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Time for Wedwand’s 5th annual Thanksgiving Eve address to the nation.

I willingly profess Thanksgiving to be my favorite holiday. It has no pretense. It has no hype. And every year it reminds me to be thankful for what I have.

Thanksgiving is a holiday without a lot of glitter. Just turkey, trimmings, dinner traditions and just maybe a little giving of thanks along the way.

It’s a holiday that’s become accustomed to be trampled on by the greedy retailers of Christmas. But it is not without a few media sources out there that honor the day in their setting. Here’s three of them:

1) I recently “discovered” one of these traditions to be a folk song by Arlo Guthrie called Alice’s Restaurant actually formally titled “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.”

Now there is no Alice’s Restaurant in the song as the song will tell you. In addition, the song is roughly 16 to 18 minutes long and it has nothing at all to do with Thanksgiving Day other than the fact that the story of the song takes place ON Thanksgiving Day.

And even though Arlo Guthrie has been singing this song since 1967 or so, and many people have listened to it as a Thanksgiving tradition, it wasn’t until just a couple years back that I actually took the full 16 to 18 minutes to listen to the tune which is more or less Arlo telling a quite captivating tale, at a time when folksingers told tales, that happened after a “Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat” while accompanying himself on the guitar. And by golly, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition of mine now too.

If you just want to be entertained by a guitar accompanied story for about 18 minutes and 15 seconds give it a listen: (People these days might call it a “Podcast”):

Or, if you just want the short version you can sing along, “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant. Walk right in it’s around the back just about a half a mile from the railroad tracks.”

2) Another media tradition is the 1992 movie “Scent of a Woman” starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. It’s set at Thanksgiving Break and includes an infamous dysfunctional Thanksgiving meal as well as a blind man who can Tango and if only for a couple blocks or two, drive a Ferrari and an incredibly inspiring back story.
Here’s the Tango:

The movie won Pacino an Oscar and was named the Best Motion Picture by the Golden Globes. A few quotable lines have become recurrent with my wife and me over the years.

“I’m in the dark here.”
“I saw something.”
“Oh, I’m just getting warmed up”
“And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, F_ _ _ you too.”

3) And of course, there’s the “Turkeys Away” episode from the 1970’s TV series, WRKP in Cincinnati. I found a 30 second mash up of the episode in case you don’t have the 25 minutes to watch the whole episode:

“As God as my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly.”

Below are the links to the four previous Wedwand Thanksgiving Eve entries. I thank you for your support over these five years.

https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/giving-thanks-for-thanksgiving-part-four/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/tales-of-the-giving/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/the-393rd/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/on-the-eve-of-thanks-give-it/

Of course, we end with the John Mellancamp Pink Houses YouTube salute to America on this Thanksgiving Holiday!

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It’s Autumn, or as the leaves call it, Fall.

Slyly, it begins at different times for different folk. Everyday seasons.

For some, the American Holiday Labor Day signals the end of summer, ergo Autumn begins the day after Labor Day.

Purists cling to the Autumnal Equinox as the beginning of Autumn. This year it happened on September 22, 2017.

Others say October marks the beginning of Autumn. As a matter of fact, there’s a whole festival named in honor of the month. Octoberfest celebrates the coming of the autumnal season and is officially held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

Oddly enough however, Octoberfest begins in September there. AND, the Germans even spell it Oktoberfest. It’s like they’ve got a whole different language or something.

A few things I notice more about October now than I did in years past.

Pumpkins. They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere. Not just the big spheroid orange squash family things you carve, but myriad derivatives of pumpkin products presently proliferate.

There’s Pumpkin Spiced Coffee, Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Bars, Pumpkin Ice Cream, Pumpkin Oatmeal, Pumpkin Spice, Pumpkin Pie and even Pumpkin in a can.

AND, the pumpkin is indeed seasonally autumnal. Try pawning off a pumpkin brew or a pumpkin pie on the 4th of July. Somehow, our tastes are seasonally conditioned.

Haunted houses. So many many more of them. Not the REAL haunted houses, but the “for profit” ones that proliferate the area now and charge $30 to $50 bucks for the privilege to be scared. Every day, I get Groupon offers. People, I live in Chicago. There are streets I can visit every single day and get scared for free. Taking a pass on the “for profit” haunted houses.

Apples. Who hasn’t gone apple picking if you live in the American Midwest? It’s a tradition. It’s fun reaching and plucking the fruit, filling the bag full with apples. Then, when you arrive home your very first thought is, “What the heck and I going to do with all these apples?”

When you buy pumpkins, your choices are small, medium, or large. Ah, but with apples, there’s: Blondie, Braeburn, Gala, Jonathan, Jonagold, Winesap, Macintosh, Corlands, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp, just to name a few. (Watch out. The honey crisp cost more in Michigan.) Oddly, I have found no apple variety named Bob, but yet we bob for apples.

A fun fact from sixwise dot com. You could eat a different apple every day for more than 19 years,

Many proclaim Autumn to be their favorite season; the colors, the refreshing weather, the apples, the pumpkins, the beer are all reasons why. I happen to be among the many and will celebrate the season accordingly.

FOOTNOTE:
Original inspiration for this post was in 2013. Here’s the post:
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/autumn-or-do-you-say-fall/

For the past three years or so, I’ve happen to work in an “elevator building.”

As fate would have it, I’ve recently moved my residence to an “elevator building.”

Therefore, based upon sophisticated and scientific observations, the method of which I cannot share here, I feel infinitely qualified to share some of my thoughts on elevator etiquette.

Here we go:

Always stand about 5 feet from the elevator door when waiting for the elevator to arrive. Believe it or not, there may actually be people ON that elevator awaiting to exit. You will impede the exit process if you are any closer.

This may be obvious, but believe me, some idiots do not heed this. Let the people exit the elevator before you try to enter the elevator. It’s a lot easier to get ON the elevator AFTER those who want OFF the elevator exit. It only makes sense.

People REFRAIN from any cell phone usage while ON the elevator. Please. This one is an obvious. There is nothing THAT pressing happening that requires you to check your e-mail and text messages on that 30 second ride. As if, the instant you arrive at your floor, you need to JUMP into action like Wonder Woman ready to save the world when you hit the 3rd floor.

And even worse, don’t make OR answer a call while on the elevator. NOBODY wants to hear your trite and boring conversations AND even IF it’s an emergency, just what are you going to do? You’re inside an elevator! Likely miles away from anyone needing your help.

If you are standing right in front of the door ON a crowded elevator, just exit when the bell rings. Yeah, I know you want to be gallant and let the ladies exit first, but if in fact you are feeling chivalrous, exit first THEN hold the door for them. It’s a confined space. Get off it as soon as you can and help accelerate the process for others anxiously awaiting an exit.

On the off chance it is just you and another person sharing the same lift, I’d suggest using the moment to share a little happy small talk instead of riding in awkward silence. If you don’t know just how to do that, here’s some suggestions:

Whew, hot one out there.
Boy, that traffic was BAD today.
Wow, Wednesday already.
How bout those Cubs?
Can’t wait until tomorrow. Why? Because I get better looking every day.

Never underestimate the power of human interaction. The next time I see these people in the lift, they usually smile at me. Perhaps because they think I’m crazy. Perhaps because they enjoyed the prior exchange. Perhaps because they thought I looked NO different.

So there you have it. Some VERY simple suggestions for “living it up while you’re going down.” Props to aerosmith.

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