|Our family gathered on Louis and Anna's front porch.|
While I was growing up the tradition in our family was that Mom and Marge shared responsibility for hosting Thanksgiving dinner, and whoever did not host would then be responsible for hosting that year’s Christmas dinner. It worked out well for decades. Both celebrations always included three generations of our combined families. Occasionally, someone would be added like Marge’s parents or a current boyfriend.
From reading mom’s diaries, I learned that when she was a girl, she and her parents typically had Thanksgiving dinner with Gramma’s brother’s family Henry Menge, so mom was with a gaggle of her female cousins. In 1933 they all went to Henry’s cabin in Ben Lomond for Thanksgiving dinner. They were with the Menges again in 1936. That year mom and her cousins strategized about how to convince Martin McTigue to take mom to the senior ball.
Dinner was at the Menges again in 1938 but by then Mom had met Dad so after dinner the two of them went to San Francisco with some friends. Anna and Louis hosted in 1939 and included Emma and John Thornally at their table since Mom and Dad were engaged to be married by then.
1940 was the first time Mom hosted Thanksgiving dinner. She planned it well ahead because on November 13th she wrote that she had asked her mother to help her prepare the meal. Afterward, she noted that dinner was fine. The following year Marge offered to host the combined family at her parent’s home and she asked everyone to contribute $2 towards the meal. In 1942 Anna Pattillo hosted. Emma Thornally had the honor in 1944 and served a roast chicken!
The last diary entry about Thanksgiving was for 1946. That year Marge offered again to host at her family home but the ante was only $1. Despite the reduced charge, Mom was fed up and refused to attend, and instead she decided to host her own dinner and invited the Pattillos who declined saying they felt they should accept the earlier invitation from Marge.
I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my home in 1977.