Traverse City Record-Eagle

Feature Columnists

November 24, 2013

Ed Hungness: Turkey isn't thankful, but rest of us are


The bountiful turkey was popularized as a holiday meal by Charles Dickens. Published in 1843, his classic story, “A Christmas Carol,” starred Ebenezer Scrooge, a grouchy old geezer who was also a tightwad. In the end, after being shown the err of his ways, he gave the biggest turkey at the butcher shop to the impoverished Cratchit family as a Christmas present. The turkey saved the day for them and saved Scrooge from a lonely life of gloom and doom.

Almost everyone has pleasant Thanksgiving memories, usually from their childhood, which supply warm and fuzzy feelings. My childhood memories of Thanksgiving are reflected in Norman Rockwell’s famous Thanksgiving painting which graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. Published in 1943 it was appropriately titled, “Freedom from Want” and depicts a joyful family gathering at their dining room table with a roasted turkey.

Thanksgiving will be celebrated in a variety of ways Thursday. Families will gather together in homes across the country, feasting and remembering those who are no longer at the table to share the meal. Some generous souls will volunteer their time and serve dinners in churches, food panties, community centers and homeless shelters.

We can relax and enjoy this national day of thanksgiving knowing that the men and women of our armed forces, police departments, fire departments and emergency medical care are on the job and protecting us from danger.

We hope that at some point during the day, they can be with their families or comrades to share a Thanksgiving meal together. In spite of daily distractions and problems, we all have much for which to be thankful. However, the turkey may not be so thankful.

Ed Hungness and his wife became fulltime residents of Fife Lake in 2005 after Ed’s retirement. He can be reached at or by mail at P.O. Box 57, Fife Lake, MI 49633

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