By Don Perry
Let's get this straight right off the bat. I don't like turkey. After roasting a whole turkey, I am left with various parts that hang around in the refrigerator striving to get a new life by growing stale, losing moisture, and generally getting in the way. I say, "If it hasn't been eaten by Christmas, please, throw it out!" My wife and all the relatives we seem to accommodate each holiday season all love turkey, and I do love to cook for a crowd, but I do not like turkey.

I love the Thanksgiving company and the camaraderie. We sit around and watch football, trying to digest all the things that go along with the Thanksgiving meal, and relaxing in our overstuffed misery. Just as we are about to recover, pecan pie with ice cream shows up to plunge us back into an overstuffed state and usually a case of midnight despair.

Now venison, there's the meat to serve, at least in my book. I remember a Thanksgiving back in 1976 that we had a giant venison roast from the deer I had taken the previous week, a whole ham of that big old doe. We took it up to my sister-in-law's farm, just outside of Dustin, Oklahoma, just the day before thanksgiving. The girls cooked that roast in a cooking bag with potatoes, whole onions, carrots, celery, and apples. It was truly one of the best meals of my life and a great Thanksgiving, with no thanks to turkey.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention I don't like turkey?
By Mel Hutt
Thanksgiving is depicted as a festive day and created early in our American heritage. Drawings of the early settlers show the Pilgrims in their religious garb feasting as the result of help of the Indians of the area and their food sharing in the fall. 

The real meaning of the word Thanksgiving is 'Thanks and Giving' and is great reasons for being together as a family and friends.

Dorothy and I enjoyed the get-togethers of two families most of our married life. Our children learned the meaning of family in their early years as we spent one Thanksgiving with one family and the next year with the other family.

Large, home cooked meals with special desserts were the center of the day. The men stayed out of the way with either visiting or card playing while the meal was prepared by the ladies in charge. Children were entertained by the teens of the families and learned the table manners at an early age. 

Memories of this particular holiday enriched our family relationships and enlarged the scope of our lives. As we live out our senior years the history of our families comfort us and lighten our pains and ailments. The troubles of the world are missing the togetherness of families large and small. Happiness is near, but must be asked for by sharing our lives with kindness and love. 

God bless us all!

I Am

By Don Perry 
I am. I know the thing that I am, here buried deep inside. Dark and hostile, he keeps me tucked away, not letting me loose for fear of the things I might do. He keeps me in check even when he knows I could be that thing that is needed to make the difference. He is so afraid of me, of the horror and violence of that other time I was left unbridled and of the things he must live with for the rest of his life.

He likes to be in control, and they said he was a hero, a job well done. I know different. That was the last time, when I broke free, Free! Free! Free to lash out, to kill, to maim, free to burn, destroy and kill without remorse. Without pity. The only time I can break out of my little place now is in his dreams. Oh, the times I can have in those. The thrill of his hand tightening on her soft throat, as the life seeps out and her body goes limp. Only then am I satisfied and I go quietly back to my little place. Only after he wakes can he put me back in there. He wakes in a cold sweat, wondering if he woke his wife or worse yet, is she still alive. Was it just a dream? She tells him that he speaks Vietnamese in his sleep, even after all these years. He dreams of the hunt in the jungle, of the fear, of the fight and the sounds of gunfire. Heart racing and sweaty, he wakes and thinks of what he has done. But I want it! And I am strong! Bring it to me!