ashland.news
July 18, 2024

Their Christmas gift to us: Working

Craig Mesco was busy checking out a continuous line of shoppers at Shop’n Kart Christmas morning. Some people had just a few items, and others were doing last-minute gift shopping. Mesco has been a checker at Ashland grocery stores for almost seven years and said he didn’t mind working on holidays since his family was grown and away. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
December 25, 2023

While most have the holiday off, many show up to work for others’ safety, health and convenience

By Bob & Tracy Palermini, Ashland.news

Ashland streets were quiet Christmas morning. Most businesses were closed in observance of the holiday — but that wasn’t true of every establishment. Gas stations, hotels, senior living communities and police, firefighters and health care workers at Asante Ashland Community Hospital were among those on the job despite the holiday.

Police and fire department shifts were staffed at normal levels. Ashland’s Shop’n Kart, the only grocery store open in town, and a number of mini-marts helped shoppers with last minute needs. The Varsity Theatre opened late in the morning to offer big-screen entertainment.

According to USA Today, “a 2014 poll conducted by Allstate and the National Journal estimated that a quarter of the U.S. population was scheduled to work on at least one of Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day.” 

Bob Palermini is an Ashland.news board member and photographer. Email Ashland.news at news@ashland.news.

The usual team staffing of four Ashland Police officers were out patrolling the town on their 12-hour shift Monday. Officers (from left) Andy Gomez, Stephanie Aguilar and Sgt. J. R. Godley were finishing up a call while officer Bill Fisher left on a transport to the Jackson County Jail. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Craig McMillan was working a 12-hour shift checking in patients to the emergency room at Asante Ashland Community Hospital. McMillan, a 10-year Navy veteran, said he was happy to be part of a close-knit team at the hospital where he does a couple of jobs. His wife, who also worked at the hospital, was recently diagnosed with cancer so he was happy for the extra pay he was receiving for working on a holiday. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
The Varsity Theatre’s first movie showing on Christmas Day started at noon. Employees Tarika Hodgson, at left, and Lily Hall opened the theater. About nine employees were taking two to three hour shifts so that no one would need to work the entire day. They were anticipating that the newly released film “The Color Purple” would be the big draw of the day. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Alexander Warner, who has worked at Shop’n Kart for about one year, “re-faces” the egg display. He also restocks and prices items at the store. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Ashland’s Shop’n Kart was the only grocery store open in Ashland on Christmas Day. The store was very busy at 10 a.m., and they stayed open until 8 p.m. About 25 employees were at the store working according to manager Sophie Henderson. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Four Ashland firefighter/paramedics manned Ashland Fire & Rescue Station No. 2 on Christmas Day. Their 48-hour shift began at 8 a.m. that morning, and they were looking forward to sharing an afternoon meal with family members and fellow firefighters at the downtown station. The fire department schedule tries to spread holiday duty around, but many in this crew have worked a number of Christmas holidays in a row. Firefighters on duty were, from left, Chris Giraudo, who has been with the department for almost one year; Rod Lacoste, with the department for 24 years; Brandon Winwood, with the department for nine years; and Ashley Manning, with the department for 15 years. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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