Wednesday, November 12, 2014


“The Pilgrims came across the sea,
And never thought of you and me; And yet it's very strange the way we think of them Thanksgiving day.”

I had practiced and practiced this poem by Annette Wynne. I was eight years old and remember it like it was yesterday. I and my classmates were to recite this poem in unison at the annual Thanksgiving dinner on the Ogbomoso compound. Mine was a large class–we had three girls and two boys. Yes, that was large as classes on this mission station went. My mother, always the seamstress, made us Pilgrim outfits to wear. I remember donning that gray straight dress, tying my white apron around my waist, placing the white bonnet over my hair and smoothing the large square white collar that I had slipped over my neck. The boys had tall cardboard hats painted black with gold construction paper buckles glued on and large square cardboard gold colored buckles on their waists too. They held cardboard guns in their hands.
I was excited! It was my first taste of acting. Our poem went off without a hitch. So I suppose the acting debut for my friends and me went well. But what I remember most about that evening is the magical dinner under the African stars. Large tables had been set up on one of the expansive lawns, still green from the recent season of rains. And there was more food than I could have ever imagined! To a child of eight, it was a grand adventure. There were tables and tables of tasteful delights! I ate till I could not eat any more, stuffing myself with deviled eggs, olives, potato salad, chicken, green beans, fresh tropical fruits, and deserts by the dozens. I really cannot remember if we had turkey–it was Africa in the 1960’s after all. But we certainly had food! The night was warm, the fellowship sweet, and the food of course, was delicious! And I learned something about myself that night. I am better at eating than acting.

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