thanksgiving–cont’d.

 

For some reason I always think of this passage at this time of year…

“November 1978

“Before the days of James the First, a group of English farmers disagreed with the Church of England. “They will conform,” said King James, “or I will harry them out of the kingdom.” They didn’t confirm, and he harried them out of the kingdom. They got on a ship called the Mayflower and sailed to the New World, and landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and established a colony. And since they called themselves “pilgrims” they became known to American history as the Pilgrim Fathers…

“…the Pilgrims were befriended by the native Americans… who taught them how to fertilize the land with eels, how to grow Indian corn and eat it off the cob, and how to cook and eat an American bird called a turkey. And the next autumn, when the Pilgrims reaped a bountiful harvest, they invited the Indians to a feast where everyone gave thanks to God for the harvest. That feast was the first American Thanksgiving…

“…the real hallmark of Thanksgiving is the homecoming of family members… So every Thursday in November, I lift a martini glass in salute to Samoset and the Pilgrims, who gave us the warmest homecoming holiday ever Made in America.”

Letter from New York: BBC Woman’s Hour Broadcasts by Helene Hanff, 1992.