A Reason To Be Thankful

Feeding the animals at Marineland.  St. Augustine, Florida during the summer of 1978.
Feeding the animals at Marineland. St. Augustine, Florida during the summer of 1978.  Pull your tank top DOWN, little guy!

The day before Thanksgiving always stands out in my mind for some reason.

About a year ago I mentioned that I had spinal meningitis in the fall of 1977 after turning six, and that my week and a half stay at the hospital had it highs and lows.

I got out of the hospital on November 23, 1977, the very day before Thanksgiving. There was a big gathering at the house the following day, part Thanksgiving feast, part homecoming. Football on the tube, and I remember the Miami Dolphins destroying the St. Louis Cardinals 55-14 that afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys being a rare no-show on the Thanksgiving cavalcade that season.

My dad set me aside at one point during the day and gave me a very early Christmas present: a toy typewriter. You put regular tying paper into it, and it typed what you wanted to say.

How cool!

But I had a question: why was I getting this gift now? It wasn’t Christmas yet.

I don’t remember my father’s answer. I think they were just thankful I was still alive and well.

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