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Thanksgiving: then and now
By Voda Beth Gradine
I was trying to think of something to write about this week when my best friend, Vickey Cooper, suggested Thanksgiving. This year sounds to be completely different from our regular Thanksgiving holidays of the past. Yes, it might mean a quieter time with less family members around and, if you listen to television, it sounds very depressing, but let’s think back to past times.
My mother used to tell me about the Thanksgiving weekend of 1948. The Post Antelopes had recently been titled Bi-District Champs, beating Lockney by one point, and were headed to Amarillo to play Phillips. Phillips’ boys were big, being the sons of oilfield workers. Most everyone rode the bus or train to get to the game. I am not sure which day the game was, but it was all the talk as it had been twenty years since our football team had gone this far in the playoffs. The day of the game, one of the worst sandstorms of the year blew in. Hopefully, this year, we will still be in the playoffs come Thanksgiving weekend.
Now, let’s think about all the years when war kept beloved family members on Thanksgiving Day. Husbands, fathers, sons and grandsons were off defending our country. Later, our female members were added to this group. While we may not be at war right now, there is a battle our country is currently fighting. Every day, including this Thanksgiving, we sacrifice seeing our family members to keep us safe from an unseen virus that is sweeping our nation and world.
Another reason for family members being absent during the Thanksgiving holiday was work. I worked in the Postex Cotton Mill for several years and, during that time, there were many years that the mill worked right through Thanksgiving. With the mill having contractual agreements with the government regarding sheet production for the military, there were often times when war or conflict caused more product demand for both service people and hospitals. To my dismay, the mill is no longer open. However, if it was, I bet employees would work through the holiday, supplying much needed products for the hospitals that are full due to Covid-19.
It’s no doubt that this year will be a holiday season to remember. But it’s not the first, as we can see just how many other holidays have also been altered due to the same reasons. Just think, we can now facetime and zoom our family members, something our ancestors didn’t have the pleasure of doing.
I hope everyone has the best Thanksgiving possible in this new normal that we’re currently living in. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!