Monday, September 05, 2016

Happy labor day...

I spent the whole day yesterday scanning slides and photos from my files so that they can be more easily accessed and used for various things, including my 40th year of woodworking celebration coming in November.

For Labor day, the editor of the Democrat-Gazette wrote about his father, a shoe repairman, who took great pride in his work. He noted that in the struggles between labor and capital, labor came first, for without it, capital was not. And yet, we have a society that so wrongly celebrates and exalts capitalism each day and reserves but one day in which labor is held high. It celebrates mainly by taking the day off from it. Even capitalists are given the day off, which seems a bit unfair on a day that is intended to celebrate labor.

But of course, the struggles between labor and capital for dominance of our culture and economy are symptoms of the estrangement between the brains and hands. We suffer from the idea that they can be successfully separated without damage to human culture, and without damage to the individual, the community and the nation.

On my own labor day, I'll apply Danish oil finish to tiny bent wood boxes, and my triptych boxes that will hold collections of wood. The photo above is of my Dad, two of my sisters and me. My dad had gotten shipping crates from the Memphis General Depot where he was a Major, and used them to build a play house in our back yard. We were given hammers nails the and the opportunity to do real work. I was the bare chested boy in the middle.

Make, fix, create and extend to others the chance of learning likewise.


  1. Doug,

    Well said. Brings to mind these words: "Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." -- Abraham Lincoln, First Annual Message

  2. Thanks, Tim. Lovely quote from a great president.