Last Wednesday, Darling and I loaded up my little brown bus and headed to West Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday. We got into town just in time to have a great dinner with my parents. The following day, Dad, Darling and I took a tour of one of my projects back home before heading to the big Thanksgiving get together.
The big feast was held at my uncle’s new house in what can best be described as a neighborhood in the process of gentrification. It’s a cool house, completely redone inside, surrounded by charming houses that were no doubt showplaces when they were new. But the past 100 years have seen the neighborhood go from largely Jewish to largely despondent. It was the theatre of the living sitting on the front porch. I don’t mean to suggest the neighborhood felt unsafe, that wasn’t the case, but there were a lot of grown folks riding bicycles, one neighbor appeared to be running some sort of nursing home out of her parlor, and various “unusual” looking characters walking around.
And, of course, our family had to add to the spectacle. The hosting uncle has a cool antique wheelchair–the story of how he acquired it is unknown to me. But at any rate, after the beer kicked in, he was giving several of the younger kids rides down the street in the thing. After crashing one kid into a car with it it was decided it would be safer if he were the passenger. So, if you happened to be driving through the ghetto Thanksgiving evening and saw a drunk white man cruising around the street in a wheelchair, well, you should have stopped to say hello.
Naturally, I whipped out the camera phone:
Such are the things that memories are made of. The food was great, everyone ate too much, and we enjoyed each other’s company. (Darling and I lost our toll money to the younger cousins at a game of cards, but I’m not bitter.) And a final thing I’m thankful for: my youngest brother, who gave up his comfortable bed and his choice parking space at the parents house. This turned out to be a particularly big sacrifice when every bird in the northern hemisphere decided to stop over for the night in the trees that overhang the street parking area at home. Poor kid’s car looked like someone had paintballed it with bird shit. (If you’re reading, I owe you a car wash!)