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.
















Mark Watson, Happy Birthday!

Mark is one of the most beloved persons in Key West. Drag queen at Aqua, a Dueling Bartender, wednesday night Back Door bartender, present King of Fantasy Fest. On and on.

A nice guy besides.

I shall be sharing this day with him at a dinner party tonight.

My yesterday began with a haircut at Blown Away with Lori. My haircutter and friend of 15 years.

Lori is moving Blown Away. To a new building on White Street. Across from Fausto’s and Sandy’s. Next door to the building where I did my first radio show 10 years ago.

Then lunch at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Lovely Ruby working. The lady is talented. Hard working. Her work ethic impresses me.

Jay. Former chef at Sq. 1. Sq. 1 bought out. Jay moving on. Going to be the owner of his own operation. A sandwich shop. On Southard next to Bank of America. Around the corner from Key Lime Square. Near the Cuban Coffee Queen. Five door’s from Lori’s Blown Away.

From gourmet chef to sandwich maker. The sandwiches should be terrific!

Across the street are two coffee houses, a veggie restaurant, and Mr. T’s. A couple hundred feet up Southard, a noodle restaurant. All have been in business in the immediate area for many years. Jay should do well.

Opening, September 26.

Bocce last night. Ran into Jay. He has played bocce for years. My team Don’s Place doing well. I am the cheerleader. The team won all 3 games last night. 16-3, 16-0, 16-15.

It always happens that way. You kill the opposing team in the first two games. Then complacency sets in. An extra drink. Joking around. Concentration disappears.

Don’s was winning 14-7 in the third game. Needed only 2 points to win. All of a sudden, the game was tied 14 all. Finally, a one point victory eked out.

Norm is one of the player’s on Don’s team. A nice guy. We have been friends for years. Better friends because of bocce. One of my partner’s when I played.

Norm’s wife is involved community wise. She is a Rotarian. As was her father and grandfather before her. Rotarians have their hands in many of the Key West charity fundraisers. The Brewfest last week. She was one of the ones running the event. This week, she is working hard on Poker Run.

Ten thousand bikes start roaring into Key West today. For Poker Run Weekend. Big, expensive bikes. Drivers in black leather and crazy helmets. Look dangerous. Their ladies similarly dressed. Breasts dramatic. Intentionally so.

The humor is that most are doctors, lawyers and CPAs having what they consider a wild weekend. No more wild than any other, however. They will drink a bit too much, dine at the finest restaurants and have a great time!

You and me and the federal government are not the only one’s being hacked. The Monroe County Tourist Development Council’s website has been hacked. Florida Keys & Key West Facebook page 1.

Pics of beautiful Key West deleted. Replaced with photos of scantily clad provocatively posed women.

The Tourist Council cannot remove/delete the photos. Nor can they reach anyone at Facebook for help. Nor can they post an explanation.

My suggestion is they get a computer geek immediately to work on the problem. There are several in Key West.

The Mayflower departed England this day in 1620. Sixty six days later, landed at Provincetown. Not Plymouth as most of us have learned. Several months later, a group departed and landed at Plymouth. Of Plymouth Rock fame.

The Mayflower gave us the Mayflower Compact, Plymouth Rock, and Capt. Myles Standish.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act into law this day in 1940. A draft law.

It is time we had a draft law again. Our professional voluntary army has been pushed too hard. Several deployments. As many as seven for some. No wonder 20 veterans a day are committing suicide.

I would require two years military service following high school graduation.

Guaranteed, I am going to receive a lot of comment on the position.

Enjoy your day!