Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

TigerBlog was in Dillon Gym yesterday morning.

There's an elevator in Dillon in the tower, where the offices for women's soccer, rowing and men's lacrosse are located. There's also a conference room up there.

TigerBlog usually likes to walk up stairs. It's extra, hidden exercise in his day.

Except in Dillon. He likes the elevator for some reason.

Maybe it's because it's old and slow and small. Maybe it's because it reminds him of the elevator in his grandparents' buildings.

MotherBlog's parents lived in Queens until both passed away, well into their 80s. FatherBlog's father died when he was 17, but his mother lived well past 90. She lived with her sister, who was also in her 90s.

MotherBlog's parents were Judy and Joe, and they lived on Talbot Street in the Kew Gardens section of Queens. FatherBlog's were Tobias and Bella. For most of the last half of her life, Bella lived on Quentin Road, a few blocks away from her daughter Edyth, over on Ocean Ave., off of Kings Highway. TB's Aunt Edie also lived well into her 80s before she passed away two years ago.

TigerBlog hasn't been in any of their buildings in a long time, but he can remember the elevators. They had a great New York City smell to them, the smell of cooking coming from all over the building, welcoming you into their collective homes.

TigerBlog spent more than one Thanksgiving in his youth in those buildings. They were times of true innocence, when the whole family got together to eat turkey and watch football. So many of them are gone now, some taken way too soon and others who lived for a long time. Only one person in TB's family ever died between their 60th and 80th birthdays, and that was MotherBlog's brother Larry, who was around 75 or so.

It was on the days that began in those elevators that TigerBlog developed his love for Thanksgiving, which is probably his favorite holiday of year.

He's written this before. Every year, actually.

Here's 2014.

Here's 2013.

And 2012.

And 2011.

And 2010.

And 2009.

If you're not going to click on the links, TB can sum it up with this, which is something that appears word-for-word in four of them:

As holidays go, you can't do much better than Thanksgiving. It's got it all, really: a huge meal (with turkey, no less), football, family, history (dates back to 1621), start of a four-day weekend for most people, leftovers. It's even a secular holiday, so every American can dive right in, regardless of religion.

The Lions and the Cowboys, obviously, always play at home on Thanksgiving, and the NFL has now added a third game (maybe a little too much). Beyond watching football, how many out there have played their own Thanksgiving football games, all of which, by the way, are named "the Turkey Bowl?"

The holiday may lag behind Christmas in terms of great Hollywood movies, and "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" is no match for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Still, there are some great moments in movies and TV shows around Thanksgiving.

Rocky and Adrian had their first date on Thanksgiving – "To you it's Thanksgiving; to me it's Thursday," Rocky said romantically – as did Meadow and Jackie Jr. on "The Sopranos" (it didn't quite work out as well as it did for Rocky and Adrian). "Everybody Loves Raymond" had two pretty good Thanksgiving episodes, the one where Marie makes a low-fat dinner and the one where Debra makes fish instead of turkey. As an aside, TigerBlog's Aunt Regina once made Cornish game hens instead of turkey, so he knows how they all felt. And of course, there was the Thanksgiving episode of "Cheers," which has the big food fight at the end.

The Woody Allen movie "Hannah and Her Sisters" starts and ends on two different Thanksgivings. "Miracle on 34th Street" is a Christmas movie, but it does start with the Thanksgiving parade in New York City.

And of course, there is the best of all Thanksgiving movies: "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." It'll make you laugh a lot and cry a little, and it ends on Thanksgiving.

Here at Princeton, there are teams that will travel and play this time of year. The men's hockey team is going to get on a bus tomorrow morning early for the long drive to Maine. Women's hockey is at RIT. The wome'ns basketball team will fly to California.

Oh, and there's home men's basketball tonight, at 7, against Lafayette. And the wrestling team is at Madison Square Garden this weekend.

For most of the athletic department - and school - the next few days, though, are a time to get away and relax and slow down.

These are crazy times in this world. TigerBlog doesn't have to tell you that. The news will do it for you, every day.

It's a time of great divides, among religions, races, nations, neighbors, basically everyone.

Maybe it's because he's an adult now or maybe because of the times he's living in, but TB has grown fonder and fonder of the Thanksgivings of his youth.

And maybe there's a lesson in that. Find something to be thankful for and cherish it.

Hopefully everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the words about Thanksgiving. But on to other topics.

Can you help us understand whether these girls in this picture (or are they women?) are really fighting in this hockey game? Is this kind of like Rhonda Rousey light? Are Emily Achterkirch's parents proud of this? Is TigerBlog? Is Princeton? Is the Women's Center?

It reminds of the good old days in the movie "Slap Shot" when the Princeton kid was too good to fight. Alas, those days are gone it seems.