Like most immigrants, we learned about Thanksgiving when we got here. We knew about The Lone Ranger, Mickey Mouse, Rin Tin Tin, Mickey Mantle, the New York Yankees, and Santa Claus, but had no idea of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Nevertheless, it was the kind of holiday that Cuban “refugees” could easily relate to:
- We like family meals
- We like telling stories; and best of all . . .
- We had a lot to be thankful for
Our family’s first Thanksgiving gave my dad “a day off” from those two jobs that he was working back then. It gave my cousins a chance to tell us all of those Mayflower and Pilgrim stories that they had learned the year before. My uncle told us about The Mayflower Compact. He said that it set the tone for the self government that would follow later.
And we got to eat “turkey” and all of the other stuff that goes with it. I had never eaten turkey before!
In the early evening, my mom and aunt were in the kitchen cleaning things up. As we were putting the food and leftovers away, I said: “No entiendo . . . porque le dicen ‘turkey’ a un pavo de Wisconsin”?
No one knew the answer but the “turkey from Wisconsin” was great!