Thanksgiving, 1964

Throughout the years while I was raising my four kids (beginning in 1954), I kept a journal where I periodically made notes about holidays, school, vacations, etc.  As an occasion arises where I think one of my journal entries would be pertinent, I’m going to post it just as I wrote or typed it back in the day (except for an explanatory note or correction of a typo).  

The children will be known here by the nicknames their grandfather used when they were toddlers:  The oldest daughter will be Newsie (because she was as good as a newspaper for finding out the latest happenings), the oldest son is Bar (because he called Grandpa’s truck Bar and Grandpa called him Bar), the youngest son is Jackson, and the youngest daughter is Shanty (as in Shanty-Boat).

This journal entry was made 6 years before Shanty was born.  We were living in a 1922 house on Maple Drive in Oakley, a suburb of Cincinnati.  My mother and father lived at the other end of Maple Drive.


Bar, 8 years of age, and Newsie, age 10

Jackson, 4 years old

The afternoon sun is bright as it shines on the white birch in the backyard.  A gaudy red cardinal perches on the fence while his earth-brown mate pecks at the grass.  A great pile of leaves is heaped at the entrance to the hollow, waiting patiently for a push into the woods below.  The houses across the hollow are in clear view now that the leaves are gone and our forest of the summer has become an autumn canyon.

Dinner is over and the dishes washed and put away.  The turkey was golden brown and only lost its two wings in its transport from roasting pan to platter.  The potatoes were perfect, according to Newsie, and the rolls, light.  We all ate too much, as usual, while Penny (our dog) whined in the basement, eager to get her share of the feast.

When I look back on Thanksgiving, 1964, I’ll probably remember Newsie busily toasting bread and cutting it into cubes for the dressing; Jackson putting great slabs of turkey on a roll with radishes and making a sandwich; Bar, in his football helmet, either playing football in the street in front of the house or watching the game on television; Frank (husband) lounging on the floor in front of the television after consuming an enormous helping of everything on the dinner table; Grandpa coming through the back door into the kitchen carrying a bowl of half-beaten whipped cream for me to finish up after their mixer had broken; the parades in the morning on TV, the aroma of roast turkey filling the house, the frenzy of getting everything on the table at once, the feeling of gratitude for everything I have.

Lillian – Thanksgiving Day, 1964

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

10 thoughts on “Thanksgiving, 1964”

  1. Love, love this! What great nicknames for your children. It is wonderful how you wrote such details. I often write about my childhood, but from memory. Sadly, I hardly ever write about my young children….thanks to what you wrote today, I’m motivated to do just that. Thanks, Lillian! I’m looking forward to more of your journal writings, and of course more beautiful photos of your children. So cute they were, and I bet still are today!

  2. I’ve just spent a few minutes catching up with your recent posts. I don’t always have time to comment when I “visit.”
    Isn’t it interesting how in recalling one specific day or event of the past a whole cupboard full of relevant memories can tumble forth–things we think we’ve forgotten.
    Thank you for sharing from your journal.
    Also, may I say, your directions for a project are some of the clearest I’ve ever read.

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