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Labor Day, 'getting away from it all'

By Melissa Crowe
Sept. 3, 2012 at 4:03 a.m.
Updated Sept. 4, 2012 at 4:04 a.m.

Three siblings - Sterlin, 5, left, Cayden, 10, center, and Brent Graham, 4, play at  Magnolia Beach. They came from La Ward to spend the day at the beach with their mother for Labor Day.

FAST FACTS ABOUT LABOR DAY

Created by the labor movement as a national tribute to workers' contributions to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the U.S.

Dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers First Labor Day holiday celebrated Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City Congress passed an act in June 28, 1894, declaring the first Monday in September as Labor Day and a legal holiday in all states, territories and the District of Columbia.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

MAGNOLIA BEACH - Escaping the intense heat that baked South Texas on Labor Day weekend, Crossroads residents headed to Magnolia Beach to cool off Monday.

Heather Graham, 26, of La Ward, and her three children were out on the water by 10:30 a.m., before much of the holiday crowd arrived.

"I thought it would be packed when we got here," Graham said.

Their plan was to hang out near the shore all day, blare her truck's radio and relax in the sun.

"It's peaceful, you can bring your dog and do whatever you like," she said.

The only thing missing from the family outing was her husband, Chris, who worked through the holiday from the oil fields at his job with Arrow Drilling Co.

"I Facebooked him that we were at the beach," Graham said. He was jealous.

As her daughter, Cayden, 10, and the boys, Sterlin, 5, and Brent, 4, splashed near the beach, Graham and her dog, Bailey, kept a close eye.

"They love it," she said. "They're beach bums."

Although school has been in session for several days, Labor Day marks the end of summer.

Just up the beach, Chris Barefield, 35, of Port Lavaca, along with his girlfriend and several others were debating over breakfast cheeseburgers whether to get in the water or head back home.

They camped Sunday night on the beach, and after hours of bonfires and barbecue, woke up at 5:30 a.m.

"During the summer holidays, we usually come to the beach," Barefield said. "Last night it was packed."

He said his group barely squeezed onto their site, but by morning, most of the night's campers were gone.

"Holidays on the beach are off the chain," Barefield said. "You can get away from the people you don't want to be around."

Others at the beach Monday were happy to get away from work, school and house chores.

Johnny Garcia, 64, and his son Javier, 41, and grandson Chris, 11, looked forward to a day full of fishing for redfish, drumfish and, jokingly, women.

The three camped in a pop tent Sunday night on the beach.

"It's about rest and relaxation - getting away from it all," Johnny said.

Javier agreed.

"We're not cutting the yard, or cleaning the house," he said. "We took the day off."

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