Thanksgiving elicits memories

Herb Day Contributing columnist

Herb Day Contributing columnist

Recently, I have been asking my radio listeners to share their favorite memories of Thanksgiving with me, so I can share them on the air. After all, this is the time of the year we turn to one another for inspiration and warmth, or at least we should, as we celebrate the upcoming season.

My wife challenged me, saying if you want listeners and readers to share theirs, they may be interested in hearing yours! I doubt it, but Patty is usually right about everything else, so if I find no one cares, it’s her fault.

Once you’ve lived as long as I have, it’s difficult to point to just one memory and say, “that’s” my favorite, so I suppose I must pick on several.

Some of my earliest favorite memories of Thanksgiving would be back at home in my childhood years when Mom would be in the kitchen long before we kids rolled out of bed. You could smell the wonderful aroma of the ham and turkey baking in the oven.

We lived on a farm, so there was much to do before family arrived. Oh yes, this was the day of the traditional Thanksgiving Day rabbit hunt!

Often, we would be visited by Uncle Sewell and Aunt Louise and cousins Loraine, Dianne, Donna and Sandy. Sometimes, Uncle Jay, Aunt Thelma, and cousins Jeff and Janelle would come by. The guys would hunt, the ladies would cook, the kids would play, and nothing could enter our world that was anything but good.

In later years after Dad passed, I remember Mom, brother John, sister Karen, her husband and kids spending Thanksgiving Days at my brother-in-law’s parents, Jim and Evelyn Garrett in Wurtland, Ky.

No one could cook like Mrs. Garrett, and since we had grown up along with the Garrett family, they couldn’t have been more family if they had been blood relatives. We would eat, laugh and play until way up into the evening before making the trek back home.

When my children came along, Thanksgivings get-togethers were always at their grandparents, and while the girls cooked (not being chauvinistic.

Believe me, cooking was best left to the pros, and the ladies were the pros) my father-in-law and I would work (play) out on his farm (move junk from one barn to the next and then back again) occasionally go rabbit hunting until time to eat, and then race for the easy chair to sleep off our bounty.

History repeats itself as now we do the same with our grandchildren and their families. It seems everyone is running off in different directions, so now we prepare dinner enough for all, and they appear in shifts throughout the day.

My wife enjoys the Macy Day Parade, so she watches as she cooks, I help in the kitchen these days as I no longer have the farmland on which to hunt — not to mention, I don’t have the heart to shoot anything anymore.

Through the years we have always tried to impress upon our children and now grandchildren the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas. We teach them that turkey, the pilgrims and family fun are, but Christ is the focal point of what these holidays are about.

It’s so much fun to see you’ve succeeded when the grandkids remind you that we should pray before we eat, or they present a laundry list of questions about God.

Sprinkled out through the years were some Thanksgiving and Christmastimes that were less than happy, but overall, both are magical times. Times of friends, family, closeness and love.

I would love to hear your memories, and even, with your permission, put them on the air. You can either email me at or call me at 937-402-7308 and share your memories.

After all, I shared mine with you.

Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at and

Herb Day Contributing columnist Day Contributing columnist