Labor of Love

Posted: September 5, 2016 in Uncategorized


When I was growing up Labor Day meant one thing…the MDA telethon. It was a September Childhood constant. It was a tuxedo clad tradition. To my 9 year old self, Jerry Lewis was the funniest man to ever live.
The telethon was like a big glitzy Lock-in coming from the truly magical town of Las Vegas. They had stars, BIG stars like Charo. It was wonderful and wacky.
They would break away to the local channel where hometown celebrities would make heartfelt pleas. Miss Green Country would smile while performing with a baton. It was riveting television.
It wasn’t a school night, so We stayed up and tried to watch all 21 hours and 30 minutes. We were fueled by Cheetos and Dad’s root beer.

Jerry Lewis and Ed McMahon were the chain smoking Batman and Robin of Labor Day.
I also loved the ultimate hip cat, Sammy Davis Jr, maybe because he was a short guy with one good eye, so was I! He would snap his fingers and sing in slack jawed greatness, “Who can take a sunrise, Sprinkle it with dew…the candy man can!”
And I sang along at the top of my lungs.

I would badger my Mom until she let me call in and donate 5 dollars of her money. Then I would impatiently wait to hear the local weather girl announce my name and generosity on live TV.
They would show the tally with a big drumroll and much fanfare. It would be a huge amount and I would feel better about myself because my 5 bucks (or technically Mom’s 5 bucks) was a part of that huge amount.

It would all come to an end with a sleep deprived Jerry Lewis loosening his bow tie staring into the camera and singing “You’ll never walk alone”.
I really miss the Labor Day telethon.
Besides, it being a great excuse to stay up all night. They helped people, they did what they could to fight an ugly disease.
And we all got to sing along.
It was a labor of love.

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