If you grew up in the last five decades, especially if you grew up in the 80's and 90's like I did, you probably have some connection to the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon. You may even have donated, or were encouraged to pick up that land line phone and dial in.
The annual Labor Day weekend even raised money for Muscular Dystrophy Association. (MDA) The telethon began airing in the mid 60's, but aired for the last time in 2014. Lewis hosted the event for the last time in 2010. Lewis took on the cause after a plea from a staff member who worked with Lewis and Dean Martin on The Colgate Comedy Hour.
So many of us growing up, especially during the telethons heyday, used the even to mark a significant change. The commercials promoting the annual event began airing at about the same time the back to school ads made their mark. The telethon marked the end of summer for many, and the last full weekend of vacation before the start of school.
I don't really remember watching much of the show, but I do remember it being on TV, most of the weekend it aired. My mother liked it, I remember seeing pretty much ever celebrity, especially those from Television and those who performed in Vegas, the location the show was filmed for many years. I had no real connection with Lewis, never saw even one of his films that I remember, nor thought he was appealing. Just the opposite in face. I don't think the 12 year old me would ever think that in the future, I'd be doing a post spotlighting the event, especially one that nude images of Dean Martin and the telethon's host.
There are a lot of songs about working, Dolly's Nine To Five, Donna Summer's Hard For The Money and Bruce Springsteen's Working on the Highway to name just a few. The song that I couldn't get out of my head thought was Sixteen Tons, most famously sung I think by Tennessee Ernie Ford. When I was working on my summer camp piece last month, this song was one of many that has never left my memory.
I haven't always given Labor (Labour) day much thought. For the most part, it was the day I mourned the end of summer, and the day sandwiched between the past two months of fun, and the beginning of school. But the day, like the songs that celebrate labor have been become more meaningful the older I get. With upcoming elections dominating the news, minimum wage, jobs and the economy remain defining issues for those attempting to bring in voters.
One of the issues that helped create Labor day was the union fight for the triple 8. Nine to Five as Dolly Parton sang, Eight hours of work, eight hours of leisure and eight hours of sleep. Although many places in the world have embraced the 8's, America continues to struggle to recognize the importance of down time.
Success defined by hard work may be a great motto, but it assumes work is all that matters. It also ignores that happiness for many, is based on those hours when not at work. I for one have scheduled 8 hour days, yet often am forced to put in 10 and 12 hour days on a regular basis. I am one of the lucky ones however as I get to take those extra hours in money or time off. Most cannot.
Josh along with Ryan
Although I didn't plan on it, when starting to put together a new piece featuring Preston Woods new images of model Josh Cook, Labor Day seemed the perfect time. The Atlanta photographer's mission is seeking beautiful people to shoot and model Josh, and buddy Ryan D. I first featured Preston's work last February as he headed into the woods with Cody, (Artistry Through Naturalism) followed in April with his work with Alex. (Spring Awakening)
25 year old Preston is not a stranger to hard work, as a professional actor and dancer he knows making a living in the arts can be challenging and hard work is just the beginning of what's needed to achieve success. Preston is new to shooting, in fact the first piece I did featuring his work with Cody was one of his first shoots.
Preston's passion for photography is beginning to pay off and he recently was offered the opportunity to shoot for a fairly well known company with an internship in New York. Preston is ready to go, but is looking to purchase a better camera before he head North. For those with an extra five or ten dollars to spare, and for those who love images of the male form, check out Preston's GoFundMe page, to assist him in following his work passion and dream.
Although just his second professional shoot, Josh Cook is also a hard worker, juggling several jobs and several passions. Modeling is just one of the ways Josh is looking to move forward, he is also a wrestler and musician with his ultimate goal to be a professional singer. Like Cody, Josh is a friend of Preston's and in in addition to shooting, Preston also did all the styling of clothing and hair. With his incredible body, and that great head of hair, I think Preston's decision to stick to just the jeans and work boots was a good one!