Gazette-Mail editorial: Thoughts on Thanksgiving

On this yearly day of giving thanks, every American has plenty of reason to be grateful. Simply being a citizen of the world’s richest, freest nation gives Americans advantages that are the envy of the world.

As usual, we reprint some wise comments for the holiday:


“Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings ... . One of life’s gifts is that each of us, no matter how tired and downtrodden, finds reasons for thankfulness: for the crops carried in from the fields and the grapes from the vineyard.” — J. Robert Moskin, “The Heritage of Judaism,” Look magazine, Oct. 5, 1965


“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.” — Samuel Pepys, in his secret diary


“Food for all is a necessity. Food should not be a merchandise, to be bought and sold as jewels are bought and sold by those who have the money to buy. Food is a human necessity, like water and air, and it should be available.” — Pearl Buck, “To My Daughters, With Love”


“Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.” — Shakespeare, “As You Like It”


“The original Thanksgiving was the last time we were nice to the Indians.” — Charleston reformer Bettijane Burger


“It was dramatic to watch [my grandmother] decapitate [a turkey] with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays, the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with ‘gourmet’ status.” — Russell Baker, The New York Times, Nov. 27, 1985


“I declare that a meal prepared by a person who loves you will do more good than any average cooking, and on the other side of it, a person who dislikes you is bound to get that dislike into your food, without intending to.” — Luther Burbank, “The Harvest of the Years”


“Ever since Eve started it all by offering Adam the apple, woman’s punishment has been to have to supply a man with food and then suffer the consequences when it disagrees with him.” — Helen Rowland, “A Guide to Men”


“Heap high the board with plenteous cheer, and gather to the feast / and toast the Pilgrim band, whose courage never ceased.” — Alice Williams Brotherton


“’Twas founded by the Puritans to give thanks for bein’ presarved from the Indyans, and ... we keep it to give thanks we are presarved from the Puritans.” — Finley Peter Dunne, “Mr. Dooley”


“The custom of saying grace at meals had, probably, its origin in the early times of the world, and the hunter-state of man, when dinners were precarious things, and a full meal was something more than a common blessing; when a bellyfull was a windfall, and looked like a special providence.” — Charles Lamb


“Some people always sigh in thanking God.” — Elizabeth Barrett Browning


“Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crowned / Where all the ruddy family around / Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail / Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale / Or press the bashful stranger to his food / And learn the luxury of doing good.” — Oliver Goldsmith, “The Traveler”

Funerals for Sunday, December 8, 2019

Board, Dencil - 3 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Booher, Hughes - 3 p.m., Maranatha Fellowship, St. Albans.

Carpenter, Homer - 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Collins, Jacob - 2 p.m., Morris Funeral Home, Cowen.

Donahue-Moubray, Kathleen - 3 p.m., Haven of Rest Mausoleum, Red House.

Estes, Peggy - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Friel, Ruth - 1 p.m., Lantz Funeral Home, Buckeye.

Johnson, Marvin - 1 p.m., High Lawn Mausoleum, Oak Hill.

Linville, Vada - 2 p.m., Orchard Hills Memory Gardens, Yawkey.

Pettit, Michele - 3:30 p.m., Faith Baptist Church, Spencer.

Prue, Margaret - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Scott, Robert - 3 p.m., Capital High School, Charleston.

Smith, Wanda - 3 p.m., Billy Hunt Cemetery, Kettle Road.

Sneed, Virginia - 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.