Remembering celebrations of the Holiday
Thanksgivings Past and Present
This article was originally written and posted on a different website back in 2009.
When I was a child in the 1950's, one of my most favorite thing was Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. At that time my family and I lived in the New York City Borough of Queens, in the Sunnyside area. On Thanksgiving morning, we'd take the IRT # 7 Train into Manhattan, to the Times Square Station. Then we'd take another train uptown, and watch the Parade from the Central Park side of Central Park West and 72nd Street, directly across the street from the Dakota Apartment Building.
At that time, the Parade was not the extremely overproduced TV extravaganza that it has become. The original movie "Miracle on 34th Street" begins with views of the Parade as it was then; a comparatively modest celebration, with a few balloons, floats and bands.
There were celebrities on the floats at that time. I remember one Thanksgiving, when the comedian Jackie Gleason was Grand Marshal. As the float carried him along Central Park West, he looked up at the people watching from their windows, many still wearing their bathrobes.
He called up to them, "Hey you people up there! Put some clothes on!"
Another thing, except for the celebrities and technicians, everyone who participates in the Parade is a Macy's Employee. I remember a few years ago, there as a report about people being outraged that Macy's was not going to be opened, right after the Parade.
Come on now! Their employees had all been up since before midnight!
What do people expect Macy's Management to tell their employees?
"Okay! You've got 15 minutes to hand in those baloons, get out of those costumes, and get the Store open! Okay! Make that 20 minutes!"
As I said, we watched the Parade at the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West. A few years ago, as they went past that spot, the handlers lost control of the Cat in the Hat Baloon, in a heavy wind. it struck a lamppost, knocking it down and injuring someone.
After that happened, there was a cartoon in a local newspaper, showing the Cat in the Hat being taken away by police in handcuffs, and put in a paddy wagon.
"Another one of those arrogant celebrities who think they can get away with anything!"
The Grinch was shown standing to the side, thinking "And people think I'm bad! Hah!"
When I was 13 we moved out of the City, to the Township of Huntington, Long Island, New York; and started watching the Parade on television.
Now, the most favorite thing for me is Thanksgiving Dinner. I'll be spending the Holiday with my sister, who lives in the Village of Orient, just west of Orient Point, at the end of Long Island's North Fork. If anyone's familiar with the area, her house is within walking distance of Latham's Farmstand.
This year, my sister said that there might not be enough room for me to stay with them. My sister and brother-in-law's guests will include my niece, her husband and their two daughters; my nephew and his daughter from his first marriage. He has married again, so his second wife will also be there, along with her two teenage daughters. Obviously there is just not enough room for Uncle Bill.
However, my sister and brother-in-law have reserved a room for me in a local motel called the Blue Dolphin. It stands in the community of East Marion, just west of Orient, beside the main road, route 25. Until now I've only glanced at the place as we've driven past, but I've never given it any thought. It looks like a good, modest place to sleep and hang my clothes, while I spend most of the Holiday at my sister's home.
There's one other benefit to staying at the Blue Dolphin, that I wouldn't have if I stayed with my sister. I will have the bathroom all to myself!
That is a very fine reason to give thanks!
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
This past week I celebrated Thanksgiving at my sister's home. She lives in the village of Orient, New York, just west of Orient Point, which is the eastern tip of Long Island's North Fork. I live in Huntington Station, Long Island, New York, which is 70 miles west of Orient.
I do not drive, so for me to get to Orient, I have to take the Long Island Rail Road. Anyone who's familiar with Long Island knows that if you want to go east to Orient by railroad, you can't get there from here. You first have to go west, before you can go east.
My trip began very early last Wednesday morning. I left my house at 6:20 AM, carrying my suitcase for a 15 minute walk to the front of the nearby Walt Whitman Shopping Center, where I got on the bus that left at 6:45 and took me north for a five minute ride to the Huntington Railroad Station. I then took the 7:19 train west to Hicksville, where I had a 50 minute wait, during which I was able to get myself coffee at a local Duncan Donuts. I then took the 8:26 going east to Ronkonkoma, where I transferred to the 9:02 which I rode to the end of the line, arriving at 10:27 in Greenport, where my brother-in-law picked me up, and took me to his and my sister's home, which is about a 10 minute ride.
