Monday, September 17, 2012

Parkview 82’ Reunion – What a fabulous time!

I went to my class reunion this past weekend after 30 years, in part to see old friends who live too far away, now days. When I was in high school, I had that generic 80′s look of “bowl cut #1” and I wore downright plain clothing. Now, some of my friends were gorgeous looking girls and handsome young men (not sure if I can say that as a dude, but WTH). More than anything Kim and I wanted to reconnect with friends.

 "Living the Dream!"

Above is a picture of some of my best friends from high school with me. Some of us knew each other all the way back from Elementary School.

It was interesting to see what our class of 80′s teenagers had become. At that reunion I looked around and thought, “Who the heck is that?” Sometimes I looked at a name tag and went, “Dang it, I just don’t remember that person, not out loud!” As one of my buddies told me, “We are now all officially old enough to have to use reading glasses to see a name tag.”

So after the weekend events I feel many of my classmates I could lump into a few categories: time stood still for them, some aged very well, some I could not recognize and some I said, what the heck happened to you!

So why would you not go to a class reunion if you lived within driving distance of the event? I understand medical emergencies, deaths and sickness but, you only have one 30 year reunion. Heck, we had a classmate come all the way from Oregon just to be there for the weekend. With our event we planned it 10 months ahead so people could make plans early and we kept the cost very low. Did you really hate high school that much not to attend? Not me and mine….

Going to this reunion is even more fun since the invention of FaceBook. Not only did we reconnect with people before the event, but it made it so much more comfortable around old friends. Some of us golfed together, while others hung out at the pool catching up from days of old. The evening just would not be the same without everyone sharing the dance floor to close out the evening. Not sure about all the activities after midnight because I was totally worn out. For those that stayed the night, breakfast was the icing on the cake for an incredible weekend!

I can’t believe it is over. What a Great weekend, Great times and some Great friends reunited. See everyone at the 40th!!! Go Panthers and Go Big Orange!


About the author: Tom Branch, Jr. is a full time Gov’t employee (that can’t say what, when & how he does his job) for the past 28 years and he is a part owner of Wave Away, LLC.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The History of Labor Day

Since today is the official end of summer I thought everyone should learn a little about Labor Day history. I am headed to Lake Hartwell with Kim & Jake to see my folks and enjoy the last day of summer....
Thanks for reading..... BRANCH

The History of Labor Day
Check out our Labor Day 2012 page, complete with videos, photo, resources, and more.
Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday proceeding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

All information gained from web site:

About the author: Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer, Co-Owner of Wave Away, LLC and a full time Gov't employee (they won't let me say what I do & where I work...).  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 16 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim, live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

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