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Abilene News

August 30 – Here we are with Labor Day Weekend upon us. For most of us, Labor Day means the “official” end of summer. The kids are back in school, our gardens are winding down and it is time to turn our thoughts to other things. After all, Christmas is just around the corner! Many of the stores already have out their fall – Halloween and Thanksgiving -displays. And I even saw Wal-Mart starting to put out “Toyland.”

Yesterday, I was chatting with two friends – one my age and the other in her 20s. We remembered that in “the good days” you never wore white after Labor Day. Especially shoes! On the opposite end of that, however, it didn't matter how cold it was in the spring, Easter signaled the beginning of the “okay to wear white” season. The 20-something just looked at us and shook her head.

The first Labor Day Parade was held on September 5, 1882, in New York City. It was held to call attention to problems brought on by the Industrial Revolution. Factory owners demanded 14-hour workdays, sweatshops where exhausted immigrants worked for pennies an hour, and dirty mills where children tended grinding, clanking machines.

Samuel Gompers, a Jewish immigrant from England, was the first president of the American Federation of Labor. He insisted that laborers should be more than “mere producing machines.” He simply wanted a better life for the American worker. As he saw it, that was the whole point of America.

In 1904, Samuel Gompers said, “The fact of the matter is that we live in the United States of America, the richest country on the face of the globe, and the millions of honest toilers of America are willing to work to produce the great wealth and place it at the feet of the people of our country, but in return the toiling masses, the great producers of wealth, insist that there should be a better life and better home and better surroundings for the great producers of wealth.”

It wasn't always easy, there were struggles, but the forces of collective bargaining, capitalism, and democratic government managed to make better lives for millions. For decades, American workers have enjoyed one of the world's highest standards of living.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and stay safe!

Friends And Neighbors

On Aug. 23, I attended the first meeting of the Farmville Advisory Council for the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Homes. As we move forward with an increasing involvement in the Farmville-Prince Edward Community we look forward to meeting and working with you.

Looking ahead at the calendar, the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Homes community will hold their 1st Fall Bizarre on Saturday, Sep. 29, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on the Brookneal campus. All are invited to attend.

Additionally, we are starting to formulate plans for involvement in the Farmville Christmas parade on Sunday, Dec. 2. There are lots of opportunities for volunteer involvement.

If you have any questions, you can stop by the Hope for Tomorrow Counseling Center at 217 West Third Street (old Community Library building), Farmville, or give me a call at 223-2271.

The Cardinal Quilt Guild of Prince Edward County will hold their first meeting of the new year on Tuesday, Sep. 4, at 10 a.m. at the Douglas Presbyterian Church. Visitors are always welcome and, of course, we are always looking for new members. You do not have to be a master quilter to enjoy the group.

The first meeting of the new Club Year for the Woman's Club of Farmville will be held on Wednesday, Sep. 5, at 2 p.m. at the Prince Edward Rescue Squad Building. Visitors and new members are always welcome.

Happy Birthday wishes go out to Maggie Adams who will celebrate on Sept. 4; Janice Harris Sept. 5; Faye Nelson Sept. 6; Patrick Wade Sept. 7; and Emily Bowman Sept. 8.

We are happy to hear that Bernie Kemp, of Darlington Heights, is progressing in his recovery following an accident in July.

Sympathy is extended to the family of James “Jim” F. MacKenzie who passed away on Aug. 28.

If you have any news or announcements that you would like to share, please contact me at 223-2271 or e-mail me at kz5ro@kinex.net.