Homework

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I’m not talking about the kid stuff.

I mean Home and Work, the two great, traditional foundations of a good life. Everybody needs both.

The work part, however, has a shorter lifespan. Work starts the “grownup” stage of life and usually ends at the “retirement” stage. It can be a good time. It puts meat ‘n taters on the table, buys the necessities and the toys, and makes everybody part of building some part of the world we live in.

Work is good. According to Shawna Seed, writing for ESPN, “Vince Lombardi is considered by many to be the greatest coach in football history… recognized as one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of all American sports.” And Vince said, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

Then there’s Home. Everybody ought to have one. It might be a castle or a humble one – one you built, bought, borrowed, or rented. But it’s home, for sure. And it’s supposed to last longer than the work.

Home is where we grow up, and if everything goes right, it’s where we grow old, too.

So, Home and Work are this week’s themes in your Jamestown Gazette. It’s appropriate that our Labor Day issue – about America’s celebration of American Workers – teams up with Joni Blackman’s cover story about “Keeping people in their homes safely…for as long as they choose.”

Fortunately, according to the United States National Institutes of Health, within this decade only 4.5 percent (about 1.5 million) of older American adults live in nursing homes and 2 percent (1 million) in assisted living facilities. The majority of older adults (93.5percent, or 33.4 million) live in the community, which means they live at home.

It’s called “Aging in place.” One of Chautauqua County’s more rural communities, scenic Findley Lake, is now leading the way in enabling seniors to remain at home as long as they can. Their project is now serving as a model for other communities.

In other words, age need not rob people of the home they earned by a lifetime of work. One of the keys, though, is funding. Read what Joni reports about a forward-looking use of public financial support for wellness and security. After all, all those years of hard work paid a lot of taxes, too. Some of it is now coming home, where it belongs as much as the hard-working Americans who paid it in.

Thomas Edward Perez, an attorney the United States Secretary of Labor recently spoke about Labor Day. “Each year, Labor Day gives us an opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions that working men and women make to our nation, our economy and our collective prosperity. It gives us a chance to show gratitude for workers’ grit, dedication, ingenuity and strength, which define our nation’s character.”

So, this year, please join the Jamestown Gazette in celebrating the day you and I worked for all year.

Next Monday is Labor Day.

It’s not only your home your labor has built, but “The Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free.”

Enjoy the day, and with your own Jamestown Gazette in your hand today, please enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.