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Friday, August 20, 2010

Holiday Tradition

The other day at our Creative Writing meeting I was reading my selection when everyone interrupted me asking if it was true, was I making it up. I told them it was true and I was not making it up. No one had heard of this before. I thought maybe it was a regional thing restricted to a few sections of Queens and Brooklyn.

Now, I'm asking you if any of you have heard of this, or done this. Maybe the custom moved past NY.

When I was a child, every Thanksgiving morning I and all the children on my block would dress in our oldest, worn-out clothes and dirty our faces. We would then visit our neighbors and ask if they had anything for Thanksgiving. They would give us pennies, fruit or nuts. This was a common practice in my neighborhood until the 50s.

Did any of you do this? I know I'm not making this up because some of my school friends remember doing this. I find it hard to believe that only a few small sections of the City had raggamuffins, as my mother called us.

3 comments:

ANGELFITZ/SSS said...

YES MOM, I WAS ALSO A RAGAMUFFIN IN WORN-OUT CLOTHES ON THANKSGIVING. I REMEMBER BEING EMBARASSED MY FIRST TIME GOING OUT ASKING "ANYTHING FOR THANKSGIVING"? AND A NEIGHBOR SAID "YES". INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR A LITTLE TREAT, I TOOK AN APPLE FROM MY BAG AND GAVE IT TO HER. I CAN STILL FEEL HOW MY FACE REDDENED WHEN ALL THE ADULTS LAUGHED. WHAT DID I KNOW? I THOUGHT I SHOULD BE GIVING HER THE TREAT, INSTEAD OF THE OTHER WAY AROUND. BUT I'M FROM BROOKLYN TOO, SO I GUESS I DON'T COUNT, EXCEPT AS A BACK-UP TO YOUR STORY. WE DIDN'T TRICK OR TREAT ON HALLOWEEN EITHER. WE JUST HIT EACH OTHER WITH SOCKS FILLED WITH FLOUR IN THOSE DAYS. HOPEFULLY SOME NON-NY PEOPLE WILL FILL US IN ON WHAT CUSTOMS THEY FOLLOWED. HOWEVER, THEY MUST BE "OLD FOLKS" TO REMEMBER WAY BACK WHEN.....
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES MOM.

Mary P. said...

Ditto! I remember that we had to go to Mass first. "Hurry! Hurry! All the kids will be gone, if this Mass doesn't end soon!" We used the change given to us by neighbors for family Christmas presents...That was back when Woolworth's sold a small lipstick for Mom that cost only 2 cents. Mom loved "red"...so she got that every year!
ms/sss

Anonymous said...

Yes,
I remember "going begging" for Thanksgiving.
I wonder what thge origin of this practice is?