I remember when my dad had a daily milk route, which required him to pick up milk cans from the Acton area and deliver them to a local dairy. Cows didn’t take weekends or holidays off from providing milk.
Our family worked around these obstacles when dealing with holidays. Thanksgiving was fairly easy as Dad was finished and home by early afternoon. Our dinners were served about 2 p.m. and then we got in the car and went to visit family members.
After he opened the Sunoco station on Madison Avenue, things got a bit more complicated. Our station was open on Thanksgiving, but my family and our employees tried to make time to enjoy the holiday.
I remember when a good friend and classmate of mine came to our house on Thanksgiving. Her family had several things going on, including her mom working that day. I felt honored that she accepted our invitation and joined us that day. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and shortly after we finished, I noticed that she had taken a seat in Dad’s recliner chair and was fast asleep. I thought that was neat that she was comfortable enough visiting with us that she could enjoy a nap.
The years that I lived in Southern California, I was invited to have Thanksgiving with families of folks who I worked with. The first year out there I had to fly home to Indianapolis to be discharged from the Indiana National Guard. I had completed my six-year obligation.
Looking back on that, I was supposed to sign up for the Guard on a certain day six years earlier. But the day before I was scheduled to enlist, President Kennedy was assassinated. That moved back my enlistment about a week and closer to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Flying back to California after that Thanksgiving, I met Art Linkletter and Mary Tyler Moore on the flight. A good friend of mine was a TWA employee at the time and had stamped my return ticket first class.
During the years that I lived in Michigan, we always enjoyed returning to Indianapolis to enjoy this holiday with family and friends. The four-hour drive could be frustrating, but getting back to see friends and family was always special.
I’ve been back in Indianapolis since 1987. I think of the holiday season as starting on Halloween and lasting until Valentine’s Day.
Stuart, my therapy dog, and I enjoy celebrating the holidays with our friends at the nursing facilities and schools that we visit weekly.
One of my favorite things to do around Thanksgiving and during the early shopping days of Christmas is to listen to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” a classic that is part song and part story. The 18-minute recording from 1967 can be heard on YouTube.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.