Thanksgiving and traditions

I enjoyed running in the slush this morning. Don’t know why. Other than it’s the day before Thanksgiving and it seemed like I should be out on the concrete at 5 a.m. and not on the treadmill. And there is really nothing more peaceful than to be running early and by yourself, with the light shimmering off the snow. I’m not going to be relocating to the South anytime soon. In fact, never.

And I was thinking about traditions. For years I would meet my friends Walter and Jerry and Matt and a host of others and run Thanksgiving mornings in the Cuyahoga Valley — rain or shine, cold or mild, snow and sleet. Then we would meet at Walter’s van and have a beer or two or three before heading home for the main event. Those days are over now. Too bad.

But it’s interesting to me about how similar that experience was to the years immediately following graduation from high school in Pittsburgh — Thanksgiving 1965, 1966 and 1967. Every Thanksgiving morning I would meet my high school friends — some returning home from college,  many home from the army, some married, many working in the steel mills — at Riverview Park close to my home on Pittsburgh’s North Side. We would play touch football and then retire to the park benches and pass around quarts of Iron City in brown paper bags, under-age drinkers all. And every year we would be joined by those who had graduated before us — and then fewer and fewer each year — until we stopped. Too bad.

I hope young people still do those kind of things. It makes for some great memories on cold winter mornings years in the future if nothing else. Although I guess it is tempting to sit at home these days and post comments on Facebook. Trust me, it is not the same.

Well, as you can see if you have stuck with me this far, nothing important to say or complain about today. Hey — the start of another Thanksgiving tradition.

Enjoy the holiday. And spend it with family and friends. It’s a great tradition.

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