Black Thursday, Black Friday and Thanksgiving Memories - Soapbox Jr.
Recently, I’ve been writing a political soapbox on Fridays and one about dad on Monday, well, since yesterday was Thanksgiving and I was up until 2 AM getting the CDB website store loaded with goodies for Black Friday, and then promoting said goodies today at a breakneck pace, so… I missed my Friday political soapbox. Since I dropped the ball, we’ll go non-political a day late on Saturday, and back to politics on Monday, should be a lot to write about by then, and if my revised soapbox schedule throws your schedule off, just turn your clock inside out, and imagine it’s Monday after all.
Thursday was unlike any Thanksgiving I can remember in the past twenty years – see my soapbox, “Sadiversaries.”
Normally, mom and dad’s house would be overflowing with friends and extended family, with sometimes thirty or more in attendance to devour as much turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and even cranberry sauce - if you’re into that kind of thing – as they could possibly hold.
Due to concerns about the Coronavirus, mom decided to limit our festivities to five people, mom, me, Dean - mom and dad’s bus driver, and dear family friend – and two of mom’s friends who sadly were also widowed this year.
So, it was much smaller, and it was a little more somber because there were obvious vacancies in our hearts.
Mom was probably the most emotional I’ve seen her in a while. I had to just hug her several times and let her have her moments of sadness. She said that Thanksgiving was one of his favorite days, along with Christmas Eve, and – of course – Christmas Day.
Obviously, I was sad as well. He was a fixture, and always said a beautiful prayer which I’ve tried to imitate, but I don’t quite have the same way with words that he did. But while mom and her friends visited, I had to delve into the world of the website store, and work in general, which takes some of the focus off the sadness, because I still have my responsibilities.
My soapboxes about dad have been my grief therapy.
2020 has been a year like no other, for many, many reasons. Before this, I think there were only a few Thanksgivings that I spent with former in-laws in Missouri, but most of the time we were enjoying the food and fellowship here at Twin Pines.
One of the more unusual Thanksgivings dad and I spent together, was in 1991 when dad had the honor of riding on the back of Tom the Turkey in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
It was a sight to behold. It may be old hat to New Yorkers, but to a couple of Southern Boys, I think we were both awestruck.
We had both been to New York several times – obviously, he had been there many more times than I had – but I don’t think dad had ever been there for the parade, and I definitely had not.
I had a seat in front of Macy’s which looked at the back of the televised performance area where artists and bands will stop and get their moment on TV.
Dad had just released his single, “Little Folks,” which was a bit of a departure for him, instead of a rowdy up-tempo fiddle tune, dual lead guitar southern rock or swampy ghost story, this was a tender song about children, and it was featured on the parade broadcast.
But first, dad was transported to the staging area at the beginning of the parade route, and wearing a colorful Pendleton coat, he was lifted and fastened into the harness on the back of old Tom.
I could only see the crowd which lined 34th Street, so I can’t even begin to wonder what it was like sitting up about two stories above the street level taking in the sea of New Yorkers lining the parade route.
The parade finishes up just past Macy’s, so it is basically the final destination along the route. Dad’s trusty gobbler arrived in front of the legendary department store, and lip-synched to “Little Folks.” NBC’s Willard Scott and Katie Couric emceed the official broadcast.
I’ve seen that video clip over and over, and never get tired of it.
Afterwards, we hopped on a plane back to Tennessee and still managed to have turkey dinner with mom.
It was a special memory for sure.
And speaking of “Little Folks,” there was a music video for the song which did pretty well on CMT, despite dad’s co-star who had little very experience, and a slight mullet. What can I say? It was the early 90s...
We all do dumb things when we’re young…ish...
One little addendum to this soapbox which was mostly finished Friday night. Last night I dreamt that dad and I were watching football on Sunday and trying to figure out why we couldn’t find the Titans game we were looking for.
Doesn’t sound like much, but it is extremely rare for me to remember my dreams. Maybe it was another “God Wink.” If so, I’m thankful for that.
Well, back to the wonderful world of CDB website merchandise sales, be sure to check it out.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police, the peace of Jerusalem, and our nation.
God Bless America!
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