Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Thanksgiving Dinner, Long Beach, 1961
Every year we give thanks by overeating. It’s our way of thanking the Turkey Farmers, potato, yam and pumpkin growers, Mrs. Cubbison and Ocean Spray. And ultimately the supermarket that sells it to us too. I look forward to Thanksgiving dinner just as much as the next guy. Actually maybe even a bit more – I love to eat! And that brings me to this week’s slide:
THANKSGIVING DINNER, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, 1961.
Dinner is served amid warm and inviting early American dÃ©cor (yes, I know you just love that gorgeous ruffled lampshade in the background.) Three generations are represented here. Grandpa takes his place at the head of the table. Grandma, sporting pearls, horn-rimmed glasses and a timeless gingham check apron, is the waitress. Chances are she was the cook too. Is that a big bowl of Ambrosia I see right up front? (My spirit is soaring!)
This family expresses themselves with both the closed mouth smile and the open mouth smile. The man on the right in the classic Clark Kent glasses and the skunk-armed sweater, and the lady he’s passing the big-dish-of-something too, show us all how to pose properly while eating Thanksgiving dinner. Just don’t forget to swallow first.
Really the flavorful feast is meat and mush. And the gravy just makes it all even mushier. This is the dinner that doesn’t discriminate against people who don’t have teeth! The mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce require only gums to eat. Perfect for great-grandma and baby too!
Speaking of cranberry sauce there is nothing saucy about it. Sauce doesn’t stand up like the most refined version of the bittersweet turkey compliment– the jellied variety that when de-canned remains in the shape of the label-wrapped tin it came in. Always serve it standing up of course! And who thought of serving the unlikely combo of cranberry sauce and turkey in the first place? The same pilgrim who thought of serving mint jelly and leg-of-lamb? Wonder why he didn’t think of serving marmalade with roast beef. The Chinese did – it’s called Orange Beef- and oh, is it good!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
CHARLES PHOENIX’S RETRO HOLIDAY SLIDE SHOW
Your imagination will be inspired and your spirit will soar!
At the Egyptian Theater/American Cinematheque
Fri & Sat Nov 25, 26 Dec 16, 17, 23, 30, 31* – 8pm
Sundays Nov 27 Dec 18, 25, Jan 1 – 1pm
*Special time Sat Dec 31 5pm
Tickets and info
Also in Orange County at the Curtis Theater in Brea
Dec 9, 10, 11 Fri & Sat -8pm / Sun -2pm
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Box Office: (714) 990-7722.