Do you like Thanksgiving?

Sure! We all do. But do you love Thanksgiving? I don’t.

It seems like a brash and anti-social thing to admit, as if not loving it means you hate it. I like it just fine. Even the bad ones - fraught with a little familial tension, which happens from time to time when you’re dealing with human beings - were fine. The food’s not my favorite, but it’s fine, and I like it. Some of it I love, but I wonder if I love it for reasons that exceed what the food provides.

Lefse, for example. Fresh lefse with butter and sugar and cinnamon is delicious. It’s dessert, right there in the middle of the meal. But you could take a piece of Wonder Bread and reproduce the same experience - white / soft / sweet / cinnamon. You never would, because “Wonder Bread Sugar Rolls" aren’t a family tradition. Lefse is. But why?

Because Grandma made it. My Grandma, and my daughter’s Grandma. Scandahoovian remnant. I’m half Scandi, so I insist on dragging lefse from one generation to the next, because. We have Swedish Meatballs on Christmas Eve, because. The latest addition to the tradition - aside from the aforementioned Glugwein or whatever - was bringing back the Tom and Jerry to Christmas Eve, because. My dad liked it.

So there has to be lefse. I love it because it was loved before, and it’s important we keep it in the collection of domestic traditions. Canned cranberries that wiggle out of a can like a fat bawdy dancer in a Deadwood whorehouse slipping out of her dress, no. Dollar buns are unneeded; what can they provide that the potatoes or lefse don’t? But you must.

I like all of these things. They’re all in the bottom half of my top ten food favorites. But big nix to a “different” Thanksgivings where you shake everything up. There’s one place for trying something outside of the standard parameters, and that’s the stuffing - and even that had better be Stuffing As We Know It.

We used to go to the Farm for Thanksgiving. Literally over the river and through the woods. The big dining room table with its ancient tablecloth and heavy silverware. There was always a relish tray. Olives, celery, and the devil’s apples, radishes. Then one year came the shift. We had Thanksgiving at our house. A shift whose meaning is plain, but no one really mentions; it’s just sensible. It’s the equivalent of the moment when you get out of the driver’s side of your car and walk around to the passenger side because your kid’s now learning to drive. Nothing's ever the same after that.

Of course my mom and her sister-in-law would help Grandma, but it’s different when it’s her domain.

After I left for college every Thanksgiving was somewhere else or not-quite-right. If I went home, the event was characterized by the fact that I would soon be leaving. Sometimes it’s with friends’s families, and that can be great: you have no work to do, but you volunteer, and everyone’s happy you’re there because more / merrier, and there’s someone new to meet. It’s great!

It’s also really not Thanksgiving, because no lefse or dollar buns. Or, you know, your parents and other relatives.

Only when we moved here to Jasperwood did it feel as if Thanksgiving had come home for good. The rituals of the day: adding the leaves, getting out the extra chairs, doing what I can to assist wife, cleaning, doing windows - cleaning house for hours before everyone comes over, and being hungry, and somewhat tired before it all starts. But then it’s food and wine and conversation and all’s well.

They all blur. A few stand out for the strays sister-in-law brought, or for FaceTime with Natalie in Brazil. Other relatives swim in and out of the mix; my Dad appears at the table, then vanishes for a few iteration, then returns to teach Natalie card tricks. Every Thanksgiving at the home where your children grew up is all of them, and as such, they're dear. You may just like the individual iterations, but they add up to love.





It’s 1924.

What a stack of heads - Captain suspended, Beach Tangle Spreads, Cobbler Said

What did the captain do?


Somehow going out to get prisoners turned into sightseeing. The guys were trying to get one over on the gummint.

As for the Beach Tangle: it had to do with extortion and payoffs at the Veterans office.



Hinman plugged Mooney. The article has a lot of euphemisms, but it sounds as if Mooney raped Hinman’s wife, and she died of injuries sustained.

Hinman brooded on the matter. Testimony from a brother, reporting on what he said - hearsay, yes; but no objections - had this tableau:

“Then my brother turned him over and shot him again. He got a pillow and put it under his head and talked to Mooney as he lay there dying.”

Had a few choice words, I’m sure.

On Nov 29 the “hapless cobbler” started his life sentence. He died in prison in 1956.


A what?

It’s a blackmail story. They don’t name the Rajah. Ebon = Ebony, I gather. Fun detail from the bottom of the story:

  He's bad, but he has his standards.

Ah yes, the part of Chaplin we endeavor to sweep aside:

Lita Grey was 8 when she met Chaplin. When she was 12 she appeared in “The Kid” as . . . “The Flirting Angle.” She auditioned for another of his movies at the age of 15, and shortly afterwards got pregnant.


The marriage was troubled from the start.[10] The two had few interests in common, and Chaplin spent as much time as he could away from home, working on The Gold Rush, and later, The Circus. They divorced on August 22, 1927.”

She got 600K in alimony - 9 mil in current dollars.

“In the 1970s and 1980s, she worked as a clerk at Robinson's Department Store in Beverly Hills.”

Well that’s a headline


Stop the presses! Why is this news?

It’s not stucco anymore.

Finally: an ad for the streetcar system.

Why would they have to advertise? Well: By 1924, ridership had already peaked. "Only the Twin Cities has the six cent fare" obscures the problems they'd have. They were regulated, and politicians kept the fares low, which cut back on the ability to modernize rolling stock and perform proper maintenance.

Most everyone would prefer the car. Still, we miss the streetcars.

The Trademark of a Friend.



That'll do! I'm closing out the Cigarettes of 1957 with a 20-page update, just in the hopes I'll be able to get the whole 50s Smokes section out by year's end.

As if there's some force that's stopping me from posting the entire site now, in one piece, and walking away dusting my hands, I know, I know I know

And there'll be Bleatage tomorrow, unlike most of the Holidays I take off. See you then!




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