Today is Thanksgiving Eve, and it's The Trapper's hope that every one of you is preparing to enjoy their holiday nestled deep in the bosom of family and friends. Thanksgiving has always been one of The Trapper's favorite days. I'm sure that's due in no small part to the feast at the center of the festivities, but I'm also very much in possession of a thankful nature and
it's enjoyable to share that in fellowship. My own dear departed Grandpappy, The Oldest Trapper, once professed to having an "attitude of gratitude," and I've always tried to take my life cues from honorable men.
Being of advanced age (though you'd never tell by the photos), I find myself feeling wistful for Thanksgivings gone by as I sit fireside, pondering the unusual course of my life. Here are a few of my favorite memories:
1621, Somewhere Out East
I was a young man, though it's hard now to recall my exact age, and I'd taken to spending quite a bit of time with a fellow from the Wampanoag nation, went by the name Squanto. We'd first met in conflict over an enormous beaver's nest we both coveted, it being an especially cold winter, but we managed to find a compromise that served us both, after which we became fast friends.
One late fall day, Squanto invited me to dine with a group of newcomers he'd recently befriended. Loving a good feast as I do, I accepted his invitation heartily. When I asked what I could contribute to the meal, Squanto suggested I, 'handle the protein.' I was happy to oblige, what with the procurement of protein being a specialty of mine. I ventured out early one morning and harvested the biggest wild Turkey I could find (beef did not roam then in the numbers seen today), which I then roasted to perfection over an open fire, seasoned with plenty of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
The bird was a hit with Squanto's new friends and I enjoyed my time with them immensely, even if they were a bit of a reserved bunch. We all made plans to meet again the following year, but by the time fall returned, I was hundreds of miles away. I still miss my old friends sometimes.
1863, Washington D.C.
During the earliest part of the 1860's, I found myself tracking a large heard of antelope deep into the Canadian Rockies and was out of touch with society for several years. Imagine my surprise and horror when I emerged from the woods and found my homeland engaged in a bitter Civil War.
"One evening, I was taking a warm meal in one of the town's more respected watering holes when I found myself sitting next to a rather tall gent by the name of Abe."
Never one to raise a hand against my brother in anger, I avoided hostilities at all cost. One day I found myself in the nation's capitol looking to trade my freshly tanned hides for a few badly needed supplies. That evening, I was taking a warm meal in one of the town's more respected watering holes when a rather tall gent by the name of Abe planted himself on the adjacent stool.
He seemed to be a fellow of some import, though I never learned exactly who he was. As we conversed that night, he expressed his deep sorrow over the state of national affairs and wondered if repair was even possible. As a simple aside, I mentioned how nice it would be if we could all pause for one day to remember our blessings and think a bit less about everything we didn't have. Abe seemed to take what I said to heart and we enjoyed the rest of our evening. That Abe struck me as an honest fella.
1876, Princeton, New Jersey
After spending much of my early life wandering the wilderness, I underwent what some might call an existential crisis. In an effort to find answers to some of my deepest questions, I'd taken to studying the world's great thinkers at Princeton University. Though I was never officially enrolled (due to some clerical nonsense about not having an official birthdate), I did audit several classes and became something of a campus celebrity.
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Fourth and Twenty[/caption]
A year or so earlier, the sport of football had been invented and Princeton wanted to test it's mettle against those filthy Yale curs. I, being quarterback and team captain, wrote a bile-filled missive, so incendiary, the Yale team burned it immediately after reading, lest it be seen by the world. In it, I challenged them to a match at a neutral location on Thanksgiving day, and suggested, in no veiled manner, that their collective manhood hinged on the outcome. To their credit, they did show their faces that holiday and were viscously trounced. It's not my desire to brag, but my QBR
for that game was an astonishing 4,003. It's my understanding that, to this day, teams still play games on Thanksgiving.
Well, I'm certain you've all had enough of my sentimental recollecting by now, so I'll sign off. I do wish you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings. May you remember all that truly matters in life and cherish it, even if it is for one day. And remember, if you can't find anything to bring to your dinner, beef jerky is always appreciated
All my best,