Burt Prelutsky

From everything I've heard and read, Cesar Chavez was a wonderful man. I'm not just saying that, either. I just want to make it clear that I have nothing against him, personally. But, another state holiday, for crying out loud! I don't even want to get into the cost in tax dollars for these paid- vacations. But, surely enough is enough, already.

We are told that Senor Chavez is the first Latino so honored here in California. He may be the first, but I can assure you, with the fast-growing number of Hispanics in the state, he won't be the last. After all, it doesn't cost the legislators anything to cast these gutless votes, and if it makes a large bloc of the electorate happy, they can but hope that the gratitude carries over to the next election. Today, Cesar Chavez; tomorrow, Ricardo Montalban.

It doesn't even make sense that the occasion of Cesar Chavez's birthday be the reason a multitude of state employees get the day off. Possibly I could see where an argument could be made for the farm workers to throw a party, but the clerks at the DMV?!

Besides, the whole point behind Chavez's crusade was that honest work should be rewarded with decent wages. So, in honor of the work ethic, everybody gets to knock off and go to the beach?

But, then, I always thought it odd that the greatest honor that could be bestowed on the American labor movement was that, for an entire day, nobody in the country would perform any labor, except maybe barbecue a few burgers.

Knowing people as I do, I am willing to bet that some of you are dismissing my remarks as those of a curmudgeon and a crank. Some of you, I'd wager, are writing off my argument as a case of, pardon the expression, sour grapes. You're positive I'd be whistling a whole different tune if the California State Legislature had voted to make January 5th Burt Prelutsky Day.

Okay, I won't deny it. But, it's certainly not for the petty reasons you assume. It just seems logical that if several hundred thousand people are going to get the day off, it shouldn't be in honor of hard work, but in tribute to sloth.