by Cate Murway
Most Thanksgiving history stories begin with the harvest celebration of the pilgrims and the Native Americans in the autumn of 1621.
[Sixty years later, in 1681, Samuel Clift, a recent emigrant to New Jersey, obtained a grant from Sir Edmond Andros, Provincial Governor of New York, for Bristol, the two hundred and sixty –two acres skirting the Delaware].
Although the pilgrims did have a three-day feast in celebration of a good harvest, and the local natives did participate, this "first thanksgiving" was not a holiday, simply a gathering. The feast included fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums.
Although it is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives, little evidence backs the belief that this banquet of thanks led directly to our modern Thanksgiving Day holiday.
Thanksgiving can, however, be traced back to 1863 when Abraham Lincoln became the first president to proclaim Thanksgiving Day. The holiday has been a fixture of late November ever since.
In 1941, Thanksgiving was sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.
One of the most recognizable symbols of Thanksgiving is the cornucopia, also called the horn of plenty.
We truly have plenty when we stop to count our blessings.
South Carolina resident, Beth Firce Rittler, originally from Edgely, PA is thankful “That my parents are still alive to be there for our holidays.”
“My kids, and the love of a good women,“ shared “Game Zombie” owner David “Dave” Sabolcik.
Special Education teacher, Gabriella Murray stated, “ I am most thankful for my daughter, Gianna.”
Businessman, Sal Caimano appreciates, “The health, ability and "talent" to get out of bed each morning and be able to make decisions; work and feel a sense of value.”
Patricia Massi is originally from Bristol. “ I am most thankful that God is my Savior and He loves me!”
“I am thankful for my children, my family and friends, a community that comes together for those in need and the love, blessings and protection the good Lord has given us!”
Author Kathy Spezzano Petrosky is thankful for strength. “This has been a horrible year, my Mom was killed in an accident just six days before my birthday, my husband had five heart attacks.... but each time that I have been on the ground with my face in the dirt...somehow, I have had the strength to get back up and start over. It hurt. But I was able to start over.”
Bristol resident Mary Frances Asta stated, “I am thankful that I still have my mother at home with me. She will be 94 in December and has caregivers 12 hours a day. But she is still able to interact and enjoy her family, especially her 2 year old great granddaughter.”
Carolyn Anita Herring-Pizzullo has recently returned to Bristol. “I would rather have Salmon. I always said my Turkey swims. Have a Happy Turkey Day! Okay..most thankful for family....whether its by blood, marriage or family of friends..its family. …they are all family to me.”
“I’m thankful for having the most sweetest, loving, perfect little grandaughter at my age, that anyone could wish for. Now I have a reason for wanting to live longer.” Richard Louis Serra, BHS ‘58
Bristol Borough 21st Century Community Learning Center committee member, Amelia “Amy” McIlvaine, BHS ’74 shared, “I am thankful that everyone in my family is healthy! Happy Thanksgiving!”
Florida resident Bill Slack and his daughters have competed in the Mill Street Run.
“I'm thankful for all the little things that are part of my day, like sharing my breakfast coffee with my best friend. I’m thankful for family and friends that allow me to share in their world through emails and Face Book postings. I’m thankful for the household critters' love that they give so freely to me. I’m thankful, even with my complaints, that God has allow me a body that still provides freedom for me. I’m thankful for a wife that still is challenged to create masterpieces from a simple meal budget. I’m thankful for that occasional phone call that starts with, “Hi Poppop …” Finally, at the end of the day, I am thankful that there is still that special someone looking forward to sharing tomorrow’s coffee with me.”
Marylin Mignoni Tierney, “ I am thankful for my lovely family and my wonderful friends.”
“I am thankful for the little things in life that are free. I appreciate the time spent with family. I love it when my house is noisy and filled with my children's laughter! I love my little grandson running around and am looking forward to 3 more set of tiny feet in the coming months. I am thankful for food on my table. I am thankful for good health. As we are nearing the Thanksgiving holiday, I think of others who are less fortunate and I always put them in my thoughts and prayers because I am truly blessed.”
Maryanne Fregoni Lalli is the former owner of the Cannoli Coffee Bar & Gelateria and she currently is House Manager at the Bristol Riverside Theatre.
Fred Camillucci is “Most Thankful for family, friends, and good health..…”
Lauren Ivanchenko shared, “ I am most Thankful for Family and Good Friends. Have a Great Holiday!”
“I am most thankful for the "Bristol Heritage" in which I grew up.
1. Yes, as an industrial town (or what some call a "blue collar town") Bristol has had it challenges. However, the parents, coaches, teachers, civic leaders always had the welfare of the children and young people as foremost in their thoughts and efforts.
