32 thoughts on “Thanksgivings Past”

  1. a bit of thanksgiving poetry from a bit of john greenleaf whittier’s “the pumpkin”


    Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
    From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
    When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
    The old broken links of affection restored,
    When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
    And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
    What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
    What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?
    Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
    When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
    When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
    Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
    When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
    Our chair a broad pumpkin,—our lantern the moon,
    Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam,
    In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!
    Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
    E’er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
    Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
    Brighter eyes never watched o’er its baking, than thine!
    And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
    Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
    That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
    And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
    And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
    Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!
  2. and a bit from the poetry foundation about whittier himself:

    In the 30-year struggle to abolish slavery, John Greenleaf Whittier played an important role as a poet, as a politician, and as a moral force. Although he was among the most ardent of the antebellum reformers, he was saved from the besetting sin of that class—a narrowing and self-consuming zeal—by his equal insistence on tolerance, a quality he had come to cherish all the more through his study of the persecution of his Quaker ancestors. But if Whittier’s life was dramatic for the moral, political, and, on occasion, physical conflicts it included, his poetry—the best of it—is of at least equal significance. Whittier was a highly regarded poet during the second half of the 19th century,


    his collected poetry includes a core of excellent work, at the head of which stands his masterpiece, Snow-Bound. A Winter Idyl (1866), a lovingly imaginative recreation of the good life in rural New England. This work—together with “Telling the Bees,” “Ichabod,” “Massachusetts to Virginia,” “Skipper Ireson’s Ride,” “The Rendition,” “The Double-Headed Snake of Newbury,” and a dozen or so others—suggests not only the New England source of Whittier’s finest achievements but also the predominant appeal that folk material had for his imagination.

    Whittier’s youth—indeed, his whole life—was deeply rooted in the values, history, and traditions of rural Essex County, Massachusetts. Born on December 17, 1807 near Haverhill, Massachusetts, in a farmhouse that his great-great-grandfather had built in the 17th century, John Greenleaf Whittier grew up in a poor but respectable household characterized by hard work, Quaker piety, and warm family affection. A more distinctive part of his background was the rich tradition of folklore in the region; tales of witches and ghosts told on winter evenings by the fire exercised the young Whittier’s imagination. But his discovery of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, who could speak the beauty of the commonplace circumstances of a rural environment, made him wish to be a poet.

    In 1829 Whittier was 22, too frail to be of much help on the farm, too poor to have given himself more than a year at the Haverhill Academy, and already beginning to doubt his abilities as a poet. He accepted the editorship of The American Manufacturer, a political weekly in Boston. This position had been secured for him by William Lloyd Garrison, himself a young newspaper editor who was just then beginning his long career as an abolitionist. Whittier entered journalism for the opportunity to write. What he learned from the experience, however, were politics and polemics.


  3. Kyle Carruth, a “Lubbock 2nd Amendment Coalition” leader, shot and killed Chad Read, his girlfriend’s children’s father, in Texas on Nov 5. Carruth, whose ex-wife is a Gov. Abbott-appointed District Judge, hasn’t been arrested or charged with a crime.

  4. Thanksgiving 1973.  Transferred to the Air Force base even twenty year veterans could not find on a map, deep into the middle of Mississippi.  No time for leave, frozen for a thirteen month unaccompaned tour, twenty-four hour notice for departure, will completed at the adjutant generals office, still needed to requal with M-16, and it was (did I say) in the deep South.  So we find a restaurant, locals recommended, that served a turkey day meal.  Bird was good, the various side dishes were good.  We did have a bit of a tough time trying to eat grits stuffing.
    A command in Vietnam had issued the “freeze” on me so no other command could take me.

  5. All of my Thanksgiving celebrations were pretty nonexistent as they were usually a time of switching to the next household during school vacations.  When with my one aunt, it was time for the fruit cakes and candy making as she always did fudge, divinity, and fruit cakes as gifts for friends and family.


  6. As regional poets go, James Whitcomb Riley is solidly set in mid 1800s midwest.

    When the Frost is on the Punkin


    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
    And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
    And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
    And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
    O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
    With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
    As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
    They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
    When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
    Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
    And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
    But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
    Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
    Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
    The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
    And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
    The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
    A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
    The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
    The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
    O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
    Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
    Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
    And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
    With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! …
    I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
    As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me
    I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
  7. Ah, crap. The great, common denominator. PatD- Great clip! Thanks!

    I remember the smell of feathers in hot water as my grandma plucked the pheasant and duck we were given one year. That was the first year that I just ate sides and dessert. Somehow, I still thought store-bought was fine. I was about eleven, I think.

    The longest Thanksgiving was the one I spent in a yard eating pecans. The mother of my boyfriend-at-the -time, was hours late for everything.
    They held dinner for her, so that was her form of control. After the relish trays were empty, we all went out in the yard and ate papershell pecans.

  8. Every Thanksgiving for the last several decades has had one special television viewing, not football, WKRP in Cincinnati – Turkeys.  Life is good.

  9. “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.” It’s a classic!

    I love the parade, not for the parade, but for views of NYC. I’m booked for a trip in the spring.

    I do like the marching bands, despite having hated actually being in marching band.

    Time to make the cranberry/apple/orange salad, which takes about 5 seconds in a NutriBullet.
    My job was to grind the cranberries and apples in a device my grandma hooked onto a kitchen chair.

  10. Happy Thanksgiving!
    gonna eat lots of turkey and watch some football with Rick’s brother, Dan and his significant other…

  11. What’s all this talk about Thanksgiving inflation? We got a 21lb turkey from Giant for $8. Of course as city folk we seldom drive so gas prices not affecting us. 

  12. The first two hours of the Beatles Get Back on Disney is amazing.  They’re sitting around, bickering, making up nonsense lyrics, changing chord structures, bitching about the acoustics, dancing and just fussing around when all of a sudden, they look down, look up, hit a chord and there’s a perfect BEATLES song courtesy of LENNON & McCARTNEY.

    All the musically inclined on here and particularly Sturgeone would really get off on seeing it happen.


  13. Bob that looked some kind of Texas stuff going down over there in south Lubbock that day…..

  14. The Myths of the Thanksgiving Story

    Known as King Philip’s War (or the Great Narragansett War), the conflict devastated the Wampanoags and forever shifted the balance of power in favor of European arrivals. Wampanoags today remember the Pilgrims’ entry to their homeland as a day of deep mourning, rather than a moment of giving thanks.


  15. Sturgeone

    I think you can get a free trial and then cancel when the weekend is over.  


    I checked and you can’t get it direct from Disney, but if you have Amazon, you can subscribe for free there and then cancel.

  16. Craig

    Must be me.  I just like the creative process even when they were only weeks away from breaking up forever, but they kept writing great music.  

  17. That stern and
    rock bound coast felt
    like an amateur
    when it saw how grim
    the puritans that
    landed on it were. 
    —archie, Don Marquis

  18. Craig

    This reviewer pretty much agrees with you


     But for a regular audience who wants a narrative and a coherent story, it is a taxing, super baggy documentary series, wandering around for what seems like hours on end until it finally lands on a story beat that creates a little drama (take episode one which is borderline unwatchable until it snaps to attention at the end when, after 2.5 of watching the band jam, George Harrison quits the band and leaves the recording sessions).


  19. Massasoit got along with the colonists. (Initially, they helped each other. That’s where the story comes from.). His son, Metacom (King Phillip), not so much. The son of my first ancestor in the Massachusetts colony was killed in the King Phillip War.

    I just think of Thanksgiving as a harvest festival. Just another pagan holiday.

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