Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Turkey News in San Diego in 1915

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and I got curious - were there big writeups in the newspapers 100 years ago about the day?  Were there festivities, did they celebrate it with a feast, etc.

In the San Diego Union newspaper for Thursday, 25 November 1915 (100 years ago today), there were several articles.  The most interesting one was this tale of woe (found on GenealogyBank) found on page 3:

The article says:

"Thanksgiving Feast Spoiled 
When Thieves Steal Turkey 
Carefully Reared in Luxury

"No fattened turkey, roasted a nice brown, will repose on the Thanksgiving table of Patrolman John Schultz and bring joy to his heart and fullness to his stomach.

"He passed two years in developing this bronze bird mentally as well as physically, until she was not only plump but she also cared for all of his chicks, mothering them and feeding them; and besides, she brought to maturity a flock of geese that are his pride, because they take his memory back to the Fatherland where as a boy he herded geese and did it with the same paternal care that characterized the intelligence and special education of his hen turk.

"Tuesday night he went to bed and the last words that melted into his first snore were:  'Tomorrow I'll kill that turkey and Thanksgiving Day I'll have a feast.'

"It was not long before cackling hens and quacking ducks in his miniature barnyard awakened him and raised the alarm.

"'There goes that turkey, I'll bet you ten dollars, by Himmel,' he exclaimed, and with his night fluttering behind, rushed for the kitchen door.

"Sure enough, the turk was gone, and across the canyon back of the house two shadow forms were plunging through the brush.

"'I couldn't follow,' Schultz said sadly, 'because the canyon was filled with glass and cans that had been dumped there and I was in my bare feet.'

"John Schultz lives at 2763 Newton avenue, where he has a lot of tender fowl, including choice pullets, that have not been carried off.  He is a sound sleeper and is slow on his feet."

Poor John Schultz - maligned in the newspaper on Thanksgiving Day and lost his prize turkey to boot.  And the article tantalized the thieves to return for more choice pullets.

This brought me to wondering if my great-grandparents killed a turkey for their Thanksgiving feast in 1915.  I imagine that they did, and wonder who did the deed - my grandfather Lyle, or his father Austin or his mother Della?  Did they raise it themselves, or buy it from a neighbor?  Family history is full of mysteries like this, and we won't ever know the answers unless we get lucky and find a diary or letter.  Oh well, it's fun to wonder.

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