Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week I’m starting more snippets from the book formerly known as The Very Next, my chronological second Atlantic City book, set from March–December 1939.
In the morning, while Cinnimin Filliard’s parents are starting to prepare their holiday meal, an unexpected visitor shows up. Mrs. Filliard assumed she was a beggar, but Dawida explains she’s from the Polish family Mr. Filliard is trying to bring to the U.S.
Most of the family escaped to Lisbon in the wake of the Nazi invasion, and Dawida escaped Warsaw on her own. Mrs. Filliard is quite frazzled to realize yet another longterm houseguest has just been added to her home, and sends Cinni out to get the main course.
Mrs. Filliard looked at the grandfather clock. “Cinni, why don’t you make yourself useful and pick up a turkey? It won’t appear in our oven all by itself. Make sure it’s at least fifteen pounds, so it’ll be enough to reasonably feed everyone in our family plus those insufferable Smarts. Gregory’s Groceries gives ‘em away today, so we don’t have to worry about money.”
“What about my family?” Sparky asked. “Perhaps we could all eat together. The kosher butcher in Germantown is having a bingo game today, with a huge turkey as the prize.”
“However you girls get our turkey, it had better be here and ready by noon at the absolute latest. I want to sit down to eat at four, and it takes about four hours to cook a fifteen-pound stuffed turkey, even longer for eighteen pounds or over, and the longest if it’s over twenty pounds.”
From 1939–41, there was one Thanksgiving for Democrats and another for Republicans a week later. Cinni’s family celebrates the Democrat Thanksgiving, which fell on 23 November in 1939, and was dubbed “Franksgiving” by Republicans (referring to FDR having moved the holiday up one week).
This earlier than usual Thanksgiving was motivated by fears of a very late Thanksgiving negatively affecting Christmas retail sales, in a country still recovering from the Great Depression. In those days, it was very bad form to begin advertising Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving.