It’s Thanksgiving Eve, and I’m sitting here remembering what this day was like when I was in high school. The bonfire was the tradition of my home town. I would escape the insane cooking frenzy in my house and go to the bonfire with friends. After the fire was put out, we’d tool around town on our bikes to see what everyone else was up to, or if it was too cold, we’d just go to someone’s house to hang out. On Thanksgiving, we’d go to the Thanksgiving football game at our town high school (or at the rival school, if it was an away game), then head home for our individual family Thanksgiving feasts. I don’t think Black Friday even existed back then (and quite honestly, I wish it didn’t exist now).
In 1989, the Thanksgiving-eve bonfire was extinguished rather early by our local fire department. The trucks left quickly and went screaming up to the boardwalk, sirens blaring, to a multi-alarm fire that ultimately destroyed the Jenkinson’s Pavilion building. It was lightly snowing as we all headed up to the boardwalk to watch the fire, and we could see the eerie orange glow in the sky from over a mile away.
I can remember tearing up as I saw the massive flames leap into the sky, consuming the building minute by minute. I wasn’t only just watching a fire…for me, it was personal. I was witnessing the destruction of many memories. You see, I worked for a little over 4 years in the arcade (from when I was 14 through my high school graduation in June of 1989) that was now fully engulfed and ablaze.
I can see that fire as bright in my memory as what I did earlier today. I can still smell the burning wood, and that burned and musty smell hung in the air for a long time around here.
As I reminisce, I am brought back to center and the focus of my blog entry for today…
Today, I am thankful for you. You, who are reading this. I am so grateful that you spend a part of your very valuable time to read my words. Without you, I wouldn’t have an audience, and my words would not have any meaning.
As a thank you, I have made a free Gratitude printable for you, which is below. It is suitable for framing and is sized for 8.5 x 11…it should fit exactly in a document size frame.
You can download the .pdf file by clicking here, or you can right click on the image below and save it to your computer as a .jpg file.
My thanks to you for your support, and my best wishes that you have the most memorable Thanksgiving ever.