I’m sad to admit that my understanding of the first Thanksgiving is pretty much limited to what I learned in second grade (plus a particularly hilarious Bugs Bunny cartoon).
I know the Pilgrims wore construction paper hats and had buckles on their shoes and hats. They didn’t like to smile or get frisky, and cussing was definitely out.
I’m pretty sure the Native Americans brought turkey and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie to that first Thanksgiving. And since it was before electricity, they all had to watch football on TV by candlelight.
As to whether Elmer Fudd was really there, well, I guess we’ll never know for sure.
With the remarkable resources available through the Fontana Regional Library System, I suppose there’s no excuse for not knowing more about this storied day.
But I get the big, big idea behind the holiday — being grateful for the people, random situations and material things that have enriched my life. An embarrassment of riches, it is.
Thanks to the Fontana Regional Library System, I have one more thing to be thankful for.
That’s where I found Georgia Bragg’s marvelous “How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous.” It’s a gleefully morbid examination of the over-the-top lives and gut-twistingly icky ends of some of history’s most colorful personalities.
Julius Caesar, Elizabeth I, E.A. Poe, George Washington, Marie Antoinette, Mozart, Einstein and lots of others. Their gradual disintegrations and sudden expirations are laid out in unblinking detail. It’s kind of like an episode of CSI done in a breezy style. It’ll also convince you that we’re pretty much bags of guts just waiting to explode or disintegrate.
So that’s why I’m adding a few more items to the List of Things I’m Grateful For: modern plumbing, dentistry, the fact that no one’s ever asked me to wear a powdered wig, MRIs for when my stomach swells up like a watermelon, and the near-certainty that no one at Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library will ever plot to murder me.