Historically Speaking

Thanksgiving, religion and politics in history


MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Commission Chairman. If you have history of Atascosa County you’d like to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.

MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Commission Chairman. If you have history of Atascosa County you’d like to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.

Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Atascosans! It’s that time of year again, you know, when the Christmas stuff gets put out before we even get to eat the bird. Nonetheless, Thanksgiving is upon us and I for one cannot wait.

Don’t fear the title here, I’m making a point. During a recent social media scroll, I ran into a meme that stood out and gave me a chuckle. A chuckle because I know somebody out there had or will try this “technique.” It said something to the effect of “You want to save on Christmas presents this year, just talk about politics or religion during Thanksgiving Dinner.” The punchline being that politics and religion are the great dividers among family discussions, thus angering your family so that they won’t be speaking to you at Christmas time.

For decades, this has been a great divider amongst folks, causing the greatest friends to end their alliance over what started as a friendly discussion about politics or religion. So, go ahead, bring it up at the feast. Talk about the latest political affiliation switch, talk about any topic on the news, and most importantly, bring up that church advertising for the highest bidder. The accomplishment will cause you more pain and effort than it would be for you to be nice and just do the right thing. Sit down and watch a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving or John Candy and Steve Martin try to get home for Thanksgiving in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” I will go even further and recommend the WKRP in Cincinnati Turkey Drop episode. The point I’m making is that it is much more fun to coexist and realize that we have more in common than we wish to realize.

Last week we were welcomed at Lytle Junior High for History Day. The History Department organizes various historically-based groups to hold 10-minute presentations as the classrooms rotate every 10 minutes. So the kids get out of their regular lessons and learn history from living historians. The history that is presented varies from Pioneer Cooking, Metal Detecting, Confederate History, Pacific War History, Camping, Black History and the list goes on. We were placed next to the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association. For those who don’t know, the Buffalo Soldiers were African American Cavarly and Infantry regiments formed in 1866. I heard a presenter identify him- self as Clay; the man had a laugh that was distinct and genuine. During breaks, I spent time with Clay and we spoke about history. I couldn’t tell you what he disliked, but I can tell you that we had a lot in common when our history discussions were going on. We talked for hours and agreed to attend each other’s group functions in the near future. We even learned a lot about each other’s historical region and topics we were presenting. I met a lot of history enthusiasts and not only the students benefited that day.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and I thank you for your continued support. I hope you enjoyed this week’s column. Thank you for reading, until next time.

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