Holiday used as day of rest by many residents

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Three-year-old Nathaniel DeHoog takes a turn on the slide Monday afternoon at Greene Acres Park. Nathaniel’s grandparents said they took him to the park for the afternoon so he could burn off some energy.

Sharna Johnson

For some area residents, Labor Day is a day to spend with the family and relax, while for others it’s just another work day.

Monday, with many businesses around Clovis shuttered for the day, some families made their way to the parks to relax and spend quality time.

Chris Tucker said he and his wife took their 3-year-old grandson, Nathaniel DeHoog, to Greene Acres Park in the afternoon so he could burn off some energy while they relaxed and did some reading.

Tucker, who works for the state, said the couple was watching Nathaniel for his mother, who had to work Monday.

The pair watched Nathaniel play from chairs at the edge of the playground, escaping the sun under a small tree.

“He’s got a lot of energy, so we don’t like to stay stuck at home,” Tucker said, explaining he and his wife were using the opportunity to read “some spiritual information on strengthening our relationship with God.”

Landscaper Wesley Phillips said it was a good opportunity to go fishing with his son and stepsons.

Sitting in chairs at the edge of the lake, Phillips helped the three boys bait their hooks.

“(I can) just sit and relax and be out with the boys,” he said. Phillips said he and his boys fish “whenever we get the chance.”

When they catch a fish, he said they take a minute to look at it, then throw it back in the water.

Labor Day was created — initially by the labor unions and later adopted by the U.S. government as a celebration of the American worker — in the early 1880s.

In 1894, Congress adopted a resolution marking the first Monday in September as Labor Day, making it a legal holiday.

Kathy McGregor and Anna Southard said they didn’t mind working Monday and likely would have worked at home, had they not been working at the Crafter’s Mall on Main Street.

The ladies said they had no plans or family obligations Monday so being at work was just something to do for the day.

McGregor said traffic at the store was sporadic, but adequate to justify opening up shop.

“We had somebody say thank you for being open,” she said, explaining they planned to close the store, which is usually open till 6 p.m., a little earlier than normal because of the holiday.

“I’m probably going to go mow,” McGregor said of what she would do with the early evening off.

“I’ve got all my mowing done,” Southard said, explaining it would just be a little extra time to get chores done. “I could wash the dishes and stuff like that.”