That thoughtless image reminded me of my own bucolic background and the combination of horror and metaphor made me laugh uncontrollably, striking the tickle bone of embarrassment because of the strange and morally reprehensible disconnect to life. My inappropriate chuckles conjured more memories.
The killing of the dinner was part of my childhood, as you can see from this 1980 photo of my father Harold J. Fries proudly displaying our up coming repast. My dad loved to bring dead things home, de-feather, skin and hand them over to my mother who was talented in cookin em up.
She'd make quite a turkey day spread, orange zest cranberries with walnuts, corn pudding a southern delight for everyone but me, perfectly whipped potatoes, stove top stuffing, doctored up and a succulent bird.
It was a great excuse for my dad to have wine, wear his light blue cashmere sweater and be emotional. He never minded leaving the football game to come to the table savoring the meal silently with a few nods and slurps, a custom acknowledgment of my mothers fine efforts.
I can understand how Sarah might be just numb to the entrapping of entrails in her life, never thinking it could ruin another person’s day if seen on TV. Her interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox TV showed a stuffed grizzly bear in the background, forewarning, that, is the Alaska way. Inspiring more stories from my own home state.
The Thanksgiving I had my tonsils removed, I received obligatory cards from all my 4th grade classmates. “I’m a turkee I taste good, I tastes better than you ever wood”… " Roses are red , violets are blue, its time to wake up for its Tanksgiving day”…and one that now seems like the essence of Truman Capote's “In Cold Blood” a picture of a dark stick character with a gun shooting a turkey, “come back soon, or I’ll shoot you and sell you to the blacks” by M Conner, warm Pensilvania greetings. I still wonder if the disturbed M. Conner ever ended up in some jail.
Another Thanksgiving my dad and I went down to our farm to check the horses. It was bitter and rainy, just on the verge of snowing. We knew mother’s dinner was urging us home, when we came across a car stranded on the side of the road. A cold and hungry family miles from their intended destination had run out of gas. My father ran to our farm gas pump and gave them as much as their tank could hold. The man tried to pay my dad and of course my father refused, the man asked if he could give me a dollar instead. Simple gestures of Thanksgiving; sharing gifts of kindness. I loved that day.
Its the simple gestures,whether turkey or tofu, may your holiday be filled with love, gratefulness and of course, a few good laughs.