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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Wednesday, November 27 2002 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster Thanksgiving memories 2

I recounted on one of the first pages added to the original Nanty Glo Home Page in 1997 the memory of what was probably the first "epiphany" of my life, at about age 8, during a walk home from Belsano School after early release for the Thanksgiving holiday on a November Wednesday afternoon, circa 1950. As I can't with any authority pinpoint my age at either yesterday's described event or the one here, the "epiphany" is either my first or second "Thanksgiving memory," though ironically I have no specific memory "film frames" of the actual Thanksgiving Day from that time. At that age you're so passive concerning such passages of events that they require no planning and no reflection, so no memories are stored away. (But perhaps to mitigate the age "theory," I always think of the Thanksgiving the Thursday after John F. Kennedy's assassination as one of the most poignant in my life, but have no specifics of it, either.)

My third flash of an early Thanksgiving, however, is more specific, and may have occurred when I was somewhere between 10 and 12. I mentioned yesterday that Thanksgiving was not usually an extended family event for us, though in some years it was. There was only one other family that we were close enough to spend whole days with, that of my uncle Les (Mom's brother) and Aunt Tommy, who lived near Fallentimber in the northeast corner of Cambria County, near the Clearfield County line. For years we would skip church on a Sunday once or twice a month to visit "Les and Tommy," taking a box with whatever Mom had planned to fix for dinner that day (Dad never gave advance notice on such trips, and that along with the general poverty of those post-Depression years was the reason we took whatever we could to supplement anything Aunt Tommy might have to feed us; stores were not open on Sundays in those days, even if there had been any money to buy more groceries...and the nearest 7-Eleven was still a decade in the future).

That Thanksgiving there was light snow, and the men, along with my brother Gary, who may have been 14, and our cousin, Camille, who was 17 or 18, went deer hunting in the woods nearby. In fact, I believe they didn't even take a car to go from Les and Tommy's farmhouse. It was not at all about the food in those days, though probably we had chicken, as both "Leses" and our family raised chickens at the time and frozen turkeys in the supermarkets, as well as the supermarkets themselves, were also still in the future. And the hunters returned with a deer, which was bagged, appropriately, by Camille. (Not only was it the first instance of my knowing a woman going hunting, she was actually more successful than the men!)

I, the curly towhead, was always singing and humming songs as we drove in the car, me usually standing on the floor behind the back of the front seat. That evening I sang "When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day."

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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—Sent by Sallie Covolo

Thought for today

He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead.

—Voltaire

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