Thanksgiving is usually a holiday that I skip over to get to what’s next (read: Christmas). But somewhere in the archives of my brain, I forgot about one Thanksgiving tradition that my family did maintain pretty carefully over the years. It slipped my mind because it isn’t technically a Thanksgiving tradition in my family. It is a tradition though, and it is indirectly related to Thanksgiving.
The tradition in question is a careful listen to Stan Freberg Presents: The United States of America, vol. 1, The Early Years.
It’s a comedy album from a little while ago (1961), and it sketches out the history of the United States from 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, to the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783. In case you’re wondering how that connects to Thanksgiving, there’s one portion of the album that deals directly with the pilgrim/Thanksgiving situation. It’s solidly out of the politically correct category, and it’s hilarious.
A lot of our family’s “inside jokes” are actually one-liners from that album. And it is an album, not a CD. I used to listen to it on vinyl. Aah, I’m old. Well, I used to listen to Stan Freberg, Sesame Street, and the soundtrack to The Sound of Music on vinyl. That assortment might prove that I’m not so old after all.
Anyway, if you get a chance, I highly recommend listening to Freberg. I’ve never listened to the second volume of the album, since it came out years and years after the first volume. I did make a purchase on iTunes today, however. I’m now fully prepared to enjoy the holidays with one family tradition that connects to lots of others (loud family singing, laughing at inappropriate political commentary, ah, the good old days).