– Hugh Abner, (Sonny)
(Different): For me Thanksgiving 09 was completely different. There is no way I can remember all the Thanksgivings of the past or, in fact, many particular ones but this one was different for me in many ways that I know could not have occurred in the past.
There were Thanksgivings where I was outnumbered and surrounded by Northerners and of those they were most generally New Yorkers. But that was back in my youthful Marine Corp days. I was a rare Southerner in my particular outfit. This Thanksgiving I was again surrounded by Northerners and absolutely mostly New Yorkers. Were there any similarities? Yes, most definitely. New Yorkers know how to have conversations. They somehow know how to group up and have multiple conversations at one time. When a rare moment occurs with just one person speaking someone will without fail interrupt and point out how quite it has become and then immediately things return to their normal.
Last night at the home of the most popular host of our community, New Yorkers with Italian backgrounds, I found myself to be enjoyably entertained by such a gathering. I am picking up on some of the basic fundamentals that explain how such an unorganized event is really very organized. It starts with the seating. By small little variations in entry time and subtle moves about to establish strategic locations for seat selections one does not end up regimentally sitting with their spouse or dinner partner. A gifted talker knows exactly where he or she needs to be in order to use and display those skills. The body language works into it as well. If two gifted talkers end up next to each other there is an applied twist to the seated alignment so that each faces in the opposite direction – kinda. This forms two or more separate audience groups and so the seemingly impossibility of two separate subjects being discussed at the same time turns out to be very organized.
There is another fundamental rule that seems to be observed. Facts are all (Factone) and not (Factinos). Okay so I have probably made up some words here but in honor of our Italian host I know they know the difference these two non-real words mean but for the others my explanation is that with the suffix of – (one), there is the implication of something being the big one or the main one. The suffix of – (inos), follows by meaning being tiny plentiful things. In the social format which is being described here my point is that only a “Factone” survives. If one gets into “Factinos” then those words simply get interrupted by another “Factone”. The new injected “Factone” does not have to be related to the same subject. Hey! All this works and it works well. Never did I observe anyone getting upset. I am not so sure us Southerners could manage this kind of an arrangement. Oh sure — Southerners get together and socialize but the chances that someone is going to get bent out of shape is of a high percentage. After all, the most prominent and almost most southern of the original colonies was South Carolina and it was stated very early that “South Carolina was too small to be a nation and too large to be an insane asylum”.
All this reminds me of something I read just recently. Our second president, President John Adams, made the observation back during the mid-1700’s that he noticed as a participant of the Constitutional Conventions that New Yorkers never allowed anyone to finish a sentence. Now Adams was not from anywhere near the South he was from Braintree, Massachusetts which is not a days ride from Boston.
I am thankful for my Thanksgiving of 09 and the above was a big part of it.