News From Terre Haute, Indiana


November 22, 2012

RONN MOTT: Thanksgiving

The old song goes, “Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.” But I, as a small child, did not have to cross the river. My grandparents lived about 17 miles from where I lived and I didn’t have to cross the Wabash to get there. Like most Thanksgivings, the center of the attention was on the food. And it was always delicious.

At the Mott farm, we ate what they grew. Thanksgiving was not much different. We had pork, which had been butchered the autumn months ahead of Thanksgiving, chicken, guinea, and sometimes a turkey. There were mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, and creamed corn. Both cream and brown gravies were available to those who wanted a choice. Also, we had cranberries that were purchased at the store, candied apples, and boiled cabbage. The pies came from their fruit trees and they were generally from home-canned peaches, apples, and cherries. And  someone would usually bring a persimmon pudding. It was all very sweet and tasty. If you were any kind of a Hoosier, you would have felt right at home.

Grandma would often have me give the blessing. That had started early on because I was a gabby kid. She had hopes of me becoming a minister, but a microphone got in the way of the pulpit.

After dinner, the women would retire to the kitchen to clean up what was not eaten at the first sitting, and those who had to leave always got plates full to carry home. In the afternoon, the men talked of politics of the day and I would listen but was still too young to join in their conversations.

My Aunt Etha would measure me and my younger brother and we would know we were getting something to wear for Christmas. Aunt Etha was a pack-rat. She saved about everything. She even made baskets out of bread wrappers and then cut up egg shell cartons of various colors to make flowers that went in the baskets. She was a wonderful person to be around. She did not have any children of her own, but dearly loved her nieces and nephews. She doted on all of us.

In the evening we would retire to my Mother’s family where we would exchange names for Christmas giving and sample the many desserts that had been collected there. It was a grand time, and it was a time before families were scattered to the wind and we could all get together by driving less than an hour to a gathering point.

My daughter, who lives in Canada, misses Thanksgiving more than any other holiday because of these reasons. As she was growing up, we worked very hard to keep the traditions alive.

I will spend this Thanksgiving with family here, give thanks for the day, and stuff myself in the good old American way.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Today in History for April 18th Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010