Opinion: Potsdam resident shares his ‘Thanksgiving Bucket List’
Friday, November 29, 2019 - 8:44 am

What do I know about the meaning of Thanksgiving? Well…apparently more than the hordes of people standing outside big name retail stores on this afternoon and henceforth hours during Thanksgiving Day, waiting for the doors to open so the hordes can burst through them and scurry to be the first to gather up special sale items before the next person takes it.

Sometimes this scenario may cause confrontations between customers vying to obtain the last remaining item on special sale.

Whatever happened to the Thanksgiving Day I remember as a young adolescent boy? A day set aside to gather family members and close dear friends around a big dinning table and to take a moment, first, to hold each other’s hand, bow our heads in prayer and thank our Almighty Lord for His Devine goodness of providing food that was set before, to partake. Whatever happened to the purpose and sanctity of this day?

I won’t take you back to the days when English pilgrims came to this North America continent, nearly starving as their first winter began setting in, and with the human gentleness and kindness of the Native Americans helping these pilgrims gather food and provisions to survive the onset of the season; and doing so, sat together in friendship to one another, enjoying the first Thanksgiving.

So what does all this have to do with my story, Thanksgiving Bucket List? My “List” consists of recognizing and acknowledging all the people who have helped my wife, Nancy and I, during this past year.

“Thank you doctors and nursing staff of the Canton-Potsdam Hospital St. Lawrence Health System, (including Chris & Alicia Van Wagner, Dawn White, David Bass, Amanda Ross, et el) also those of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Heart Center of Syracuse. Thank you to our dear neighbors (the Tischler brothers, Gary and Edward) for looking out for us all year, mowing our lawn, removing snow, etc. Thank you Olga and Timothy Virgil, our pharmacist (Jessica) and staff at Maple Street Kinney’s, to Carol and Vicky of Rose & Kiernan, Inc., Mike, David and John at Evans & White’s Ace Hardware, to David and Danielle, of Potsdam Aldi’s; to our buddies David Rude, young Dave, Abby and Emma of the Roxy Theater, Laurean and Dwayne Pelkey of Chilly Delights and Scoops, to all our dear friends at Potsdam Key Bank, I.G.A., and so many at Price Chopper (I can’t list them all), Marilyn at Perms, all staff of the Village Diner, Jessica Campos (Arby’s), and Paul Kessler, GM of Potsdam Hampton Inn.

In addition, all those I came in contact during the Holiday Fund Campaign each year. Cliff and Danny of Monroe Muffler & Brake, David and crew at NCOC, John Barstow and staff of Barstow Motors, Foster’s Auto Body; and most importantly, my fellow Kiwanians of the Potsdam and Norwood Clubs. Jeff Prosper, sons and his staff of the Ponderosa Restaurant, Potsdam Fire Department and Rescue Squad; Sara, Rebecca and Tony of the Potsdam Library, all the teachers and aides of both Parishville and Potsdam Head Start Reading Program and lastly the Parishville Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary monthly Monday night Italian Dinners that help raise funds for a Parishville High School graduating senior. Thank you Luie Wilson, Mary Gilbert, Michelle Hayes, Connie Harper, Linda Parker Downing, Della Hart, Christine Richards; Delberta, Mary and Niki Scovel Haught; Also Rose Bump, Angel Randall, Dee Burlingame, Cheryl Thomas, Noreen Bouchard, Erika Lenard and Barbara Gallagher; plus, all the members of the Parishville AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary who have helped raised funds to purchase Head Start books for the Parishville Head Start children, plus the St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union donations to the Potsdam Head Start Reading Program… it’s with a sincere “thank you” that’s wished to all aforementioned.

Mentally as I sit up to my Thanksgiving table this year, I’ll spiritually extend to hold those hands that mean so much to me. I’ll give “thanks” to all those who have touched my lifeline, and for this I am truly blessed. There’s no place for rhetoric, rampage or hostility at my table…be healthy and well, keep yourself safe and always wear a big smile upon your face”.

And that, dear reader is what my “Thanksgiving Bucket List” means to me!

Henry Wallis Walters

Potsdam