This week’s “Remember the Time” theme is of course about Thanksgiving. When I consider the word ‘Thanksgiving’, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling and the first thing that pops into my mind is either deep fried turkeys in Phoenix with my family or of Grandmas & Grandpas, Aunts & Uncles and Cousins in Indiana.
The only known photo of the Raymond Thompson cousins – me up top holding my cousin Chad on shoulders
While my mom and dad were married, (and even after she remarried), almost every Thanksgiving we would pack the station wagon up with clothes and kids, (and maybe bottles – read me), and head west from Hamilton, Ohio towards Vincennes, Indiana on good old US Route 50. When you hear the word California spoken, you automatically think of sunshine, beaches and crisp fresh air. You may not know this but Sacramento, CA is on the same line of latitude as Vincennes, Indiana and only 1 degree different for Hamilton, Ohio (mystery solved). So I have a beeline, (albeit a very long one), today from my home in California to my roots in ‘Hamiltucky’.
I think I first learned to be generous from my very first childhood friend, Timmy. My parents had moved from Fairfield, Ohio to Goodman Ave in Hamilton when I was 4 years old. I lived immediately across the street from Timmy, he and I were the same age and we were in the same classes from Kindergarten through Second grades. From Tim I first learned the true meanings of loyalty, dependability, friendship and how to give. Much more about Tim in another story, but for this one I wanted to mention Tim’s giving nature. Through fourth grade until my parents moved to Prytania, we were peas and carrots. Tim treated me as a brother. Tim was a tough little fighter and he would take on anyone who attacked his friends. Timmy was his mom’s ‘little man’ and was showered with any toy he ever wanted. I would go so far as to say that he was a bit spoiled by his mom. But Tim was not stingy – he would share with everyone and especially with me, he always made it clear that I could have anything I wanted. If we went to Highland Park Dairy, (as we often did), Tim would typically have some change and that meant I would have change. My early takeaway from Tim was that if you had something and your friend did not, you shared. It was a simple lesson and it’s one I try to continue to emulate. Continue reading →