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Labor Day memories to cherish

By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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It’s that time of year when summer transitions into the beginnings of fall, signaled by the arrival of Labor Day.

As a kid growing up, Labor Day started off with great fun, but when it ended, it meant one thing – school began the next day. This was long before summer vacation became shorter for students of today’s day and age.

Growing up just a few miles east of Folsom in Diamond Springs, my family and friends celebrated this day year after year with a little event that was known as the annual Labor Day Bazaar. The Bazaar was a street fair that took place on a half-mile stretch off Highway 49 through Diamond Springs.

As I have mentioned before, my late father loved this now defunct event and each year when this holiday rolls around we tend to think of him a little more than usual. This year, however, many of us that grew up attending that special event will be remembering our dear friend Jimmy Baasch.

Back in May, I wrote a column about Jimmy and how social media had brought so many of us together to reunite with this childhood friend as he battled terminal cancer. We came from all areas of Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Placerville, Sacramento and even as far as Idaho to have a special picnic for Jimmy, who traveled here from Missouri for one final gathering at the place he called home.

Not long after we all had one final “party with Jimmy,” he passed away. This year, that group of childhood friends that loved this good old country boy for his friendship and generosity will surely be remembering Labor Day with him.

When it came to the Labor Day gala in our little town, this was always an even bigger deal for Jimmy and his family than us. They lived right in the heart of town, just off Main Street, which was the hub of activity. They were known and loved by many in the town, all of which gathered right in their front yard on this special day.  

Although we saw each other regularly, this big day in a small town was different. Kids like Jimmy and ourselves were proud of our little town. We took pride in that hometown parade each year, and we would stick around until the last vendor packed up and left for the day and darkness fell.

For us, this holiday extravaganza was all about being cool. That’s right; if you rode your bike to the Bazaar you were simply awesome in those days. The event culminated with a parade and it was pretty important to make sure you rode along with it, not in it, just alongside it because that was the cool thing to do on your BMX Mongoose, or in our case, a Huffy.

Looking back, Labor Day truly provides me with great memories of times with great friends, neighbors and family. Make sure you enjoy this weekend ahead with your family and make great memories like this. It is truly worth it, as one day those events and those we love will be gone. So unplug, get out of house, and celebrate the change of the season with others this weekend.

Bill Sullivan is associate publisher of Gold Country Media. He can be reached at bills@goldcountrymedia.com.