Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Every two weeks, the blogosphere comes alive with something called a Blog Off. A Blog Off is an event where bloggers of every stripe weigh in on the same topic on the same day. The topic for this round of the Blog Off is "Memorable Thanksgivings".

I'll say at the outset that this post is going to be a bit of a cheat as I have only been to the USA once and not for Thanksgiving.  It is also late because I have la febbre.  

Anyway, as I can't really write about Thanksgiving, other to say that the holiday is not generally known here, I have decided to write about the things for which I would like to thank America:  

Who, after all, could not love the country which gave us Coca-Cola, Country and Western Music and "Kookie talk?"  I drank my fill of Coca-Cola in my youth and there is nothing like Country and Western music when you are in need of a good wallow in your relationship-induced misery.  As for "Kookie talk", it was a "cool" way of speaking popularised by the actor Edd Byrnes in the TV series 77 Sunset Strip which ran from 1958 - 1964.  Suddenly it was OK to be young and "Kookie" gave us our very own language.  The only problem for me was that my parents knew more of it than I did!

Edd Byrnes as "Kookie"

But there came a day, 48 years ago yesterday, when America changed and so, I believe, did we:  I refer, of course, to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and I can still feel the shockwaves of that news as if it had, indeed, happened only yesterday.  At school, all the boys wanted to be like JFK and all the girls wanted to be like Jackie, the epitome of elegance with her gorgeous suits, gloves and pillbox hats. We girls had "Jackie" fringes, too.  And this brings me to what I really want to talk about - books by or about Americans that I am thankful to have read.  Of all the biographies of Jackie, I have found Sarah Bradford's America's Queen to be the best researched and, however history finally judges this enigmatic woman, "Jackie" fascination is here to stay on both sides of the Atlantic.

Image: Wikipedia via White House

Still in the fifties and sixties and still on biography, let me turn to the person who has made me laugh more than any other in this life - the great,  inimitable Lucille Ball and I recommend Kathleen Brady's biography of her, Lucille.  In another era Lucy Ricardo would have had a job and her adventures would have been lost to us.  So thank you, Lucy, for all the fun.

I Love Lucy - Vitameatavegamin

Then there are the autobiographical volumes and poetry of Maya Angelou. What woman who has ever carried a little extra weight could not be cheered up by this?

Maya Angelou reads Phenomenal Woman

My favourite American poets are Longfellow, Edna St Vincent Millay, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.  If you do not know it, I recommend the latter's Christ Climbed Down as wise, seasonal reading.

My post would not be complete if I did not mention two Americans who have written beautifully about Sicilian food:  They are Mary Taylor Simeti and Victoria Granof.  I have written about their books here and here.

But my favourite American author of all remains the one who delighted me as a child and she is Louisa May Alcott.  I'm still waiting for Professor Bhaer.

Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans and thank you for reading this blog.

Below is a full list of bloggers participating in this round of the Blog Off:


Paul Anater said...

Thanks for a great post Pat. I'm happy to see that a Welshwoman in Italy decided to climb aboard our Thanksgiving theme. One of these days you'll have to come back to the US and take a seat at a proper Thanksgiving dinner.

Rufus Dogg said...

Thanks for the nod our way. Sometimes, we are so busy ripping on what we are doing to tear each each other part rather than realize how much we have in our culture that binds us all together, I hope some day you can experience a proper Thanksgiving.. be sure to ask about this odd food we eat called Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce, if only to horrify Paul :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Paul. I would love to do that - one day. Hi, Rufus Dogg. You are right - we tend to forget the ties that bind. I will do tht!

Betty said...

Someone else besides me remembers Kookie and his comb! And I still remember that horrible November day as if it were yesterday. There were lots of memories for me in your post today.

Whispering Walls said...

Get well soon, WL!

Gledwood said...

I saw Quadrophenia the other night. I know it's not American but it was oldfashioned. Mods. Rockers. Toya Wilcox in the background...

... wow!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Betty. I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers Kookie! Thanks, WW. Hi, Gleds. I still can't get into your blog.

James Higham said...

Seems I missed out on the fun.

Denese said...

I've never heard Maya's Phenomenal Woman poem... that was a special treat. I hope you're feeling better, at least living outside the covers at this point :) Take care and thanks again for joining LetsBlogOff. I enjoy reading about your life in Sicily.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It is always interesting to read what the rest of the world thinks about the US..flattering or not, Pat. No country is perfect, but the US population and heritage is made up from so many countries of the world I often think we've been extra blessed to be able to experience the best of each, and be thankful for all!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ah, poor Jamesie! Thanks, Denese. I'm glad you enjoyed that poem. Hi, Pat. Yes, I think that is the great strength of your country.


View My Stats