Thanksgiving  Days 1948

By Keith Gibson

The Thanksgiving holiday was truly a gift to the average school kid.  It meant that we would be let out on parole for a few days to actually try to enjoy life.  After all, we had been confined in the school house for over two months.

Duck hunting was getting better as more ducks were doing the smart thing and heading for a warmer climate.  The late deer hunt was good in that more big bucks were migrating from Idaho into Nevada.

The temperature was low enough to freeze the ponds at the dairy to allow ice skating and there was enough snow to go sledding. The holiday also meant lots of pies and cakes along with roasted turkey.

We still had a wood/coal kitchen stove, which meant a tough time for Mom.  It was hard to roast a turkey to perfection with the oven temperature varying every few minutes.  However, a few years before Mom had gotten a new GE electric roaster on a stand.  It was a pale yellow and had a removeable, black porcelain roaster pan that held a large turkey.  It had an aluminum lid with vents. The aroma coming out of those vents all day, triggered enormous and intense hunger pangs in our stomachs.

There were pumpkin pies made from the recent Halloween “jack-0-lanterns” that we kids cut up in small pieces.  Fresh homemade potato dinner rolls.  Homemade dressing in the double steamer contraption and real honest to goodness cranberries simmering on the stove.  All in all everything was fresh and homemade, not store bought stuff full of who knows what.

While the Moms were slaving in the kitchen were busy getting wet and cold outside so we could come in and get warm in the kitchen. The store was nice and warm and if nothing was in the oven, Mom would pull the oven door down so we could put our boots on it to dry out.  We would sit on chairs in front of the oven and drink hot cocoa and savor the many aromas.

Sometimes if she had time, Mom would slice some potatoes and fry them directly on the stove with salt and pepper.

Finally the time arrived for us to come inside and get dry and washed up.  Then it was time to help set the table and finally before we collapsed from hunger we sat down for the feast.

Dad carved the bird and soon our plates were full of turkey, dressing, homemade gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce, hot fresh dinner rolls and soon pumpkin pie with whipped cream made from the McGill Dairy with a touch of vanilla in it.

The conversation at the table centered on just how grateful we were for living in the US and how much we appreciated our military for keeping us safe.  The great war was over and we knew of the sacrifices our troops had been subjected too and we also knew firsthand of what we civilians had gone through.  There were many gold stars in the windows around town and we all personally knew every one of them.

Bedtime came early and after much pathetic begging, Mom of course relented and let us have another piece of pie and whipped cream.  We were soon fast asleep with a belly full of great food, bodies tired  from  outdoor activity and most of all, a tremendous feeling of absolute security and peace.