even with a kink in my back, I accompanied my traveling league to Eagles Landing Golf Course. I reserved the right to sit out the round depending on how many we had playing. The course though was in beautiful shape and despite the odd number of 17 golfers, I decided to give it a go. If I didn't try to work out the pain so that I could play, I would not have been able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
I drew pill number three so I went to the putting green to warm up. It hurt just to putt the ball, but I was not deterred. The biggest problem I had on this day was putting the ball on the tee and taking it out of the cup. Bending over and then straightening back up was, well, work.
My game was a little suspect to begin with, but that was because I was not getting the support of my teammates. On four of the first six holes I had what I like to call the workingman's friend. That is when your putt from long range ends up inches from the hole and is conceded. My playing partners would then hit the ball back to me where I would have to BEND OVER TO PICK IT UP!
On the sixth green I suggested that if they wanted to pick the ball up for me and hand it to me, it would be greatly appreciated. One guy said, "I never thought of that." Apparently his brain wasn't working.
Despite my discomfort, I shot a very workmanlike 77 that included a couple of birdies. All my hard work had paid off. Now, I don't want to belabor the point, but again, can you think of anyone who works harder than a golfer? I think it proves my point as to the origin of Labor Day. Wait a minute. My wife is trying to tell me something. What's that honey? Really, are you serious?
My wife just told me about an expectant mother who went through 30-some hours of labor to give birth. Perhaps a little rethink is in order here. Let's see if we can compare the degree of difficulty working on improving one's golf game, versus laboring to bring a new life into this world. Hmmmm.
Say, have I told you why we have Labor Day
Al Stephenson is the golf columnist for The Advertiser-Tribune.
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