2. The vast majority of Bristol residents always had an attitude of caring for others. True, other towns that mutuality. Bristol has an extra dose of "looking out for each other".
I am thankful for the people as I "grew up Bristol". Joseph A. Diamenti, BHS ’24, (Jogina's dad) taking the role of my adoptive father (even teaching me how to use place settings a mealtime, stand up for a lady when she enters the room, etc).”
Pastor Ed Jones
Bristol resident, John Ruszin is thankful for “The wonderful life I have with my family , friends and my health.”
“I'm most thankful that my son recovered from a severe traumatic brain injury, and is graduating from Drexel University in March. We were told that he would have to go to an institution for brain injured people. Today, you can't even tell he had a T.B.I.”
Former Bristolian, Michele Adams-Slusser resides in Langhorne, PA.
“Being a native born American with all of the privileges and responsibilities that entails.
Having a wonderful family, good friends, and good health, so I am able to enjoy a fruitful and fulfilling life.”
“I am most thankful for my close family, my good health, my church family, and my wonderful friends,” noted Kay Lasley.
Loyola University graduate student, Tara Mastoris is truly blessed.
“I am thankful for the gift of family and friends, the joy of the little things in life that brighten my days, and for faith in God that gives me hope and strength each day; I'm thankful for the gift of running that God has blessed me with which helps me to relax and count my blessings, the journey of grad school, the beauty of serving others, and the smiles my little puppy brings to my face every time I come home to see my family.”
“I am thankful for my salvation, freedom. I am so proud of all my students! And thankful for them, and my husband, and family too. The list could go on!” WCU prof/ harpist Gloria Galante Bristol Borough 21st Century Community Learning Center committee member, Mary Younglove Gesualdi e-mailed, “I am most thankful to live in the town of Bristol, with such generous people, who are truly concerned about the well being of our students and aren't afraid to commit their time and effort to providing them with a quality after school program!” “I'm thankful that I was born in the USA and also that I am in good health at 89 and able to travel to visit my daughters wherever in the world they may be living. Save me a copy of the article, please.” Charlotte Landreth-Melville “Got Wine?” proprietor, Jayne McPherson asked her twin 6-year-old granddaughters Emma and Madison. Emma said, “God & Jesus because God made the world, and friends and family.” Madison said she was thankful for many things, good and bad- happy and sad “because it makes me strong.” “Out of the mouths of babes. I am thankful for all life’s blessings. Happy Thanksgiving.”
Frank Chilluki grew up in Bristol. “I am most thankful for my wife, friends and family and all of the years God has given me…”
"I am thankful for all the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me. Precious time with my family and friends is the greatest blessing of all this Christmas Season and every day." Sally Bellaspica, Bristol Borough Zoning Officer
Lynda Carleton Salerno, BHS graduate shared, “Thankful for the journey I have made from October 30, 1950 to present. So many Thankfuls for everyone and everything I had the privilege of meeting and experiencing. It has made me who I am... not perfect but I am happy with how things turned out so far.... Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.”
Joanne Krause Howell, BHS ’66, “ I'm thankful for my family who have help me through these 3 yrs of fighting cancer. I am thankful when someone finds someone who cares for them. I am thankful to help people that you don't know. + they don't expect it. The touch of a baby, family gatherings, A big smile + a good laugh.”
NOTHING was a thing. Relationships are priceless.
“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” Aesop
Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail email@example.com
ADDITIONAL THANKSGIVING MESSAGES
Monday, November 21, 2011 10:36 AM
"What am I most thankful for…….my faith. I was raised Catholic but not always on a spiritual walk. I relied on my own knowledge, skill sets, and ingenuity to get me through life.
It was until I finally Let Go and Let God that I started to feel at peace. Everything started falling into place – my home life, my relationships with my family and friends, and even with my career.
I didn’t realize it at first but God had His hand on me from that discerning moment and continues to bless me in ways that I am in awe of His love for me.
Indeed, my faith is the greatest gift ever given me and that is what I am most thankful for on this Thanksgiving holiday!"
Officer of Revenue Remittance
Tue, Nov 22, 2011 08:39 AM
"I am thankfull that i come from a happily married family with no drugs, alcohol or spousal abuse. I am thankful that I can say that not only about my immediate family but also about my aunts, uncles and cousins. I am thankful that my only problem on thanksgiving is how to drive to and eat all the dinners we have been invited to. I am thankful that I am able to give-my time, energy and yes even a few dollars to those in need."
Actually , THANK YOU Cate for having me reflect on the "big picture"