Clearing up myths about the first Thanksgiving(s)

By Charley Wilkison

My mother told me the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by God-fearing people at Plymouth Rock and all the pilgrims from England and all the Indians ate turkey, sang the some good old gospel revival songs and the Indians accepted the Lord and we’ve been doing it that way ever since.

My daddy said that nobody in his right mind would have eaten dry turkey when you could have just walked out in your pilgrim back yard and killed a big ole fat hen and made chicken and dressing. He said our forefathers sat around playing 42 with the Indians in full headdress, then they drank a little white lightning and some slept there on the ground with the coon hounds while others that could still walk went on back to their teepees.

I don’t know which one of these stories drove me into a career in politics and government and sent my baby brother off to get a PhD in History. He’s since told me the very boring and anti-climactic story of the first Thanksgiving and quite frankly, I liked daddy’s story better.

It’s true that George Washington sort of declared the first official Thanksgiving holiday, but it wasn’t until President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 that it actually became an actual bonafide government holiday.

Truthfully, the first Thanksgiving in America was in 1541 by the Spanish explorer, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who led a thanksgiving Communion celebration at Palo Duro Canyon, TEXAS. That was some 90 years before Massachusetts got their hands on Thanksgiving.

See how Yankees are?

Here’s a little list to determine where your family’s Thanksgiving traditions originate from and some offered solutions to fix your problems.

If you pronounce all of the consonants and vowels in “Pumpkin” or even remotely associate it with a pie, then you are from North of here.

No doubt about it.

Solution: go get you some sweet taters, mix them with cream, butter and sugar, and pour into a homemade pastry and you’ll be on your way to being a better person.

If you call the concoction that surrounds the baked fowl in the center of the table “stuffing,” you also might be a little far from home.

Solution: You need several pans of cornbread, chicken broth, celery, onion, etc. to make yourself some dressing.

After your second helping, your vocal chords will relax and you’ll be able to speak normally without using all the letters of the alphabet.

If you’re having some nice steamed vegetables with tofu or a special sushi Thanksgiving dish, you won’t fit in at the goat auction.

Solution: You’ll need to begin reading the Texas Constitution because I’m almost sure there’s something in there about not bringing your Yankee recipes south of Amarillo.

If you put sugar in your cornbread, you might as well be rooting for the Washington Redskins and there will be no way for you to enter the pearly gates of heaven in either case.

Solution: The nearest commercial airport is down in Austin.