Be grateful you weren’t this turkey |

Be grateful you weren’t this turkey

by Carolyn DeMar
and Maizie Harris Jesse

Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow, and we’d like to say we are ever so grateful for all of our family and friends and readers. You are so supportive and we appreciate you very much. Now that we’ve gagged you with a spoon, here’s a turkey story you’ve never heard before ….

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Ma Tate, Carolyn’s mother, was playing Whist (it’s a card game, for the uninitiated) many Thanksgivings back, and won a real, live turkey as a prize.

Because it was a while before Thanksgiving, she built a pen and put the turkey in it. The turkey, however, had other plans, and kept flying out of the pen. Not to be outsmarted by a turkey, Ma tied the rope around his leg and figured

this would keep him penned up … not so … the turkey would still try to fly away and she would find him in the morning hanging from the pen by one leg.

After a few days of this, and right before the “big” day, when she would “do him in,” she decided she was tired of finding him hanging by that one leg out of the pen, and tied the rope around his neck, thinking this would keep him in.

You guessed it …. The next morning she found what she thought was to be the “soon to be deceased bird” hanging from the pen … deceased. This solved the problem of how to “do in” the bird and she prepared him for the big dinner.

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Everyone thought it was the most delicious turkey dinner ever … everyone except Grandpa Glavin, who declared he would not eat a bird that committed suicide … and he didn’t ….

So ends the sad story of the “Suicide Turkey”… pass the potatoes and gravy, please ….

And here is the Thanksgiving poem, written by Nancy Gourley, one of Carolyn’s sisters, that the Tate family repeats every turkey eve, “Gobble, gobble, gobble …t he turkeys are in trouble … the turkeys, they are grieving … for tomorrow is Thanksgiving.” (It helps if you have a Spanish accent.) Ahhh, we smell Nobel prize…

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By the way, if Japanese poetry is called “haiku,” are American poems called “low-ku” in Japan? (Don’t call … we’re dumb enough already.) Ah, soooo…

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While you’re eating your dinner this year, please remember our service men and women … and, also, while you’re grateful for your family and friends, remember those you take for granted. So many times we overlook those who are important to us, but who sometimes blend seamlessly into the background … the men who pick up the garbage; the busboys and girls who clean the tables; the checkers, bagboys, fast-food employees … all help us out when we need them … cleaning ladies, the guys at the sewer plant, nurses, aides, janitors, street sweepers, snow plow operators … just some of those who make our lives easier.

The postal employees, policemen, firefighters, the kids who work at Latchkey, volunteers everywhere, hairdressers and barbers, the newspaper delivery people … you name them, because we know we’ve not even begun to list them all … but, we hope you know who you are, and we are thankful you are in our lives … all of you. Thank you!

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Maizie planned to have Thanksgiving dinner many years ago with friends across town, and it was her job to cook the turkey. This she did, and it was beautiful … all stuffed and browned and perfect. Sooo, she covered it with foil and marched out the door, and promptly dropped it in the gutter. Now, before you get too upset, it did not fall out of the pan, but, it did fall apart in several pieces. Horrified, she took it to the party, whereupon they pasted it back together with toothpicks and string and set it on the table.

What with the cranberries, candied yams and a liberal dose of “spirits,” the turkey dinner was a great success … but she’ll understand if you eat at the Nugget ….

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And does your family have a “children’s table?” Where all the kids sit until they get promoted to the “adult’s table?” The only thing is, some of the “children” are in their 40s now, and if some of the adults don’t croak, they may be there forever. Being two of the adults, “that’s a good thing.”

(Courtesy of Martha Stewart, no doubt ….)

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Lisa Tolda told us that her friend, Joanne Haskin, has a son stationed just south of Baghdad. His name is Sgt. Kevin Murray, Bravo Company, 1-32 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, APO AE 09384, and he would love to get any kind of mail, cards, letters, packages, from anyone who’d like to brighten a soldier’s day. Lisa’s father told her that mail call in Vietnam was the highest point of any soldier’s day, so we know if he gets “too many” letters, he will share them with his friends. Come on, Carson City. Drop Kevin and his pals a line and make his Christmas a happy one… and many thanks to all of you for doing that ….

Carolyn DeMar and Maizie Harris Jesse are longtime Carson City residents. Send your questions to