Thursday, November 27, 2008

my first American Thanksgiving, 1969

Thanksgiving Day, 1969, I worked my regular 3p-11pm shift at Passaic Beth Israel Hospital, a small 200 bed community hospital in a 3 hospital city of Passaic. My hospital had the best free meals on Thanksgiving of the three local hospitals. Hospital provided foods were kosher complaint. My friend Eria works the am shift at St. Mary's Hospital and said so. Passaic General don't gave out free meals, I'm told.
Best free meal or not, turkey with all the trimmings just do not taste good to my two month old just arrived via TWA from the Philippines tastes bud. Ham was more acceptable but not kosher. Chicken in a salad was just as nauseating to a pregnant 23year old.
Atr had the day off and spent the afternoon with friends at Gregory apts. Some friends had already spent previous year Thanksgiving in America.
This unique American holiday has a Filipino Catholic equivalent of celebrating thanksgiving on the feast day of a saint. The difference is Filipinos as a community in barrios or towns celebrate different days of feast for saints. My barrio's saint is Our Lady of Fatima celebrated on May 13. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church walking distance from out efficiency three floor walk-up is close enough in symbolism and spiritual affinity. Besides the feast day, July 16 is near my birthday.

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