Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for the work you are doing and especially the podcast with Walter. I look forward to it every week.

Expand full comment

our family has never had a political disagreement over thanksgiving (even w/a mix of political affiliations), and actually it was a grievance my MIL aired on a holiday that really turned me around.

she said that friends had dropped her in the most hateful way possible during trump (she voted for him). and i heard the pain in her voice. it really broke her heart. so i began to listen to everyone more and decided to follow some of those i disagree with and learn more about why they think what they think.

it hasn’t changed my own principles b/c that’s how principles work. what it’s done is, i think, force me to *sit with things* for longer. let them sink in and realize that my opinion isn’t what’s important.

Expand full comment

My worst Thanksgiving was when I was about fifteen (1980-ish) and my parents found my weed stash in my parka. Everything was great until then!

Expand full comment

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Walter. I am thankful for you both! My particular gentleman friend and I are both pilots, and we have a ritual of doing a morning flight on each of four holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and the Fourth of July. Today we give thanks for our wings and all the pioneers, inventors, visionaries, and cranks who conquered the sky for man. If we have an argument it will probably be about my crosswind landing technique.

Expand full comment

Funny, I just reread Farewell, My Lovely. A good choice (and the Maltese Falcon an excellent read). As far as Thanksgiving goes, my family knows we don't agree on every issue but we also know we'd rather spend it together than apart. That makes the other stuff pale.

Expand full comment

Happy Thanksgiving Matt. You've done good work.

Expand full comment

It's just me and my Mom eating dinner today, and she has little to no interest in politics, especially since my late Dad was such a political junkie. Have a good holiday, everyone.

Expand full comment

100% agree that today should be about how fortunate we are to live in a place of wealth and abundance. If by chance we lived in most of the world our focus would be on getting enough to eat, keeping ourselves and our families safe, hoping to find meaning use of our talents... I am especially thankful to your friend Elon and to you Matt.

Expand full comment

Happy Thanksgiving Matt to you and your family!! I am grateful for YOU, your insight and efforts in helping me to be a critical thinker - thank you very much 🙏. Eat a lot and be happy 😊.

Expand full comment

What a mensch you are, Mr. T....

The best to you today and always.

Expand full comment

I have also found this. I disagree pretty intensely with most of my relatives on the side of the family I usually end up at for Thanksgiving, and politics rarely if ever comes up. From the way my friends talk about their Thanksgiving dread it feels like the issue is people stress so much about the potential for an argument because they know they have disagreements that even if the argument never happens they still carry the stress like it did, because it already happened in their head, and I think the media is definitely at least in part to blame for that.

Expand full comment

Well, my wife and I have managed to avoid the 4+ hour trek to NJ by testing positive for Covid. My daughter brought us a prepackaged meal so we'll be eating quietly at home.

Best to all!

Expand full comment

𝕋𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕜𝕤𝕘𝕚𝕧𝕚𝕟𝕘 ℕ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕞𝕓𝕖𝕣 𝟙𝟡𝟠𝟚... 𝕆𝕙𝕙𝕙 𝔹𝕠𝕪...

I was a rookie cop in da Bronx, having graduated from the Academy the previous June. Ohhh boy...

I had a day tour (0700-1535). For the oldsters here, think of Hill Street Blues but not nearly as good looking.

First thing I saw when I walked into roll call was that the vast majority of people in the room were noobs. Sure, I was a rookie too; but I had a steady car and partner since the Academy. And on Thanksgiving, my steady partner Jerry (a 15 year vet) had taken some time off.

Roll Call was pretty much filled with rookies and sprinkled with cops who had 2-3 years on the job. There were many, many rookies who were still in Field Training who were totally pumped b/c today they were going to be in a radio car w/o a Field Training Officer.

For the first time in their lives they were gonna ride in an RMP (cop car) w/ just a partner.

And the ones who weren't rookies were pissed off.

"What's the problem?" I asked one of the more experienced cops.

She just sighed and said, "You'll see."

At PRECISELY 7:00 am the desk sergeant came in. He rattled off our names for attendance and in a world weary voice put his hands on the lectern and said 'Happy Thanksgiving. Let the fun begin. Those of you relieving Late Tour cars, call 'em in forthwith. The fun times started at about 1:00 AM and hasn't let up."

He gave us all a long stare. "Do not. I repeat DO NOT make any small potatoes collars today. Central Booking is already over flowing. It's not as bad as the Blackout Of '77, but it's baaad. No shoplifters, no petty assaults, and God help you if you even THINK of taking a meal break." He glanced down at his paperwork. "Right now we're backed up about 60 jobs that we can't shitcan." (Those are 911 calls from the public.) "Grab your shit and get out there."

At the time we put about 10 out of about 30 cars on the street for a Late Tour. The 4-12 shift rode all 30 cars, but for Thanksgiving Day shift, instead of about 20, every single car was on the street.

I had a rookie from Field Training as my partner for the shift. (Snort. I...ME... was the senior cop in the car. My partner was Tony The Tiger. We went thru the Academy together, but b/c I was a smarty pants and had faboo grades, I was sent direct to command w/o any Field Training. He's a great guy, and had about a zillion years of street smarts.


For the next eight hours and 35 minutes all we did, ALL WE DID was break up family fights. A normal Day tour was about 15 jobs. We did about 50. And got chewed out for malingering by the Patrol Supervisor, b/c a lot of sectors did over 60.

We were basically bouncers.

On one job, we were called at 9:00 AM b/c Grandma threw the Sony Trinitron out the window of a 3rd floor apartment b/c her son turned off the Parade. Nana was about 98 pounds. How the hell she managed to pick up, let alone hurl that freaking TV still astounds me.

On another job, I gave a couple in their 50's-60's a 24 hour divorce b/c they had been fighting for 3 days. I saw that slick move in a movie (The Choirboys?) Believe it or not it worked!

Unlike my skinny, fish belly white pasty Irish physique, Tony The Tiger was a weight-lifting Guido who was a fan of Stallone. When we had to tell some clown it was time for him to leave, and he didn't want to, Tony informed the guy that he was about to be arrested.

"Oh yeah? Fer what?"

"Assaulting a police officer, dummy!"

"I ain't laid a hand on you!"

Tony crossed his arms and said, "You're about to assault my fist with your face, bud."


Like I said, Tony The Tiger had street smarts up the wazoo.

Not for nothing, our clientele were not regular readers of the NY Times in that era...

Since I got off at 3:35 PM, I made Thanksgiving supper at my In-Laws. It was fine, not a sharp word amongst anyone. I spent the evening in a corner of the living room, with hollow eyes, drinking my shell shock away.

Expand full comment

Happy Thanksgiving! Funny thought, I will be outnumbered 3 to 1 by Persian women (OK one is 6 and pretty much always on my side) and I am quite sure we will not be talking two state solutions or getting into fights over Israel. Then again, we are 4-0 for getting rid of the current regime in Iran and restoring a more secular western Iran the eldest amongst us remembers well. But no matter what our hopes for far off lands, today we are thankful that we are all Americans.

Expand full comment

What am I thankful for on this day? I’m thankful for earnest articles written by pinheads who give such great advice on how to deal with our relatives at Thanksgiving. If only they could show up to intervene in a brewing disagreement, saying things like “so how does that make you feel when he says that?” and “do you understand why this might be upsetting to Uncle Mario?” They are the unsung heroes of journalism.

Expand full comment
Nov 23, 2023·edited Nov 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving Matt, to you and your loved ones.

Expand full comment