WEEK #8 FEBRURARY 19th, 2024

Dear Customers,

Today is President’s Day!  It originally was celebrated to honor Abraham Lincoln whose birthday was last week on February 12th and George Washington, born on the 22nd of this month.  So why does it not fall on either of those dates?  Why, the answer is simple – so the Federal Government could avail themselves of another 3-day weekend!  We can’t really criticize them too much; they won’t get another until Memorial Day and the winter is long and cold!  In effect, this was their last chance to snag a paid holiday for over 3 months – even though there are 8 of the little rascals sprinkled throughout the year!

Somewhere along the line, the third Monday of February became an opportunity to honor any American president although, their respective birthdays are not noted by date.  Not to miss out on such a golden opportunity, every retailer in the country will be touting a “HUGE PRESIDENT’S DAY SALE!  I’m sure Abe & George would be thrilled to have their birthdays associated with discounted mattresses!

My earliest memories of this holiday involved red construction paper, scissors and the ever-present wheat paste.  Grade school art teachers would engage us busily in cutting out silhouettes of Lincoln’s and Washington’s profiles to affix them to 9” white paper plates.  That was about the extent of the honors afforded these two great men, at least at Smethport Elementary!

You’ll no doubt see plenty of dessert recipes featuring cherries on the internet (Costa’s Supermarket’s web site among them) and in printed media this week as well.  That stems from the legend of George Washington cutting down his father’s cherry tree at age six.  In truth, the story was invented by one of Washington’s first biographers who sought merely to enhance the great man’s legend in order to sell more books.  In fact, the cherry tree myth didn’t even appear until the book’s fifth edition written in 1806.

The author can be forgiven, I suppose, for he merely hoped to highlight Washington’s public greatness by enhancing his private virtues; two attributes rarely associated with the men holding office these days! Unfortunately, it’s no longer a prerequisite for running for public office.