Thanksgiving Up In Smoke

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that, for most of us, is filled with memories:  memories of gatherings, memories of food, fond memories with family and friends.  This year Thanksgiving will be a different one and a memorable one in a number of ways.

For me, one of the most memorable Thanksgiving was in 1980 and it hard to believe it was forty years ago.  I was a senior in college and Thanksgiving break is ALWAYS welcome when one is in college.  The break usually means being home with family, sleeping in your own bed, eating some real home cooking and spending time with people that you do not get to see near as often as you used to.

Thanksgiving Day itself was nothing out of the ordinary and to be honest, I do not have many memories of that day.  However, the break took an eventful turn on Saturday morning.  I had transferred to Miami University after my sophomore year and had rented an apartment with two friends I had known since grade school.  Saturday morning I had a call from Joe who had received a call from Randy.  Randy’s Dad had heard on the radio that there had been a fire at our apartment in Oxford.  So, the three of us headed to Oxford from Dayton to see what was going on.  Upon our arrival we found that most of the third floor of the three floor apartment building was gone and, unfortunately, we lived on the third floor.

It is rather amazing that there were no firemen or anyone there to keep us out, so we went up to the third floor to have a  look around.  What we saw was not very pretty as the above picture of my bed can show.  We dragged out some stuff, most of which was thrown away as soon as we unloaded it at home.  It is interesting to see one’s entire album collection fused together in one mass.  I did trim the burnt edges off of my Cost Accounting book so that I could use for the Advanced Cost Accounting course.  

It is said that there is always a silver lining and there was a silver lining that rose out of the ashes that was my college apartment.  My Dad received an insurance check to help cover the loss.  Out of what came in the check, he gave me a portion.  There were two items that I purchased with the insurance money.  The first thing I bought was Wilson A2000 baseball glove which I still have in my possession and used up until COVID took softball away this year.  The other, more expensive and perhaps the more important purchase I made was an engagement ring.  (It was 1/4 carat, the insurance check was not that big.)  Fortunately the engagement ring is still in use as well.

This Thanksgiving will be different, but hopefully there will still be a roof over your head when Saturday morning rolls around.



4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Up In Smoke

  1. Allen Lawless

    At a time when many of us are suffering from chronic CCS Corona Confusion Syndrome (a disorder I coined myself) and even the most stable of us are so mad about the condition of our country that we want to swap underpants with a wino (Earl Pitts) this post brings a whole lot of good to myself and likely others who will read it. I remember when baseball was America’s past time and the players cared about their teams, their teammates, their sport, and most of them even liked their country. Not too many years ago more people cared about marriage and agreed that it was a covenant, and that it was really important to make it work. I could also go into a mall and know which people were girls and which people were boys, just by looking at them. And, ironically they knew which one that there were also. I am glad Leonard Wagers that you care about baseball and marriage and about we who read your Friday Funnies. I am even happier that you love God Who helps you love others the best that you possibly can. Thanks for the pleasant read, it made my evening complete.


  2. James Madewell...James David Madewell

    Hi Leonard. Bette and I always read and enjoy your stories, recollections ,and humor. Please say ‘Hi’ to Anne, Cindy, and Gary. It seems like yesterday we saw each other at least once a week. Love to all,
    Dave and Bette



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