Make The Leftovers Last

I’m posting my From The Editor’s Desk Column from Sat., Nov. 25.
What do you think of the idea of extending the Thanksgiving holiday? You know, there are 12 days of Christmas, why not four days of Thanksgiving?

It is too bad (as today’s editorial cartoon shows) that Thanksgiving gets such short shrift. It gets crowded out by Christmas shopping . Christmas can wait till the third week in December, right?
What do you think? Leave your comments here on this blog. Or you can write them as letters to the editor to our newspaper (, or

MY friend Brad Haugaard says that Americans cheat the Thanksgiving holiday of its due. One day and done doesnt give this wonderful ritual listing the things you are thankful for and maybe discussing them aloud justice.

Worse, turning Thanksgiving weekend into a shopping spree or a couch potato football marathon is sacrilegious to Brad. I doubly agree.

So, applying the concept of continuation to this holiday, we should keep listing, keep thanking, keep celebrating what we have all weekend long.

So to Brad, and to all of you, I present a modest list of people and things Im thankful for that I share today, the Third Day of Thanksgiving. With an emphasis on lifes smaller things.

1. The lady behind the American Airlines counter at LAX almost 24 years ago when my wife Karen and I were embarking on our honeymoon to St. Croix. Her act of random kindness wont be forgotten. She bumped us up to first class. (Ironically, the trip was free because I received the tickets in a promotion after buying a Chevrolet Chevette from Cormier Chevrolet.)

2. Rick Potter, my boss at Dairy Barn in Bellmore, N.Y., for not being afraid to talk about religion to me, something very politically incorrect these days. Rick took a chance and that conversation continues in me, nurturing a spiritual inner life awakened 28 years ago by a blue-collar guy in a milk store on Long Island. He spoke about Gods grace or unmerited favor to me. Something also to be thankful for today.

3. For being born in the United States, the greatest country in the world.

4. For my grandmother, Pompelia DiCarolis, who with her sister, Matilda, left their home and parents behind in Italy for the unknown shores of America. No men, no husbands, no jobs only the hope of freedom and a better life, no doubt similar to the hopes and dreams of those Mayflower riders.

5. A rock outcropping beneath the American River. Im thankful it wasnt a foot or two closer to my head as I traveled through the water like a missile from a submarine from the force of a white-water rapid. Those endless seconds were calm moments as I thanked my God for so much. Then I surfaced, breathing in gulps of air and clinging to the rock from which I was rescued.

6. The rising silver moon above Jenny Lakes 9,100 feet in elevation from Earths sea level. It was a magical moonrise, perhaps the closest to the moon and all of Gods creation I ever got.

7. For Dr. Charles March, whose infertility treatments led to our first child 17 years ago.

8. For Chris Chambliss, whose home run I witnessed leave Yankee Stadium and put my Yanks into the World Series for the first time in my conscious life.

9. For the regular telephone calls from Mickey Fox of Covina, here at work, who challenged me to think about life, but, more importantly, showed me it was a random moment of small talk that reminds us we are alive.

10. For the truck it was a Chevy Luv lent to me by Steve and Linda Sargent in September 1984 so my wife and I could move from our apartment in Placentia to a rented house in Monrovia. I got to thinking about that truck Sunday after learning that Linda, the sister of my wifes best friend in high school, had passed away at age 47 from Lou Gehrigs disease, which she fought with courage and grace for four years. The obituary Sunday said the wife and mother of two had also been a respiratory therapist. And I remembered how she and he would always come to Halloween costume parties dressed in green hospital scrubs, stethoscopes dangling from their necks. Funny what you remember. There was not time to thank her for her kindness, for helping others who were sick, and for being an example to me of sacrificial love.

11. Last year, an airline worker for Delta Airlines at Romes DaVinci Airport spoke my name through the public address system. Concerned, I went up to the ticket counter, announced myself and presented my ID. We were going home, first class! Yup, it happened again. There was no explanation, only kindness.

So, who is on your list? Theres still time to draw one up. Have a happy Rest of Thanksgiving Weekend.

This entry was posted in environment, land use, Pasadena by Steve Scauzillo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Scauzillo

I love journalism. I've been working in journalism for 32 years. I love communicating and now, that includes writing about environment, transportation and the foothill/Puente Hills communities of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I write a couple of columns, one on fridays in Opinion and the other, The Green Way, in the main news section. Send me ideas for stories. Or comments. I was opinion page editor for 12 years so I enjoy a good opinion now and then.

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