On behalf of the entire staff of the Wickenburg Institute for Factual Diversity, let me wish you a happy Thanksgiving.
Around here, we have much to be grateful for. I’m thankful just to still be here, given the opportunities for it to be otherwise. This face was worn out three bodies.
I’m thankful that I’m here to enjoy Miss Ellie, Fibber, and more friends than I can count. I’m grateful for kinfolk and in-laws who love one another.
I’m glad that God gave me enough intelligence to realize how lucky I am, but didn’t make me nearly as smart as I used to think I was.
I’m grateful that by accident of birth, I was born in the most interesting state in the USA. This is still the best nation on earth, despite government attempts to improve it.
It is gratifying to see that the crowd in Washington has elevated my calling to the level of policy. I’m thankful that as official state liar, I’m 329th in line to succeed to the governorship of Arizona. That’s a pretty safe distance.
I’m grateful for the time…hmm. Maybe we’ll come back to that one next Thanksgiving, after I remember what blessing it was I was going to tell you about. I’m grateful that I have so much to be forgetful about.
I don’t feel like lying at a sentimental time like this, so I need to share one true Cook family story.
I’m thankful that the game warden didn’t come around the year my old man shot a wild turkey with four drumsticks. They were rare birds. Sixty some years later, a farmer in Salome is trying to grow four-legged turkeys commercially. He doesn’t know what the birds taste like; he hasn’t been able to catch one yet.
That’s what Dad said, too: A four-legged turkey really moves fast. We were living on the top side of the Mogollon Rim at the time.
I don’t remember Dad ever poaching, but Mom remembered trying to explain the math to my brother Dean and me–one turkey, four drumsticks.
I asked Dad about the story, and he confessed what really happened. He was on Battleground Ridge, hunting turkey with his only rifle, a .303 Savage suitable for hunting woolly mammoths.
He said those turkeys attacked him. They charged in single file. When he fired, he shot clear through two turkeys. The rest of the flock retreated.
I was only about six years old, and what I remember about that meal is that there wasn’t much to eat but drumsticks. With a rifle that size, that’s about all that’s left of a wild turkey–drumsticks and feathers.
Those drumsticks sure tasted better than canned meat, or creamed chip beef on toast.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And to our friends in Canada, who celebrate Thanksgiving at the wrong time, have a memorable Thursday.