Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ghosts of Thanksgivings past

Summoned from the depths of memory.

Me, I remember when I was in High School.  I was on the winter track team, and was thin as a rail despite going back for fourths.

I remember when we lived in England, and took the day off.  Everyone at the office knew what this was about, but only intellectually.  They had never really been to one of these celebrations.  I thought that was quite a loss - it would go quite a long way to counter the myth of the "Ugly American"* if they really thought on how this day is all about gratitude from sea to shining sea.

I remember Thanksgiving dinner with the family of #1 Son's best friend.  They were from China, but lived next door.  The idea of going around the table saying what they were thankful for was new to them, but was a wonderful experience.

Me, I'm grateful that my view today isn't this:

I hope that this day gives you something to be thankful for.  Gratitude is good for the soul after all, and the Feast is not just to nourish the body.

* My experience is that Americans are much nicer tourists than anyone from Europe, and that the "Ugly American" trope hasn't been true for 30 years, if it ever was.

Postscript to reader Renee: Your email made my day, and is something else that I am thankful for.  Thank you for sending it.


Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

John said...

1978, I had the duty on Thanksgiving on the Willy R, USS William R. Rush DD-714. The Willy R was a Reserve can based in Fort Schuyler, Bronx, New York and we were inport. As a reserve can we started with only about two thirds manning, and most everybody was gone for the holiday weekend.

The onboard crew for Thanksgiving dinner could not have been more than fifty sailors and the cooks went all out. If you wanted to try everything on the serving line you needed to get two trays. Memorable, and one of the best meals I ever had in the military.
(I did not even know you could get mixed nuts in a gazillion pound can.)

A longer Willy R story is about coming in to the pier without tugs, and why the Chief Engineer teleported to the forward engine room to say, "Drag the boilers off the line if you have too, but go astern as fast as you can."

John in Philly