The Thanksgiving my mom and dad got sick

Maybe this would be a good time to tell you about the Thanksgiving my mom and dad got sick. The first Thanksgiving after my mom and dad were married they solved the problem of whose family to eat Thanksgiving dinner with by eating at noon with my mom’s mom (a legendarily good cook) and eating in the evening with my dad’s Uncle Tony and his family. Or maybe the other way around.

I haven’t told you about Uncle Tony before, have I? One of the many colorful characters in my family. Uncle Tony had been a prize fighter, was a politician, at one time was the Sheriff of St. Louis (I’ll post a campaign picture some time), and always had a cluster of Damon Runyon-esque hangers-on. I’ll post more about Uncle Tony some other time. There’s lots to tell.

Aunt Virginia was Uncle Tony’s wife, a small, bird-like woman of French descent who was a fabulous cook. Ably assisted by their maid, Virgie (I’ll tell you more about Virgie some other time, too), she turned out some enormous, magnificent feasts with a kind of French flair.

That first Thanksgiving my mom and dad had invitations from both Babe, my mom’s mom, and Uncle Tony and Aunt Virginia and took advantage of both opportunities.  Filling if not particularly slimming.

The next year was different.

For some reason they didn’t get an invitation from Annunziata/Joanne/Babe (my maternal grandmother). They waited for the invitation from Uncle Tony and Aunt Virginia. The invitation never came. And they hadn’t done much preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner alone together.

So they made do with what they could scrape together from what was left over in the refrigerator and, well, something was not quite as fresh as it might have been and both of them spent the next few days as sick as dogs.

There’s not much more to the story. The moral, I suppose, is that you should be prepared to take care of your own Thanksgiving dinner. My mom and dad certainly always did after that one unfortunately memorable Thanksgiving.

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