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ISSUES

Summer's End or a New Beginning?

September 06, 1998|KARIMA A. HAYNES

For more than a century, Americans have honored the nation's workers with rallies, parades, recreational outings or backyard barbecues on Labor Day.

The annual celebration has also come to symbolize the end of summer, as families return from vacations, students head back to classrooms and workers become more focused on their jobs.

KARIMA A. HAYNES asked three San Fernando Valley residents whether Labor Day signals the summer's end in the Valley where summer-like conditions often linger through autumn.

JOANNE HAINES / Former bank officer, Granada Hills

I come from Minnesota, and I feel like after Labor Day I can't wear my white shoes any more and I have to go to my beiges or darker colors.

It does kind of signal in my mind that school is going to start, the weather is going to turn cooler and that it's time to get back to business.

This year, Labor Day will really represent a [transition] because we are moving to a climate where it will be cooler. Grass Valley is a place with evergreens and fall foliage like there was in Minnesota.

My husband recently retired, and he feels like he is starting a whole new life. Our house will be new, our community will be new and we will be making new friends. He may want to try something he has never done before, now that he doesn't have to make money at something every day.

I'll be looking for a new job.

I think it is going to be fun for him to make the changes, even though there is going to be a lot of anxiety.

Even though he was 2 years old when he moved here, he is a Southern California guy, a city guy. It will be interesting to see how he makes the transition to a rural area.

DENISE WOODE / Office manager, Chatsworth

Labor Day doesn't signal the end of summer because the weather is still warm long after the holiday.

We are going camping near Santa Barbara for four days next week. We still have barbecues. We still go to Hurricane Harbor all the way up until October.

Southern California offers warm weather all year long and a variety of things to do--we go camping, to the beach, to the snow, Hollywood. It's a universal city where you can do everything, and we take advantage of everything.

My son is getting ready to start kindergarten after Labor Day, and he keeps asking me, "Is summer over?" I tell him: "No, it's still summer. It's still hot. You can still wear your shorts."

I work for a company that builds [engine components] for racing cars. It is slow now because all of the racers have their cars at the track. Racing season ends in November, and that's when things will pick up. The racers will be buying new parts for their cars that they are rebuilding or building new.

So, for me, summer lasts until November.

GLENN KIRBY / Senior pastor, West Valley Christian Church, West Hills

Even in my work as a pastor, there is a different workload in the summer than during the months when school is in session.

Historically, the Sunday before Labor Day has been one of the largest attendance days for our church. People tend to stay in town because they don't want to be out on the roads during the holiday weekend. That is a signal to me that people are coming back. For me, that means the work cycle is beginning to heat up. Labor Day is definitely a dividing line between summer and fall.

In the summer, the church goes on family camping trips and we have barbecues; it is a lot more informal and easier to talk to people about their spiritual needs. In the fall, it is a lot more intense because people are getting back in the saddle in all parts of their lives. In winter, there is a lot of sickness and depression, and people are less available. It's a slower time for interaction with people. Springtime is the greatest time of growth for our church. For some reason, it seems to be an "up" time for everyone; people are alert and active.

In our church, we don't schedule meetings on Labor Day weekend because it is important for people to have family time.

We spend so much time helping others that we need to take some time too when our own families are our priority.

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