Thanksgiving is almost here, and, like you, we are busy with family, school, work, and, of course, the drafting of the next issue of Oregon Senior News. This typically requires a great deal of thoughtful research into a variety of books and vintage magazines.
One of my greatest joys is finding a “new”, old book. Recently, I purchased a book published in 1845 by Darius Mead that provoked some thought about Thanksgiving and the time we live in. The book was registered in the clerk’s office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York, and although in book form, notes that it is a monthly publication. That means it is 172 years old.
In 1845, President John Tyler signed a resolution annexing the Republic of Texas to the United States. Florida became the 27th State of the Union. The first African American lawyer, Macon B. Allen, was admitted to the bar in Massachusetts. George Abernethy became the first governor of “Oregon Country”. Charles Dickens published “A Cricket on the Hearth”, one of five Christmas books he authored. Irish women were the great majority of domestic servants. It would not be until 1848 that women would be granted property rights equal to men. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard Gatling, a resident of North Carolina. The first complete skeleton of Archaeopteryx, a bird-like dinosaur, was unearthed near Langenaltheim, Germany. The Civil War had not yet erupted. That would not occur until 1861. In other words, this is a very old book. The type is tiny and one S. W. Benedict claims to be the “stereotype and printer” at “16 Spruce Street”. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful first for family, and faith, but also for all of the modern amenities we enjoy – and for the history our forefathers have passed down to us, including this book.
Most of the December issue of Oregon Senior News is ready for press. We try to add the pet section in at the last minute, so to bring you recent postings of dogs and cats, and sometimes rabbits, roosters, and gerbils in need of a home.
In December, we have included “Why The Bells Rang”, by Raymond MacDonald Alden, “Is There A Santa Claus”, by Jacob Riis, and Shinan Barclay’s thoughtful “Bus Station Baby”. I have also penned a story about my own childhood in Northern Minnesota and making Divinity candy with my mother and sister at Christmas. Dick Tracy gains the confidence of a senator with a dark secret, and “A Christmas Memory”, by Truman Capote, concludes.
To all of our readers, we wish a warm and happy Thanksgiving and express our thanks as well to you, our readers, who have made Oregon Senior News a success. Reading can be an adventure, to another time and place, with a companion who talks back – but unlike your family at Thanksgiving, reading “talks” in peaceful silence.