Monday, September 03, 2018

All Summer Long

Kicked off an early morning with reading the Labor Day entries from the Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology book. The big one was a biography on Samuel Gumpters, the spearhead of the union movement in the US for many years. There were also a couple of poems on workers and working, including I Heard America Singing by Walt Whitman.

Did excerpts from two American Girl books that involved labor and working. Samantha Learns a Lesson has Sam working on a speech about the wonders of factories to her private girl's academy. It works fine with the rich girls, but her best friend Nellie knows what it's really like to work in a factory. Her harrowing descriptions of child labor changes Sam's mind about real "progress." Changes for Rebecca lands Becky and her cousin Ana in the middle of a strike that Ana's father and brother are involved in. Becky gets hurt and loses the speech she'd written...but she doesn't lose her resolve to become a great speaker and actress.

After I finished my journal, I moved on to breakfast and a couple of Three Stooges shorts that revolved around their many careers. They hope it's "False Alarms" when they're firefighters whose boss says they have to stop going out every night. Curly's still interested in some fun, especially after he meets a trio of girls who want dates...and accidentally trips an alarm that sends them scrambling for the "fire!" "Slippery Silks" has them as furniture repairmen who inherit a dress shop. Their idea of fashion is even scarier than their repair skills.

Switched to Shemp as I vacuumed the apartment and washed the windows. "Sing a Song of Six Pants" has them as tailors who discover that they're repairing a gangster's pants. They try to detain him so they can collect the reward for him. They're "All Gummed Up" when their de-aging potion turns their landlord's elderly wife into a beauty...but works too well on their landlord!

Went straight to work as soon as "Gummed Up" ended. Work was crazy all day. Today is the last major holiday of the summer, it's the beginning of the month, and a lot of people were shopping for food for their kids' back-to-school bag lunches and Labor Day barbecues. I did manage to get the last of a cart of candy shelved, but that was pretty much the only thing I got done all day. I spent most of the rest of a hot, hazy afternoon returning carts. Even with help, I still couldn't keep the carts full! I had even more problems keeping the baskets full. Ended up in the register for about a half-hour too, when it got really crazy.

Went straight home after that and into the shower. It was so hot, and I was so sweaty, I really couldn't put it off. After I got out, I worked on some writing. Leia is being forced into dancing in the chorus, much to the shock of Clarence. Artie's there as well, serving drinks. He says Luke has everything well under control, but neither Clarence nor Leia are convinced.

Broke at 7 for dinner. Threw together one of the tomatoes from Charlie's garden, the last of the black bean dip, eggs, and mushrooms for Southwestern Scrambled Eggs. Did two more Shemp Stooges shorts while I ate. Oddly, they're not really "Vagabond Loafers," despite the title. They're actually plumbers who are hired to fix the pipes at a huge mansion. Their watery antics nearly destroy the house, but it also stops a pair of burglars from making off with a priceless painting. "Hugs and Mugs" brings in three attractive female jewel thieves who are searching for a pearl necklace, which just happens to be owned by the Stooges...but a gangster is after it, too.

Finished the night with American Graffiti as I went online. It's the last night of summer for four young men in a small California town. Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), who isn't sure he wants to go away to college, spends the night chasing a beautiful blond in a white Thunderbird (Suzanne Sommers). Steve (Ron Howard), once the high school prom king, does want to go to college, but he also doesn't want to leave his steady girl Laurie (Cindy Williams) behind. Their geek buddy Terry (Charles Martin Smith) manages to charm a statuesque blond (Candy Clark), but loses the car he got her in. Long-time greaser John (Paul Le Mat) spends most of the night dealing with chatty 16-year-old Carol (Mackenzie Phillips) after she's dumped on him by her sister. They all end up at the local drag race road at the end of the night after John's challenged to a race by cocky newcomer Bob Alfalfa (Harrison Ford).

The Star Wars films aren't the only George Lucas movies I'm a big fan of. I love this plotless but atmospheric look at the "cruisin'" culture of the 50's and early 60's. It was one of the biggest hits of 1973, kick-started the nostalgia boom of the mid-70's, and made stars out of most of its cast (or adult stars, in Howard's case). If you're a fan of other largely plotless comedies with great classic rock soundtracks set in the late 20th century like Dazed and Confused or Pirate Radio, you'll want to check this one out, too.

And...I hope all of you had a safe and happy Labor Day (and did a little less laboring than me)!

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