Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is coming up on Thursday of this week. We all are so very blessed and we all have so much for which to be thankful. I know that everyone who reads this column has many great memories of Thanksgiving. As I have referred to in my columns over the last few months, I have big changes in my life coming soon due to the fact that I will be getting married. Wow! What a tremendous blessing this is for both of us! God has blessed me with a wonderful partner that has been in my life for over 40 years. And, when it seemed to appear that marriage would never happen for us, here it is. It is happening. This is for real! What a tremendous gift and special blessing this is from God at this time in our lives. I get emotional in talking about it. And even now as I write this column, I am choking up. Blessings abound all around my life and they always have. I know this is true for all of us as again, we all have so much for which to be thankful.
Thanksgiving should be a time that we give thanks for all of the many wonderful blessings that God has bestowed upon us. Certainly, this should not be the only time that we give thanks, but we should definitely give thanks at Thanksgiving! I have two questions to ask: 1.) What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 2.) What is your favorite memory of Thanksgiving? If you are like me, I am sure that you count your blessings daily. And, I am also sure that you have several fond memories of Thanksgiving from years gone by.
When I was growing up in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, I remember the trips to grandma’s house (both at Thanksgiving and at Christmas). Great memories of traveling from Shreveport to visit family and friends at holiday time in both Minden (Mom) and Coushatta (Dad) is a big part of what I remember from my youth. All of the great food, the wonderful deserts, the after lunch naps and all of the fun-filled good times visiting relatives are memories that I truly cherish as the years so quickly pass me by. Back in those days, there were no computers or cell phones with instant communication or texting capabilities. And, there was no social media or instant chat capability for us to be focussed upon. For the most part, all we had was each other. So, the visiting, the meaningful conversations, the food, the games, the fun, the football, etc. were all so very special.
Over the span of my almost 22 years at BPT, I have made countless trips to our Minden office. And now with me also having an office there, I find myself in Minden several times a week. Almost every time that I am there, I make a trip by grandma’s old house on Midland Street. You have to pass by it going south on Sibley Road heading to I-20. So, I pass by there several times per week. That house is always top of mind when I travel to Minden. This is the house where my Mom and her sisters were raised. And, it is where my cousins and I had so many great times together when we were kids both at holiday time and at other times throughout the years.
When I see the house, my mind so quickly flashes back to the big sycamore tree that used to dominate the front yard. Unfortunately, that tree is no longer there, as it was struck by lightning several years ago. I was a little too close for comfort when lightning struck the tree in 1963, but that is a story for another time. We played so many football games and other sports/games in that front yard. In looking at that front yard, it is all so easy to visualize and remember just like it was yesterday. When I see that the porch that my grandfather built on the front of the house , I remember the screens that ushered in the wonderful fresh air and the smell of the rain as it began to fall.
The living room in the very front of that house is where we watched the Dallas Cowboys play their traditional Thanksgiving Day football game in 1974 against Washington. With only 28 seconds left to play, Cowboys rookie Clint Longley (who had replaced an injured Roger Staubach earlier in the game) hit Drew Pearson on a left sideline “Hail Mary” 50-yard touchdown pass to win the game. I remember that moment like it was yesterday.
I am certain that all of you have so many great memories of Thanksgivings and holidays past with family and friends both in your youth and as you have grown older. To me, counting our blessings and great memories like these are the true meaning of Thanksgiving. And again, we all have so much for which to be thankful. And, there are still so many great times ahead and so many great memories yet to be made for us all. I wish you and your family a very happy, blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving!
Randy Brown is Vice President of Specht Newspapers, Inc and Publisher of the Minden Press-Herald.