Bob Mitchell: America’s oldest and exclusive holiday

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thursday is Thanksgiving 2018, a date with which everyone is familiar.

But, did you ever stop to think that this observation is America’s oldest, original holiday? Certainly not in competition with Christmas and Easter, which would be considered international observances, but it is America’s very own to recognize and enjoy.

The very first Thanksgiving was in l621 in Plymouth, Mass., as the Pilgrims observed making it through a tough winter. It was a year after they had sailed into Plymouth harbor to establish a colony. A notable part of the observance was that they might not have had much to celebrate had it not been for the Native American Indians that came to join them and brought much of the food that was going to be on the table.

There had to be good feelings between the two races at this time, something that didn’t continue into generations that followed

A long time ago

Think of Thanksgiving this way, this first observance was 155 years before the U.S. Constitution was signed, and it was 397 years ago today. Makes one wonder of the possibility of today’s generations being adequately dedicated to go through the processes of those days and surviving for so long.

The dates mean there has been a lot of water flowing under the bridges since the first arrivals on this continent thought to sit down and give thanks for having fled a controlled religious environment and seek their own way of living.

Facts to consider, blessings to be thankful for

Just think about what this means to us as we gather with family or friends around the Thanksgiving table this week.

With Thanksgiving Day upon us, if you have no specific blessings to be thankful for, here are a few suggestions:

We here in Barry County are residents of the Ozarks, having been credited in the past for “living the good life, in our own way,” and that can go quite a distance when compared to others living elsewhere.

Right next door to us we have Roaring River State Park, Table Rock Lake and Mark Twain National Forest, each and every one of them the envy of hundreds of thousands of people who visit annually.

We’re in a town blessed by sufficient church congregations to provide virtually all those wishing to practice their individual beliefs.

For Democrats, under a one party system, there is always hope.

For Republicans, there is the opportunity to govern wisely and with excellence.

As the home of the football Wildcats, boosters have enjoyed a successful season and the opportunity to look forward to more recognition in the future. And the basketball fans are looking forward to the coming season hoping for both the boys and girls to find successes.

For parents and grandparents who have experienced military personnel in places of hostilities this past year, but who are now back in this country, a special thanks can be offered.

We have a community in which those who might be disadvantaged will have the opportunity to be among those sharing a bountiful table in 2018’s Thanksgiving Day.

For community golfers, and those who come from afar to enjoy a championship coarse, Cassville was blessed years ago with those who successfully constructed a facility seldom found in a town of this size.

Personal notes

First Christian Church can be thankful for the arrival of new pastor, Dr. Chuck Terrill, who arrived here last week from Wichita, Kan. He and wife Mary will reside in Eagle Rock community. Then, to Bill Lee, and what might be called the Baptist Woodcutters, a big thanks for disposing of a dead tree at our place. Their project is another of those for the community, which provides a blessing for many folks.

Also to Cassville who sent surveyors all around our neighborhood in preparation for possible water line improvements that will provide fire protection. Local voters made provision for this improvement a couple of years ago.

Between now and the first of the month, hopefully temperatures will climb permitting outside activity, including ridding the lawn of a coating of leaves. Huge oaks, so enjoyable in some seasons of the year, can be somewhat troublesome as winter approaches.

Happy Thanksgiving

For our annual message from the Mitchell families, comes the very best for you and yours for this holiday season. This comes from family in Cassville, California, Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina and Florida. Yep, we’re a scattered bunch! We’re hoping your Thanksgiving will be as enjoyable as will ours at individual gatherings.

May God’s richest blessings be on each and every one of you throughout this special season.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.