Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

We Love a Parade! Labor Day: Marchers Make Big Splash, but Pools - Only a Ripple

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

We Love a Parade! Labor Day: Marchers Make Big Splash, but Pools - Only a Ripple

Article excerpt

St. Louisans waved goodbye Monday to summer by making final trips to swimming pools, putting away camping equipment and taking part in Labor Day parades.

"Rest in peace until next year," said Marge Alferman, a swimming pool cashier who joked that the quickly fading season deserved a memorial service.

Thousands stood on sidewalks or sat on curbs downtown for the 16th annual Labor Day parade put on by the St. Louis Labor Council. Because it is celebrating its 50th anniversary, Gasworkers Local 5-194 got the lead spot in this year's parade.

Bob Zell, the local's secretary-treasurer, was happy to report that the area's construction industry is providing work for all 312 of the local's members. "We have nobody laid off right now," he said.

Zell said the annual parade was an important way to display organized labor's strength. Local 5-194 members wore green T-shirts that noted their participation in the event. "It's becoming chic to be with your fellow union members," Zell said.

The two-hour-long parade consisted of floats, flatbed trucks, construction equipment, antique cars and marching groups from 62 union locals and retiree associations. Robert J. Kelley, labor council president, said about 3,000 people took parttv.

Police reported big crowds at other area Labor Day parades. An estimated 10,000 people watched the parade in Granite City. Other parades were held in Alton and Belleville.

Alferman is a cashier at the Kirkwood municipal pool, which closed Monday for the season. Like other pools across the area, attendance the final day at the Kirkwood pool - which is in Sunset Hills - was sparse because of cloudy skies and the unusually cool temperature.

Among the hearty few swimmers were Maggy Elbring of Kirkwood and her daughter, Claire, 4.

Elbring said the pool closing caused an abrupt change in her family's routine. "I'm used to coming to the pool and spending the whole day," she said. …

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