The first Thanksgiving meal was not as it is today. There was neither turkey, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes nor pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving dinner has evolved!

The date of the event questionable. By a year. Some say 1621, the first year the Pilgrims were on Plymouth soil. Others say 1622, one year later.

The Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians joined together for the party. Not one meal. Actually, a three day feast.

Turkeys were plentiful in the area. Not generally eaten by the Pilgrims. A “fowling party” was sent out to capture the birds to be consumed. Birds regularly eaten by the Pilgrims. Ducks, geese and swans.

Bread stuffing. No way. Herbs, onions or nuts added to the bird for extra flavor purposes.

There was meat. The Indians contributed five deer.

Cranberries were plentiful. Still fifty years away from being used for eating purposes. Sauces or relishes with the meal consisted of sugar which remained from the long Mayflower voyage. The sugar in minimal supply, however.

Fifty years later people started boiling cranberries with sugar. The cranberry sauce first being used as an accompaniment to meats.

Mussels part of the meal. Mussels plentiful in the area. Clung to rocks along the sea shore.

No potatoes. Neither white nor sweet.

Potatoes originally from South America. The Spaniards brought them to Spain. Potatoes were still foreign to England at the time the Mayflower left.

No pumpkin pie. Pumpkins plentiful. Butter and wheat flour required for the crust not available. Nor were there any ovens for baking.

It is possible some pumpkins were hollowed out. Then filled with milk, honey and spices. Following which the gourds were roasted whole in hot ashes.

So much for the first Thanksgiving dinner. Habit of course, but I prefer turkey, cranberries, potatoes, and stuffing buried in gravy. Dessert, pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving, not a day to diet!

More from my blog/Facebook friend Jim Brown who lives on the island of Crete in Greece. Following is a further part of his detailed e-mail response to my inquiry as to why Obama was protested during his recent visit.

Some history required.

The U.S. and Greece were allies during World War II. The Greeks fought shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. in Korea. Greece was a part of NATO.

A military dictatorship took control of Greece in 1967. Unpopular. Remained in power, however. The junta was still in power in November 1973.

Athens Polytechnic is an Athens based university. On November 14, the students went on strike against the military dictatorship. By the next day, November 15, the strike had turned into a revolt.

The students occupied the Polytechnic campus during those days. The demonstrations increased in intensity from the 15th to the 17th.

The military government finally had it. They sent the tanks in on November 17. It was the end of the revolution. Many students died.

The Greeks take the events of those November days seriously. The 17th is a national holiday. There is a memorial stone on the campus. It contains the names of Polytechnic students who fought and were killed during the Greek resistance to Germany during World War II. The monument also contains the names of the students killed on November 17.

A commemoration event takes place each year on campus. The day the students decided to revolt. Two days after the commemoration event, demonstrators march the streets to the United States Embassy.

Why the U.S. Embassy?

Greeks have memories like elephants. They never forget. To this day, the Greeks are upset the U.S. did not support them in the November 1973 uprising. We were allies and friends at the time.

The U.S. and Russia were engaged in the Cold War. The U.S. thought it advantageous to support the military junta against the students. The U.S. felt it was the right move for them re the Cold War.

Once the U.S. broke faith with the Greeks, other reasons developed.

The U.S. was a significant part of NATO. NATO ended the Yugoslavia War in 1999 by bombing Serbia. Serbia was Greece’s orthodox ally.

The U.S. supports the European Union. The Union has been killing Greece with austerity programs. Another reason to be anti-U.S.

The U.S. supports the International Monetary Fund. The Greeks consider the Fund anti-Greece.

The annual parade on November 17 is to pay tribute to the students who died and secondarily, to express Greece’s continued displeasure with the U.S.’s position.

The last President to visit Greece prior to Obama’s visit was Bill Clinton. He formally apologized to the Greeks. He openly admitted the U.S. allowed its interests in prosecuting the Cold War to prevail over its obligation to support democracy.

Now comes Obama’s visit. On November 15. Not the 17th when the parade/demonstration was scheduled. Why waste a parade/demonstration? The event was moved up two days to coincide with Obama’s arrival.

Eight thousand protested. Anarchists and leftists.

The Greeks consider the U.S. a friend. In spite of the reasons given why not. Obama should not have been included in the demonstration. However, Greeks are Greeks. Such is their nature.

Recognize also that those protesting are only a portion of the Greek population.

