Monday, September 5, 2011

A "Down" Labor Day

It's Labor Day.  In Johnson City, NY we celebrate it big, with Johnson City Field Days.  This is a very nice carnival at Northside Park - rides, games (run by local non profits), and live music.

It ends tonight with fireworks.  But this Labor Day - to be honest, it stinks.

Labor Day has always been very meaningful to Johnson City.  Johnson City was known at one time as the Home of the Square Deal thanks to George F. Johnson and the Johnson family of Endicott-Johnson shoes.  But that was then and this is now.  Many of those shoe factories have been torn down.  The ones left are ruins, inhabited by derilicts.  Downtown Johnson City, to be blunt, is depressed.  It may be slowly making its way back from ruin but it is not a place I would recommend to any out of town visitors.  I hope one day that will be different.

George F. Johnson would not have been happy.

Ironic that in 2009 I blogged about the possible dissolution of Johnson City.  The voters voted that November, and Johnson City remained in existence. But now, there is talk of dissolution again.

And, speaking of loss....

I have met so many people who have lost jobs in the last year, or are in danger of losing jobs.  Just one example:  I know the mother of someone whose husband is currently looking for work.  Her daughter is a housewife with three children, the fourth one on the way.  It's not a good situation, to put it mildly.

Others try to cobble together part time jobs while going back to school.  

They aren't the only ones.  There is a fear in the Village, as there is all over the country. What happens when you lose your job?  For so many of us it isn't only the loss of money, but the loss of health insurance. (COBRA?  How many people can afford that?)  That can so easily lead to the loss of health, and worse.

These are not happy times for many.

Enjoy those fireworks, Johnson City.  Once again, the future is uncertain.

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