Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Just Thanksgiving

Things around Beloved, Kentucky get right busy at Thanksgiving time. The Merchant's Association gets together and puts up the Christmas decorations so the little town snuggled into the hills of Clay County will be festive for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The weather has turned right smart cold an' folks have on their winter coats as they go about their business.

Annie Pankey is havin' her "Thanksgiving Weekend Sale" at "Pankey's Hankies". Most folks know she has more than hankies. Her little ol' shop is full of antiques, quilts, old lace an' 'bout any type of fancy napkins or tablecloths a person could want. She has her big front window stuffed full of Santa figures. She has a big ol' collection of Santas. That window hardly holds them all these days an' they threaten to overrun the counter space. Annie is a bit odd at times, but there is no place in town that has more Christmas spirit that her place. Stop in an' she's bound to offer y'all some hot mulled cider or some o' her award winnin' punkin bread. Right in the middle o' the store is a harvest table covered with the prettiest quilt Annie has. It is a nativity scene, all sewed from scraps of cotton material. The sheep are made from a fuzzy white material an' when little ones come into the store they can't keep their hands off them sheep. Annie don't care none. She is tickled they want to touch it.

The Beloved Merchants Association sponsors the parade ever' year. It is a big thing in them parts. They usually have four or five fire trucks from over to Manchester an' as far away as Hazard. The Clay County High School Marching Band invites all the surroundin' counties to join them for the parade. Folks expect maybe six bands marchin' this year.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars will be there all in their uniforms an' the Viet Nam vets promised to have a unit there again. It done them boys proud to be a part of the Fourth of July Parade an' folks sort of reckon they will be in all the parades from here on out.

The street lights have fresh cut holly an' cedar branches and a little mistletoe wired to each pole. Local boys try hard to trick their sweeties into standin' under the lights so they can grab a smooch. The girls know the mistletoe is there and they act so' avoid the streetlights like the plague. It is a hoot to watch the boys persuade an' the girls do ever' thing but walk under that mistletoe.

The Christmas banners are hung across Main Street from some of the street lights. One says, "Happy Thanksgiving, Beloved!" on one side an' "Merry Christmas, Beloved" on the other.

The Baptist Church has that bell tower with the loud speakers in it. They couldn't afford real bells, so they have a tape player that plays bell music at certain times. Startin' on Thanksgivin' Day they add Christmas carols to the player an' a couple of times a day the bells play a carol or two.

Thanksgiving is the day the police put bags over the twelve parkin' meters in downtown Beloved. It only costs a nickle to park for two hours, but from Thanksgiving to the day after New Year's the meters are covered an' parkin' is free.

The Carnagie Library has a tree put up that Henry Kay Ledford cut way back in the hills. He claims it took him four days just to drag that tree out. It's decorated with cranberries an' popcorn an' cut out ornaments made of construction paper that the youngin's in the readin' programs worked on. Each ornament has glitter along the edges an' there is one of them light wheels that turns an' has four different colors of plastic that the light shines through. You know what I mean, now. It shines first blue, then red, green an' finally yellow on the tree an' the glitter on them ornaments just twinkles.

Folks say that a feller is comin' to the parade that has two live whitetail deer he has trained to pull a little ol' sled on wheels. He dresses up like Santa an' lends them deer an' they walk through town like they was Santa's reindeer. 'Course, they are whitetail, not reindeer, but the youngin's don't care a bit.

The will be popcorn balls, hot mulled cider an' candy, (probably them mushmaller peanuts an' sticks of candy canes) for anyone wantin' some on Thanksgivin' Day before the parade. The Masonic Lodge is also havin' another Thanksgiving Day Turkey Fry. 'Bout ever'body eats at home early an comes to the turkey fry in the evenin'. Cousin Peanut is persona non grata these days an' probably won't even show up for a free meal.

It is gonna be some kind of day on Thanksgiving. Y'all ought to be there. The parade starts at 9:00 a.m. If you need a place to eat early, stop by our place for a bite. Now, if y'all want to come to the Turkey Fry, don't forget to bring a covered dish. An' if you need an idea what to bring...bring green beans or a pie. Don't even think of bringin' some ol' store bought can of warmed up beans. We want the real thing.

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