Again, I must skip a day of Key West history based on a Rotary history. The blog today, though interesting,

already too long. Tomorrow, the Key West Rotary World War II and the immediate years following.

There will be more from Jim Brown, also.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Be grateful for whatever you have. Bountiful or limited.
















‘Twas the night before Christmas…..visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

The day before Thanksgiving similar. Food!

This is my third week of dieting. Diet simple. Three days on, four days off. Tomorrow is the first of the four days off. I can eat!

For the past three days, my mind has been blocked with visions of turkey, potatoes and stuffing buried in gravy. I can’t wait!

Diet evenings, I generally stay in. Food and drink my enemy. I am weak. Ergo, I cannot tell you of my dining, bar hopping, chatting with friends, etc. Non-existent. Sorry.

The diet seems to be working. In 2 1/2 weeks, 10 pounds. I feel I deserve more because of the hunger fest.

A long blog today. Crete’s Jim Brown wrote a second e-mail re the Obama visit and demonstrations. An extremely long e-mail. Detailed. I am going to share it with you piece meal. Will take 3-4 days.

Worth following. The background info interesting.

Cannot forget Rotary history. Today, nine years of a Rotary organized Key West Boy Scout troop.

My blog talk radio show last night. For the third consecutive week, I commented on how the technological revolution is making humans obsolete. I feel like a voice in the wilderness. Not many pay attention to the problem.

Syracuse basketball! Syracuse met its first somewhat credible opponent last night. South Carolina. Syracuse won 101-59.

Go ‘Cuse!

This day in 1984, a big one in college football history. A happening  that may never occur again. Doug Flutie’s Hail Marry Pass for Boston College. One second left. Boston losing. Flutie threw a 64 yard pass hoping a Boston player would catch it. Arms up everywhere. A Boston player caught the ball! Boston College won 47-45.


Jim Brown’s e-mail.

U.S. papers reported the 7,000 person demonstration communist inspired. Jim tells me no. It was anarchists.

The communists were involved, but to a lesser degree. Not the Communist Party itself. Instead, PAME. PAME the communist party labor union.

The Athens riot was peaceful till the anarchists threw rocks and molotov cocktails. Police retaliated with tear gas and stun grenades.

The rioters ended the evening at the Athens Polytechnic campus. A haven. By law, police are not permitted to enter university grounds unless invited by the chancellor.

There were no injuries or damage to private property.

In spite of the demonstrations, the Greek people, including anarchists, communists, and nazis, hope Obama’s visit will aid economic recovery. Sounds strange. Not. Greeks are a strange breed as you will comprehend after having read more.

Tomorrow, more re the demonstrations and the Greek thought process.

Installment 20 based on Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary. Boy Scouts. Covers a 9 year period. 1937 to 1946.

“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country…..” Opening lines to the Boy Scout oath.

Scouting was a big deal in the years discussed. It represented America. The best of America. The Key West Rotary understood and did their best to bring scouting to Key West and thereafter support scouting.

The Rotary assisted in forming the Key West Scout troop. So much so that the troop was referred to as Rotary Troop 52. Troop 52 was organized in 1937.

Scout master was Victor Larsen. The first meeting of the Troop was held in the basement of the Bayview Park Bandstand.

August 1, 1938, 18 Key West scouts were loaded on the back of a large truck. The destination Bartow, Florida. To participate in a 10 day scout jamboree.

Upon arrival, the scouts pitched their tents.

The Key West scouts excelled in the swimming meet. Comment is made that they did so in spite of the fact they found it hard to get use to fresh water.

A week after the Bartow camporee, Key West scheduled their own. Invited were Bartow and Miami scout troops. The Bartow scouts would pitch tents on Naval Station grounds and the Miami ones on Naval Hospital grounds.

In these formative years, Key West Rotary worked hard to make sure scouting in Key West was on  a solid basis and would be permanent.

January 1, 1946 found 25 scouts and leaders hiking to Stock Island for a weekend outing. The hike began at White and Division Streets. Division today Truman Avenue.

The date February 22, 1946 significant in Key West scouting history. Scouts from Troops 50, 51 and 52 involved. Troops 50 and 51 from other Keys areas.

They attended a three day camporee on West Summerland Key. The site the old Civilian Conservation Camp. It was a work camporee.

The scouts cleaned up the site. It was a mess. They knew however they were cleaning what would soon become their own scout camp site. The Monroe County Scout Camp.

Stats this morning reveal more people read this blog yesterday than any other day in November. Thank you.

Enjoy your day!