Giving Thanks



Thursday is Thanksgiving. I, like many of you, will sit down to a meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a variety of vegetables, and pumpkin pie (a la mode?). We may remember to say “thank you” to the pilgrims in Massachusetts (and the Indians who helped them survive), but all of us will have a list of thanks for the blessings that came our way in the past year. Here is a list of events for which I will say “thanks.”

Another year of marriage to Donna; our 38th.

There was no need to say “good-bye” to any family members or friends.

Another year of no major health problems (a la my back operation of 2013).

Our first full year with our 4th dog: Luna; it was a joy for all 3 of us.

Three new families moved into our neighborhood bringing 6 “new faces” with them. Their ages ranged from 1 to 7. Their names were: Maddie, Declan, Emma, Lily, Andrew, and Kerry. Luna greeted them all; most of them greeted her, as well.

A year of writing blog articles; Some of my favorites were: “Thank You, Chuck Berry;” “Dog Stories: Angus, Jake, Luna;” “From Zaharias to Ledecky;” “Paris, 1946;” “30 Years with Homer.”

Another fine year from CBS Sunday Morning, who welcomed their 3rd host (Jane Pauley) in 38 years.

Two exceptional television programs: Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” and “The Wizard of Lies” (with Robert DeNiro portraying Bernie Madoff).

Exactly enough ice cream from my favorite dairy farm, Merrymead, and Ben and Jerry’s (but what did they do with Chocolate Cherry Garcia?).

A great year of baseball. Starring The Houston Astros, Jose Altuve, Giancarlo Stanton, Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, and many more.

Another great year of hamburgers (from Bruno’s, Red Robin, Five Guys, etc.)

Wonderful movies (eg, Beauty and the Beast and Get Out).

Finding another excellent screen writer: Taylor Sheridan. His work: “Wind River” (2017), “Hell or High Water” (2016), “Sicario” (2015).



What will you include in your “Thank You” list?







About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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