Author’s Note:  A couple of weeks ago, someone told me that they would like to have me write about things other than sports. So, with that in mind, here is my latest.

     Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and as I sit here still trying to digest all that I ate yesterday, I am reflecting back on past Thanksgivings that provided some interesting memories for me and my family.

When I think about the “best” and “worst” Thanksgivings, I am reminded that those two actually happened in successive years. The worst Thanksgiving was when I was still in the military. I had the misfortune of being assigned “duty” that day. My “Thanksgiving Meal” was a greasy cheeseburger and fries that were tepid at best. Adding misery to that day was that my Detroit Lions not only lost to the Minnesota Vikings, they were shut out!

I received a “make up” on a traditional Thanksgiving meal, though, as a local family invited me and a couple of other sailors into their home.  I don’t remember much, except that the home was in Hubbard Woods…an affluent Chicago suburb.  I remember thinking: if I were to settle in Chicago, I most definitely would consider Hubbard Woods.

Coming in second in the race for the worst Thanksgiving ever, was when I and several of my co-teachers attended a convention in Orange County.  The first day was always the best as it was capped off by a wonderful sit-down dinner. That night, however, things began to go South very quickly.

Around 2:30 in the morning, our hotel’s fire alarm went off. A person on the loudspeaker and said that everyone had to evacuate.  So, off we went, down several flights of stairs, and out into the damp, chilly night. Of course, nobody had time to grab a coat!  After several minutes, we were allowed back into the hotel.

Then, less than an hour later, the fire alarm went off again! So, back down the stairs we went and once again we were back into the damp chilly night. Again, after a few minutes, we were allowed to return to our rooms. I found out, several years later, that a person had deliberately set fires; then, went around to the people outside and was offering bottles of water to them!  Of all the nerve!

The two ventures into the damp, chilly night took a toll on me and I wound up getting extremely sick and pretty much slept through Thanksgiving!

The year after my worst Thanksgiving turned out to be my best. That time, I met my wife and we went on our first date.  I remember inviting her over to watch the Lions beat the Oakland Raiders; however, she did not make it until after the game.  She confessed to me, years later, that she missed the game “on purpose”! Nevertheless, we had a great first date…Disneyland, no less…and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, sometimes, good memories are made and, unfortunately, sometimes, not-so-good memories are made!


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