Musings From the Bench 9/1 Edition

musings from the bench-2Labor Day was first created to honor the men and women of the American workforce but it has evolved into so much more.

It doesn’t matter that the first day of Autumn is September 23rd, when Labor Day comes around and most kids are back in school, either just before Labor Day or just after, summer is over. No more summer vacation, no more trips to the beach to laze the day away. Nope, it’s back to school and the grindstone.

If you’re lucky it won’t take much time to get back into the school day routine. “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a student healthy and wise” or something like that. Parents are cautioned to get their young ones into the bedtime routine at back_to_school_948975-resized-600.jpgleast a week before the start of the school year to make a smooth transition from summer vacation to back-to-school. But if your student (s) are teenagers going to high school, pediatricians say kids this age need more sleep than the young ones and are recommending a later start time for the school day. They say starting the day at 8:30am would be much better. Yeah, well, that may be so, but name me one teen that would actually get to bed early so they could get the 9 recommended hours of sleep even with a later start time. Heck, even people with full time jobs don’t go to bed early on work nights. Why do you think coffee is such an important part of the workday morning, morning break and afternoon break.

Back in the Dark Ages when I was a high school student, I had a portable radio (transistor type) and a black and white TV in my room. Many’s the night I was supposed to be sleeping but I’d be watching the Carson Show or listening to the radio and reading instead. Morning would come around and I gotta tell ya, there were times I knew I made it to the bus because I’d be at school….I just couldn’t remember getting on the bus or anything that happened prior to the bus. So I have to wonder with today’s teens and all the devices, internet, texting, Facebooking, and things I can’t even imagine that are keeping them awake, will a later start time just mean a later sleep time? Probably, but it’s not my problem anymore.

Labor Day also means the last cook-out of the season, at least it did back in the DA when I was a kid. The last family get-together, hot dogs and hamburgers (made by Uncle Frank), watermelon and iced tea or lemonade Baseball pick-up games in the vacant field where my parents subsequently built our house in ’69. Good memories.

jerry lewis telethonLabor Day also meant the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. As he’s aged others have replaced him and the telethon isn’t 20 hours of entertainment, information and tympanies to announce new numbers on the tote board. Last year it was something like 4 hours and disappointing. This may be the year it disappears. I heard rumors that the upper echelon, the CEOs and COOs were taking more and more money for themselves leaving the kids and their parents to fend for themselves. I hope not. That charity did so much to try to make life normal for sufferers of this disease and I hope it still can. Money donated stayed in the community it was donated in, not just in America but all over the world. To think it now goes into the pockets of greedy bastards is sickening in itself.

Another thing Labor Day means is no more wearing white. In the movie “Serial Mom” Beverly (Kathleen Turner) spies a female juror (Patty Hearst) on the courthouse payphone while wearing white shoes after Labor Day and yells, “No wearing white after Labor Day” and fatally hits her in the head with the receiver. I don’t know if it’s now okay to wear white after Labor Day, but I’m not taking any chances.

So, I hope you’ve taken care of everything on your summer vacation bucket list, it’s time to get back to brass tacks. (Google it)


Thanks for reading Musings From the Bench. Until next time.   

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About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.


  1. If the SOBs are taking money that should be going to kids and their families that are affected by MD, then I hope they rot in hell… but until that time comes for them… wish I knew their names because I would publish them everywhere that I could… @ WTF/7Poundbag, Facebook… you name it.

    I saw a lot of wonderful acts, sometime strange and weird stuff and just pure heart rending yet wonderful heartwarming stuff on the telethon…even saw ( I think it was brought about by the chairman of the board himself… Frank Sinatra) have Jerry and Dean Martin reconcile their feud… live on the telethon stage..

    And it was always an added (yeah I know I have a twisted side) thing to watch Jerry melt down, as the telethon approached its end, due to a lack of sleep… he would sometime slip with some really raunchy stuff. 😉

  2. And that white thing… clothing wise that is… after Labor Day? Fergeddaboudit according to some fashion maven’s opinion I read about in the NYDN last week

  3. The first time I saw one of Jerry’s telethons I was in my late teens early 20s I think. Back then the theater was small, some acts were lame and a fireman’s boot was passed through the audience. At one point Jerry announced to the audience if they couldn’t put any more money in the boot they had to leave so people waiting to get in could have their seat. I think those were the days when they brought in maybe 2 or 3 million dollars. This year as with last year, there was no advertising for the Telethon on the two channels in my area that aired it, nothing in the paper about it. It was just by chance that I was watching Entertainment Tonight and one of the hosts was saying she loves doing the MDA Telethon over Labor Day so I checked the TV schedule. 4 HOURS ON AUGUST 31, FROM 9PM TO 11PM. Unbelievable. I hope they still have their corporate sponsors.

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