Sunday, November 21, 2010

So, the third week of this particular November is pretty much gone forever. 'Tis the weekend before our American food fest. For those long-gone holiday/sea-faring pioneers, their harvest get-together, what we call the 1st Thanksgiving, was already over, by this section of November. Their Wampanoag neighbors, represented by their leader, Massasoit, & colleagues had returned to their homes. Right around this time of year, 1621, the Plimoth colonists saw a sensational sight on their horizon: sails, belonging to the good ship Fortune, w/ a boatload of hungry new colonists. Hard times awaited them all. Still, these were as nothing compared to the hungry times that confronted a boatload of Nantucket whalers, almost exactly 200 years later. This week in 1820 found a bunch hard luck sailors no longer aboard the Essex, now that she'd been rammed and sunk by an 80-ton whale.
Right around this time o' year in 1776 General Washington and his troops had put the mighty Hudson between themselves & the isle of Manhattan, over which they'd been fighting & fleeing & trying to hang on a little longer. This week in 1783 found Parisians, those who had the leisure to do so, still pondering w/ delight the ne'er-before-seen sight and the flight of a silken balloon filled w/ hot air, sent floating into the air.
.Ah well, horrors & delights. Cheers to you, birthday folks, long-gone bad man Tom Horn and tightwad Hetty Green. Happy deathday (1916, just when things were particularly hellish throughout his part of the world) Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria. I'm going to go bake a pie and count some blessings.

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