Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving Plans

By Fred Owens
I called my daughter in Seattle. Eva and Lara are coming down for Thanksgiving  -- to stay with friends in Santa Monica. We will see them on Friday, the day after. On the day itself we will have turkey dinner with my girl friend Laurie's folks in Manhattan Beach.
Lots of relatives on both days. Cousins, uncles, aunts, friends. We are lucky  -- there are no difficult people involved.
I hear that people are heated up and divisive about the election. Maybe, but I don't see much evidence of that where I live.
Except Eric got a bit angry. I saw him at the coffee shop in Venice. The coffee shop is called Abbot's Habit. I don't think their coffee is very good, but the ambience is quite right. I go to this coffee shop whenever I come to visit my sister -- she lives three blocks down the street -- has lived in Venice for forty years, in that same house.
Eric has been in Venice even longer, more than forty years. He grew up in the
Bronx, and like many upwardly mobile young Jews at that time, in the 1940s and 1950s, he saw greener pastures in Los Angeles.

Greener pastures is the wrong metaphor for Los Angeles. We are five years into the drought. It is dry and dusty and brown in these parts -- but the economy is kicking, at least to judge by the pace of home and apartment construction. People still want to come and live here. Immigrants from foreign countries..... But maybe we should encourage immigrants from Ohio  -- they voted for Trump because they got depressed and the factories are closed. Well, why not just leave? To hell with Akron, come out here.
That's what Eric did years ago, coming from the Bronx, and my sister and I coming from Chicago. We came out here and voted Democrat.
But, as I said, people are getting along all right after the election, except Eric was especially vehement. He said Trump is a dangerous man, and it wasn't so much his words but his tone. Eric doesn't usually get angry -- sometimes cynical or sarcastic -- but last week when we were having coffee he was a little mad.
Eric said Trump is going to ruin the country. I said I hope he doesn't do that. Eric said I hope so too and let's talk about something else.
So we talked about his impending move to Petaluma, in Sonoma County north of San Francisco. This is a big change. He bought a house up there, to be near his daughter and the grandchildren. His whole life Eric has lived in the Bronx and LA, big cities from start to finish. I teased him about that. I said Eric, you're going to lose your edge. Everything is nice in Petaluma. Everybody will be nice to you. It will be so relaxing, living out in the country, There's no traffic.

I teased him about the widows. Eric is healthy, of a kind nature, and financially independent. He is devoted to his single status, his bachelor solitude. Women like him.
In Venice, surrounded by much younger people at the coffee house, he is protected against the widows.
But he will meet his match in Petaluma. I said Eric, they're waiting for you up there with trays of cookies. He said for damn sure nothing is going to happen. I said Eric, you're good, but you're not that good. They're waiting for you to move up there and we won't be there to back you up. Your bachelor days are over. He said not so fast, buddy.
Eric is facing the future. He is a realist, but also kind and intelligent.
Election Forecast.  I predicted that Hillary Clinton would win by a narrow margin. I was wrong. But Nate Silver, our most prominent pollster, was also wrong about that, so how come he gets paid so much more than me?
Nate Silver should have interviewed more cows. It was the cows that voted for Trump -- I mean the people who own the cows. They voted for Trump in very big numbers because nobody was paying attention to them.
They are called "uneducated white men."  I prefer to call them rural voters or country folks  -- or maybe rednecks, which is not quite insulting, but not quite polite. 

Well, you guys got your man in the White House and you have our attention now.
We have to take care of the cows, and the land, and the people who live on the land. They tend to be more conservative than us city folks. They got riled up this year because we ignored them. But I promise to never again forget about the cows. I love the cows, and the land, and the people who live on the land. Forever. Amen.

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