The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

My Baloney Thanksgiving

By Carolyn Bertram © 1988

Issue: November, 1988

It's that festive yet hectic time, the time we try to squeeze in all the little things at the last minute that we've been putting off for months.

Why can't things be simple again?

Not that I don't enjoy holidays, but everything is too forced. Maybe it's because I was brought up differently than most kids.

We never celebrated Thanksgiving as such. That is not to say we weren't thankful.

I remember spending many Thanksgivings in the barn stripping tobacco. At that time I didn't know but what every other kid from school was doing the same thing, and most of them probably were.

By the end of the day I wasn't too thankful to be out of school. It was hard work stripping "tips."

But the time passed quickly. We usually brought the radio and Dad would sing along with every song he knew and hummed or whistled the ones he didn't know.

If we had other work hands, they kept us entertained. Dad always teased everybody. A lot of tall tales and jokes were passed along. Dad told the punch line at least twice if it was funny.

The best part of the day was dinner time. We were really thankful for our "baloney" sandwiches and Moon Pies by noon.

I didn't miss turkey and all the trimmings. In fact, then I probably wouldn't touch the stuff.

We were always poor, but I didn't know it. I never missed a meal, although I did get tired of "beans and taters." Mom kept it bearable by fixing different desserts every day, everything from blackberry or peach cobbler to a simple biscuit pudding.

Baloney was a treat back then from our everyday meals. I've heard Mom say lots of times we should be thankful for our baloney sandwiches.

That's why on Thanksgiving Day or Turkey Day to most, I think of it fondly as Baloney Day.