Richie’s Article

A VERY SPECIAL THANKSGIVING

As far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. The anticipation of 4 days of no school, the brisk November Brooklyn weather and touch football games in the P.S. 209 schoolyard was making it impossible for me to concentrate on anything ordinary. It was like pre-Color War cheering, “Great Moments” speeches at Line-Up at Equinunk and the best 4 days of camp and definitely of the year.

Even before I entered our 2 bedroom apartment, I was overwhelmed by the roar of laughter and a variety of English/Yiddish conversations. Remarkably, all the chatter occurred simultaneously and everyone seemed to “get” every joke and story, which reminds me of every gathering of 5 or more Blue Ridge girls all talking at the same time, yet not missing a detail.

Just like our extended camp family, my mother had 5 sisters and I in turn had too many to count cousins and family friends. Everyone was seated at long tables and folding chairs like our camp Mess Halls. As kids we were assigned to a cousins’ table and were distinctly separated from the adults, and we inhabited that table from our childhood through our college years. Fortunately, the chairs were not the same as when we were children!!

I remember that the apartment was always hot even on the coldest winter days even with the windows wide open. Also, everyone piled their coats, hats, scarves and gloves on a bed in the back bedroom. It kind of reminds me of what a bunk looks like when laundry is returned!

Unlike the 2 hour Seders that I struggled through, Thanksgiving dinner was served and devoured in lightning speed, not unlike our 20 minute dinners at Equinunk, pre-meal cheering and singing included. Mysteriously, my parents and the other adults always seemed so old when I was a young kid, yet they appeared to grow younger as I aged! I guess it’s like our Sophomores looking up to their counselors only to become their best friends after their PC and Upper Senior summers.

One thing for sure….my childhood and adult memories of Thanksgiving, like my memories of Equinunk and Blue Ridge, are precise today. The hugs, kisses and laughter, the stories and jokes, the smells and the tastes…..I reach back in time as if it were yesterday.

This year, will just be Sheryl and me. The children, grandchildren and family friends will all be distancing…..instead of coming to us from afar. We are both blessed and comforted in knowing that our entire family and yours are well and as close together as possible. I’m thankful that I have the warmth of a lifetime of memories with my family and what seems like a lifetime of memories at Equinunk and Blue Ridge.

Sheryl and I wish everyone the warmest Thanksgiving. Cherish your loved ones and all of your fondest holiday moments and memories, past and present.

With love,

Richie

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