The problem was, as I said in my earlier entry, that there were just too many people staying with them. Along with my sister and brother-in-law, my niece came with her husband and their daughters, who are 7 and 4 years old. My nephew arrived with his 9 year old daughter from his first marriage; along with his second wife and her teenage daughter.
My nephew also brought his psychopathically bloodthirsty dog, who has to wear a muzzle and be kept locked up in the basement. The dog's breed is a retriever. My nephew brought him, so they could take part in the annual pheasant hunt that takes place in the rural community of Orient, every Thanksgiving morning. The problem is that my nephew’s dog not only goes after the birds; he also goes after the other hunters, and the birds they’ve bagged.
When my nephew and niece we growing up, they had a little white doggie; very much like Snoopy. He even had the same attitude as Snoopy. He’d walk into the living room full of people; lie down on the rug and go to sleep.
That’s the way doggies should be. That’s the way that people should be. There’s no reason for all of us to be intimidated by any "Dogosaurus Wrecks".
To get back to all those people staying at my sister's house. There was just not enough room for Uncle Bill. However, my sister and my brother-in-law were able to reserve a room for me at the Blue Dolphin Resort in East Marion, just east of Greenport and a short distance from the causeway that leads to Orient.
I spent two nights at the Blue Dolphin. Until then, it was a place that I'd only glanced at as we'd driven past, but I'd never given it any thought. From the road, it looked just like another motel, but there's a lot more to it than two floors of identical rooms. The place actually is a small resort, having a restaurant/bar, with a patio and tables. It has a swimming pool and a volleyball court, along with picnic grounds with picnic tables and barbecue grills.
While that sounds like a great place to stay, the problem was that the Blue Dolphin was about to shut down for the winter, and I was the only guest staying there. All those facilities were shut down, and the entire staff was gone, except for the desk clerk. Since the place was shutting down, the local Cable Company had switched off the signal, so there was no TV in the room.
In spite of all that, there were some definite advantages. I got a very good room, just behind the office; and my sister and brother-in-law got a terrific deal on the price. Then when I got up in the morning, while my sister's house was full of people, I had the bathroom entirely to myself. That was truly a blessing for which I was able to be most thankful.
On the other hand, I was in a similar situation, to the one in the movie "Psycho". However, I didn't hear the desk clerk's mother yelling at him, so I figured I'd be okay. If I had heard her yelling, believe me, the door would have remained locked and bolted.
Anyway, the room was just a place for me to sleep. I spent most of my time in Orient, at my sister's home. They had 16 people for dinner; and all of us helped prepare the meal, set up the tables and chairs, put out all the plates, glasses and utensils, and clean up afterwards.
I also found out something about my nephew’s second wife. She actually teaches a college writing course. She said that she'd look over my stories and let me know what she thinks. Imagine that. Someone who actually knows how to do so properly is going to be giving feedback to my stories. That is something that neither I, nor most contributors to writers' websites, are really sure how to do.
This is another blessing, for which I am truly thankful.
After Thanksgiving dinner, I stayed at my sister's place, until I was ready to go to sleep. My nephew's wife drove me back to the Blue Dolphin. While we were on the way, I told her more about my stories. She is not only going to be looking at my about to be published original novel, she'll also be reading some of my stories on fanfiction.net. Most of them are based on the TV Series "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer." She said it was one of her favorite shows.
I told her, "Keep this in mind. Anyone who wants to spend time with fun loving vampire gals, remember, you've been warned."
When I got up in the morning I wanted some coffee. There's a General Store, just a two minute walk down the road from the Blue Dolphin. It normally opens at 6 AM. On Thanksgiving morning I walked over, but the place was closed for the day. However, the next morning they were open for business as usual. I was able to get myself a cup of strongly flavored coffee that wasn't too hot, and a blueberry muffin.
What more of a blessing does a man need to be truly thankful?