Since it began in 1924, Macy’s gift to New York City has become a time-honored tradition. Macy’s miracle of 34th street is a festive celebration that runs for 2 ½ miles. Some 3.5 million people will line the parade route to watch this amazing display of giant balloons and unique floats, and another 50 million will watch it at home.
For many people, this is the image they have of Thanksgiving, and it is what they think of as the start of the holiday season. My thoughts are a bit different.
While I do think of the Pilgrims, the inaugural feast with the Indians and the giving of thanks. This year, I find myself thinking of January 6, 1923, the year before Macy’s began their parade.
A record of the event was recorded in the pages of Eureka’s newspaper, The Democratic Messenger on January 11, 1923: Harold Seymour, age 17 and Berta Hughes, age 18 were married by Probate Judge S.L. Chase in Reece, Kansas.
Harold and Berta would move a little east and a little north to Sallyards, a town that is now barren foundations, railroad tracks, cattle, and the Kansas wind blowing across the Flint Hills and through the Bluestem grass.
The white house where Harold and Berta lived is my slice of Americana. My first memories of Thanksgiving are framed inside this house. I can still smell Grandma’s cherry pie and chicken and noodles. I can still see that big smile that lined the wrinkled face of Grandpa Seymour.
Even though I’ve forgotten the name of the songs, the vivid memory of Grandma sitting at the piano is fresh in my mind. As she played, the family sang, and the clearest voice was Dad’s—a voice that was silenced by an untimely death 50 years ago.
Even though my grandparents, parents, and all but one uncle and one aunt are gone, I still have my slice of Americana. Every time I pour myself a cup of coffee and eat a slice of cherry pie or dig into a heaping helping of chicken and noodles, I remember what I can’t forget, and I give thanks.
What are some of your memories and your slice of Americana?