Happy Thanksgiving

My good friend Bill Berger wrote this Thanksgiving Memory and I thought you’d enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving!
A Thanksgiving Memory
Bill Berger's TurkeyI was a child, and didn’t know Thanksgiving was a cold-weather holiday. Los Angeles in November was warm and sunny. There were winter sports like football and skiing, but stadium spectators wore T-shirts, and skiers shushed down manmade snow in the San Bernardino Mountains.
The Sunday following Thanksgiving began our Christmas season. That was the day Santa Claus came to town. Hollywood Boulevard was transformed into ‘Santa Clause Lane’, with Christmas trees and giant candy canes lining the sidewalks. The Santa Clause Lane Parade always ended with a flourish, as a truck powered float carried Santa’s sleigh and model reindeer soaring through clouds over a miniature village, while a machine made artificial snow, and Santa’s helpers threw candy to all the boys and girls. One year Gene Autry rode his horse, Champion, in the parade. When Gene heard children yelling, “Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus”, he was inspired to write a famous Christmas song.
In those days, I vaguely understood that Pilgrims began America’s Thanksgiving tradition, because they lived through a rough time, and had a plentiful harvest. I figured we had to eat turkey because our friends, the Indians, held the Plymouth Colony turkey franchise. I wasn’t so sure about why we ate Cranberries.
Some years I found it tough to come up with a reason to be thankful, but one Thanksgiving I had no trouble at all. My brother and I were spending the holiday with our dad and step mom. That evening we went to a drive-in restaurant for turkey dinner. The carhop on roller skates hung three metal trays on our car windows, and one special tray on our dad’s steering wheel. When the food arrived, a faulty steering wheel hanging job caused dad to receive a lapful of Chief Massasoit’s finest fowl along with a commensurate amount of cranberries, mashed potatoes, and gravy. After the string of expletives died down, I gave thanks for having a metal window tray under my dinner.