Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in 1918 fell on November 28 – coincidentally, my brother was born on that date just 43 years later.  But in 1918, my grandparents, Loraine Gunzendorfer and Sigmund Levy, were courting through letters and lucky for me, I have those letters and am busy transcribing them.  Thanksgiving 1918 saw the recent end to World War I and my grandparents had just become engaged.  What an exciting time for them!

Here is a bit of what Loraine wrote in her letter to Sig that day:
Enjoyed your letter very much, dear.  You spoke about it being cold down there [Riverside, CA].  Believe me, it is freezing here [Monterey, CA], too.  So much so that my hands feel like pieces of ice when I get away from the fire.  And we have had a cold wind blowing, too.  We are going to ride over to Salinas early this aft while the sun is shining and it isn’t so cold.  Doesn’t seem a bit like Thanksgiving today.  And to think that just the three of us have to eat a nice big turkey all by ourselves.  If I could send you some I’d do it in a minute.  I wish it had been possible for us to be together today but guess we can’t always have everything we wish for.
So I know that Loraine was home with her parents that day while brother Wilton was somewhere else – college, probably.  And sounds like the extended family would not be gathering that day.  I wonder what everyone else was doing.

As I looked through some of the photos I have, I found a couple that look like Thanksgiving to me.  I’m not sure who set this beautiful table or who would be sitting at it but it looked so Thanksgiving-like to me.  I visualize my ancestors all gathered around enjoying the delicious meal that someone had prepared.  Can’t you just hear the laughter and the stories?  Oh to have been a fly on the wall at that special meal.

Table 1

Table 2

I’m thankful for so many things in my life right now but I will take just a moment to say I’m also thankful to have discovered these treasures so I can continue to learn about my family who came before me and shaped me into who I am today.  Enjoy the special day with your family and friends – Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I'd love to have been a guest at that table. I wonder what was in those bottles. Sherry? Or just vinegar? Happy Thanksgiving, Debi!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Ron and all your family, Debi. I love reading your posts ... and yes, these photos look like the tables I used to sit down to as a child, whether we were in SoCal with my dad's family or in Mountain View with the Asts (later Austens!). It was always a big table with many places set ... and always with the best tablecloths and dinnerware, etc. Super photos you have!

  3. What an elegantly set table! And such a lovely room too. How fun that you found these photos. I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving Debi!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Debi! Fascinating photos - I loved zooming in on all the details. I wondered if the plates in the first photo were of crab salad, and love the clock in the second one :-) Jo

  5. How wonderful to have all those old love letters! The dinner-table photos are lovely - what a warm and inviting table someone set!