Monday, November 19, 2012

A FLOG-Gobble Feast

November, 1975.  The annual Thanksgiving feast (fiasco) at my mother's house (Mom was the militant hostess with the mostest) was scheduled to commence at 5pm (after two hours of noshing on hors d'oeuvres which typically left everyone too stuffed to eat dinner).  About 25 guests had been drafted and dared not go AWOL.  I had no official responsibility so I appointed myself surreptitious place-card switcher.

At o-nine hundred hours, General Mom called my wife to ask if she had electricity.  A wicked autumn storm had claimed hers a mere fifteen minutes after the Butterball went into the oven.  Margaret told her to bring it over, but before Mom could get the giant bird out of her oven and into her car, our power went out.

Frantic calls were made only to find the storm was spreading its wings like a fleeing turkey.  Mom's close friend, Helen Sommers, a Washington State Representitive and Legislative Budget Committee leader, apparently had clout and power to roast a turkey.  The formerly feathered entree made the journey to Ms. Sommers kitchen where it cooled its hallux for a few minutes having arrived shortly before the Budget Committee Chairwoman lost her electricity.  So much for clout.

More calls.  My sister-in-law, Susan, lived on Mercer Island east of Seattle.  No storm damage there - but no power either.  Mom called her sister, whom she had initially left off the disaster relief list because Dorothea had a two bedroom apartment with a five-foot by nine-foot kitchen.  But Auntie Dor had power, so the well traveled bird ended up in her oven for several hours.  Meanwhile, a quickly formed Communications Committee passed the word by means of antique social networking (landlines...ones with handsets attached with curly cords); dinner would be served at eighteen-hundred hours at Dorthea's.

Dinner in Dorthea's tiny abode brought the family closer together than ever before - literally (I still have impressions on the skin of my arms from being squeezed between two cousins).  Johnny Carson once said, "Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday.  People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year - and then discover once a year is way too often."

The traveling turkey was the best I ever ate.

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