‘It is almost Turkey Day…what are your plans…Willy,’ Clarence asked? ‘Well…I have some Wild Turkey in the cupboard…and that should make for a lovely day,’ answered Willy. ‘Wild Turkey…Ha Ha…I hear that old friend,’ Clarence laughed! Billy B. could not believe his good fortune to have been hired at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale and a little over a month later to be the recipient of two paid holidays for Thanksgiving. ‘What a Country,’ said the Russian Comedian.
Thanksgiving in Eldorado was the prelude to Christmas…in Neva J.’s mind. No plans were made for a Turkey Dinner nor candied sweet potatoes or even Neva J.’s Famous Coffee Cake…those plans were for Christmas. ‘No one comes to see me between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve…I will need that time to prepare for Christmas,’ Neva J. proclaimed. If Billy B. was lucky there might be some Roast Beast slowly cooked in the Crock Pot and the almost daily…fried potatoes. Billy B. assumed that everyone consumed fried potatoes each night for supper.
Macy’s had a wonderful parade…even in the ’60s. Billy B. and Chet and Jane loved to watch the parade with the humongous balloons and the excitement of Santa Claus bringing up the rear of the parade…it appeared to him that Macy’s understood that Thanksgiving was the prelude to Christmas…as well.
One special year Neva J. decided that she and Billy B. would go out to eat for Christmas. Thanksgiving remained the holiday that you mostly celebrated in your mind and soul and spirit…and no Christmas Ham Famous Coffee Cake or even candied sweet potatoes…and what about the homemade fudge and divinity… When Neva J. told of her labor-saving plan for Christmas…Rosie told her, ‘Nevie…I do not think that we will find any restaurants open on Christmas Day.’ ‘Oh, surely there will be some…what about our favorite Smorgasbourgh Two Tonys…I am certain that they will be open for customers to partake of their Christmas Dinner.’ ‘I and my family tried to eat Christmas Dinner out a few years ago and we ended up having Olive Loaf Lunch Meat and Charles Chips,’ laughed Jane. ‘I like Oscar Mayer Wieners…myself…,’ grinned Chet. ‘Indeed that would not be much work since you enjoy them directly out of the package, Billy B. said.
Christmas Day came and the safari for an open restaurant came up short. As Neva J. and Chet and Jane and Billy B. and Rosie were all loaded up in the 57′ Chevy convertible with a ragtop that would not come up due to a malfunction…they saw Gary S. sitting in the Eldorado Pavillion with no one around but the twinkle of the Eldorado Christmas decorations. ‘Are you waiting on someone Gary S.,’ Billy B. called out. Yes…my sister was supposed to pick me up here and take me for Christmas Dinner at her home in Mt. Vernon…but she never came and now I am quite cold,’ Gary S. replied with a forlorn face. ‘Get in Gary S….we are heading home for the holidays and when we get there we will whip up something special for Christmas Dinner,’ laughed Neva J.
Fried baloney and Charles Chips and Oscar Mayer Weiners along with Squirt and Coca Cola and Coffee…made for a wonderful feast that was full of laughter and fun and even an aluminum Christmas Tree with a blue rotating light shining on it… Then came the Balloon Wine that Neva J. and Billy B. made themselves in their basement.
Indeed there were never a merrier lot of folks in the little town of Eldorado…and few that understood the meaning of Christmas better than they…