Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?

I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chuck Boycotts Shopping On Labor Day

Labor Day Parade in Union Square, N.Y. in 1882

This year we are home for Labor Day, and the irony of how we celebrate Labor Day in the United States is not lost on Chuck. 

Most Americans know Labor Day as a day of relaxation.  We envision a barbecue in the backyard or a ballgame on the television set.  Or, perhaps, we drag the kids to a parade if we’re lucky enough to live close to a main street in a small town that still believes in tradition.

For me, it was worth mentioning to Chuck, the rascal cat, that Labor Day in the United States is a holiday that dates back to 1887 although how it became a holiday is in dispute.  Some say it was first proposed in 1882 by Matthew Maguire, a machinist who was serving as Secretary for the Central Labor Union of New York.  Others say it was proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Laborers in May 1882 after he’d seen the labour festival in Toronto, Canada.  

However, it happened, Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in 1887, but Labor Day didn’t become a federal holiday until 1894, after the deaths of several workers at the hands of US Military and US Marshalls during the Pullman Strike. Within days after the deaths, Congress rushed and passed the bill to make Labor Day a federal holiday.

How to celebrate Labor Day was even outlined:

1-  A street parade was suggested so that the “strength and spirit de corps of  the trade and labor organization could be displayed to the public
2- A festival for the workers and their families would follow
3- Speeches were added later
4- Much later a resolution by the AFL was added in 1909 declaring that the Sunday preceding Labor Day--called “Labor Sunday” was to be dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the Selector movement.  

How much has changed! Today Labor Day has become a day to shop.  In fact, retailers claim it’s the largest sales date of the year, second only to Christmas Eve.  

And this is where the irony comes in -- a day that was originally dedicated to the workers of America has become a day where even more people have to work.  Let me explain.  Most Americans work in the retail industry -- 24% of all jobs in this country are in the retail market.  On Labor Day, not only will more workers work, but they will have to work longer hours to keep up with the demand of people who come out to shop.  And, of course, only 3% are part of a labor union.  

So Chuck has decided to take a stand.  


On Labor Day, Chuck, instead, will:

Go to a barbecue and be with his family.

Watch an old black and white movie on television.

Go to the park and watch the birds.

Hang out with his sister Ella and eat snacks.  

He will honor the American worker and spend the day the way it was originally intended!  


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