This weekend marks the 392nd anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, when in fall of 1621, the Pilgrims and the local Wampanoag people sat down to celebrate a successful harvest and give thanks.
Since that first Thanksgiving, Americans have gathered regularly each November with family and friends to give thanks for the fortune that they have in their lives.
But although most of us have an abundance of blessings, there are those throughout America and in our own community who are not as fortunate or have recently run into a little bad luck.
Fortunately, the Salvation Army, through its seasonal bell-ringing program, is there to help those in need, assisting with utilities, rent, lodging, food, gas, clothing and a whole lot more.
Starting this weekend and continuing through Christmas Eve, bell ringers will be stationed at the entrance doors in front of Walmart, Walgreens, Bashas’ and Big Lots. (You’ll see me again this year in front of Walmart’s south door.) Please be generous with your red-kettle donations.
And if you can spare a little time, the Salvation Army is still in need of bell ringers to fill all of its slots. Shifts are only two hours long and you can ring once or as many times as you like.
Ringers can be of any age; you can do it alone or with a partner and the only requirements are that you can ring a bell and say “Merry Christmas!”
Please call John Morgan at (928) 474-8454 to sign up for a time. You’ll be helping those who have fallen on hard times and who will surely be thankful for the generosity of your time.
This week’s question
At this time every year, I always reflect on those things for which I’m thankful.
And, as always, I’m thankful for my wife and family, friends, the warm home in which we live, our beautiful and friendly community, my good health (knock on wood) and my parents, for giving me the opportunity to experience life on this earth.
Each year, I try to think of something new for which to be thankful.
This year, I’m thankful for NFL football. After all, what would Thanksgiving be without it?
This week’s music trivia question relates to my new thankfulness.
In January of 1986, 10 members of the Chicago Bears professional football team became the first NFL players (and to this day, the only NFL players) to record a song and have it make it onto the Billboard charts.
The song debuted following the Bears’ phenomenal 1985 regular season record of 15-1 and before the team’s run to a Super Bowl title in February 1986. The catchy song rose to No. 41 and stayed on the pop chart for nine weeks.
The video that accompanied the Bears’ song featured three of the team’s flamboyant personalities – Walter “Sweetness” Payton, Jim “Punky QB” McMahon and William “The Refrigerator” Perry.
Was the name of this Chicago Bears’ song A) The Boys of Fall; B) The Lambeau Leap; C) We Will Rock You; or D) The Super Bowl Shuffle?
If you are caller number four and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your favorite artist or genre. Good luck!
Last week’s question
In Johnny Preston’s 1959 No. 1 hit, “Running Bear,” he told the story of a young Indian brave, Running Bear, and his pretty maiden, separated by opposing Indian tribes and a swirling river.
Was the name of Running Bear’s pretty maiden A) Eternal Water; B) Yellow Flower; C) Little White Dove; or D) Morning Sun?
The correct answer was Little White Dove. You may remember these lyrics to Preston’s hit.
Running Bear loved Little White Dove,
With a love big as the sky.
Running Bear loved Little White Dove,
With a love that couldn’t die.
Congratulations to last week’s first-time winner, Lita Nicholson.
Lita was born and lived her young years in Cleveland, Ohio before moving with her family in her early teens to the tiny town of Goldthwait in central Texas.
Lita graduated from the University of Texas in 1962 and then moved to California to begin a 25-year career as a high school English teacher. She has a daughter who lives in Gilbert and a son in California. In 2004, she moved to Payson to be closer to family.
Now retired, Lita keeps very busy. She is a member of two different book discussion groups and also of the Rim Area Gardeners. She volunteers at the Rim Country Museum, library and with Wagon Wheel Territory, an area group that welcomes new residents to the Rim Country. She is also a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Lita’s favorite music genre is classic country (1950s and ’60s) and her favorite artists are Lyle Lovett, Buddy Holly and Tish Hinojosa.
A final note
New pictures that I’ve added to my Web site are from the recently held Girl Scouts’ “Me and My Guy” masquerade ball.
More than 100 Girl Scouts and their fathers/uncles/grandpas/significant male persons gathered at the LDS Church in Payson to enjoy a dress-up evening of fun, pizza and dancing. Oh, to have such energy again.
I hope you are enjoying a blessed Thanksgiving weekend.
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482, Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com