Happy Thanksgiving

A few years ago, I made the decision not to write anything new for Thanksgiving, but, instead, to recycle something that I’d written the year before. And, ever since then, I’ve been posting the same damn thing. Well, here it is again. I was tempted to remove some of the old references, and replace them with new ones, but it occurred to me that altering this post, which is fast becoming a family classic, would be like changing It’s A Wonderful Life so that Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed dabbed and flossed instead of dancing the Charleston in that scene that takes place over their high school pool. So, with that in mind, here it is, untouched… Enjoy….


This Thanksgiving morning I’m tempted to get political and say that I’m thankful above all else for the fact that a majority of Americans still feel as though Sarah Palin is unfit to serve as President, and that former U.S. House majority leader Tom DeLay was found guilty yesterday of money laundering. But, I’m trying to think less about politics today, and the swirling gyre of weaponized stupidity that is the Tea Party, and focus instead on friends and family. I probably don’t say it here as often as I should, but I’m incredibly thankful for both. Without my family, I wouldn’t be here. And, without my friends, I wouldn’t be the person that am today… Sure, I might be a better, more successful and more productive version of myself without them, but I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. So, before I get started with this post, I’d just like to note that I’m incredibly thankful for everyone that I’m related to, from my grandmother in Kentucky, to my daughter, who is now in the other room, looking at our enormous turkey through the little glass porthole in the oven. There have been some bad times, and we’ve lost some people over the years, but, all in all, I’d say that we’ve been really fortunate as a family. As far as I know, all of us that are alive at the moment are healthy, happy, employed and have roofs over our heads, which is quite an accomplishment in today’s world. As for friends, the same, for the most part, goes for them. A few are temporarily without partners or between jobs, but, as far as I know, the people in my friendship network (“tribe” sounded too new age) are doing pretty well, and I’m thankful for that. But, what I want to write about today are a few of the less obvious things that I’m thankful for – things that I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you before.

I’m thankful that my friends Dan and Matt, when they’d graduated from college, moved to Ann Arbor to live with me. If they hadn’t, I might never have had the misdirected encouragement I needed to start a band. And, if the three of us hadn’t formed a band, I probably wouldn’t have ever ventured into Ypsilanti, where I met my wife, Linette. There are others that played a role as well, like Ward Tomich, who booked us to play at Cross Street Station that fateful night. Without all of these folks, I’d likely be living in the forest today, sucking nutrients from moss-covered rocks.

I’m thankful for the car crash that my dad had in the late 60’s, which almost tore his arm from his body. If it hadn’t happened, my dad surely would shipped off to fight in Vietnam, with the other men that he’d been training with. Of the dozen or so men in his group, only two returned alive. I cannot imagine growing up without my father.

I’m thankful that my mother encouraged my father to apply for job at AT&T after he was released from the Navy. (He worked at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital after recovering from his accident.) He’d been working highway construction jobs when she talked him into applying for a position at a remote audio relay station of some kind near Monticello, Kentucky. He got that job, flipping switches and listening in on people’s private phone calls, and the rest is history. He steadily climbed up through the ranks, ending his career at the company headquarters in New Jersey – probably one of the few people without a college degree to do so. If this hadn’t happened, I would likely still be in the same small town in Kentucky today, instead of in the worldly, sophisticated metropolis of Ypsilanti, Michigan.

While my parents never graduated from college, they did both attend classes as they could, which wasn’t easy with full-time jobs and two kids to raise. I remember pretty clearly my mom studying Spanish late at night at the kitchen table. And I remember them proof-reading class assignments for one another. It made an impression on me, and I’m forever thankful for it. It’ll probably make my mom cry to hear it, but I’m also thankful that they stopped taking me to church at a young age.

I’m thankful that my parents valued education enough to settle our family in a decent school district, instead of closer to where my father was going to be working. My dad, most days, left for work at 5:00 AM to catch the bus, and didn’t return until 7:00 PM or so at night. He did that for over a dozen years straight, and, because of that, I got to attend a great public school, where I met people like Dan and Matt – the guys I mentioned above who moved to Ann Arbor to make noise, drink $1 pitchers of beer, and publish zines with me.

Speaking of sacrifice, I’m also thankful that my distant relatives made the decision to come to America when they did. They did so without knowing if they’d ever see their homelands again. They left everything they knew in England, Sweden, Scotland, and Poland, in order to make a better life for their families. And, it’s because of their sacrifices that I’m here today, not having to work in the fields from sun up to sun down as they did.

Oh, and I’m thankful that, of all the mental illnesses in the world, I got OCD, which kind of has its up-side.

OK, there’a whole lot more I’d like to say, but that’ll have to be it for now, as the buzzer on the oven is ringing.

Happy holidays.

[note: The image at the top of the post, if I remember correctly, is from the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. If I had to guess, I’d say that the balloon was supposed to depict a kind of turkey-mosquito hybrid that plagued the United States at the time.]

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  1. Jean Henry
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Doenst get less apt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLSveRGmpIE

  2. Jean Henry
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    And my spelling doesn’t get better either.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I am thankful for the Internet, although it gave us Trump.

    I am thankful for Boroughs, even though he shot his wife in the head.

  4. Jean Henry
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Addicts do some f’d up shit, Anonymous.

  5. Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    One more thing to be thankful for.

  6. John Brown
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m thankful for Labor and for all the good hearted Everyman and Everywoman who will take a stand against the desecration of The Constitution and our common goal of “a more perfect union”.

    And for the people willing to do the research and provide numbers and citations so I can stick to intuitive platitudes.

  7. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Fifty five years since President Kennedy was assassinated. I am thankful for the explosion of knowledge occurring in our time shining a light on the dark forces behind it and so many other crimes. May all of the JFK files be declassified.

  8. CNN
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    On Thanksgiving, President Trump says he is thankful for the difference he’s made to the US: “This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn’t believe it.”

  9. iRobert
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    He’s right….

    …I wouldn’t believe it.

  10. EOS
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink


    Dec 5?

  11. Sad
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink


    Nov 28th?

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink


    Dec 5?”

    Enter The Huber

  13. Sad
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Oh boy. Popcorn.


  14. Jean Henry
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    And when Dec 5th arrives and the report is delayed or proves another nothing burger then HW will still insist he was right and put forward an elaborate theory about how the deep state and dark money prevented the reveal. The date for the rapture will be moved forward to the next report.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    You have to run the gauntlet that week. Comey Monday in private, Lynch Tuesday in private, Huber in public Wednesday. There is no way Jean Henry can say nothingburger with a shred of credibility. She said that about FISA and look what happened: suckers got canned over it and are under investigation. FISA declassification already ordered by POTUS is going to be devastating when it finally drops, watch.

    Funny how all this shit is going inexorably in the direction I said it would and absolutely nothing out of the many things you people thought would spell doom for POTUS has worked out. That has got to give you pause.

    You are the markmaynardites though. I can’t forget…CIA Democrats…You’re not going to believe it until it is all up in your face. Q said estimated 4-6% never reached. I’d estimate the handful of you who comment the most on here are the worst 1% of that 5% in terms of correct understanding. You might never get one thing right.

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