My Corner, Your Corner: Family, football and food — must be Thanksgiving

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and after the recent terrorist attacks in France, a holiday during which I get to spend time with family can’t come soon enough.

With so much unrest in the world, I wonder what’s around the corner. One thing I do know is we cannot cave into the fear the terrorists want to plant in our minds.

Next month, my daughter Ashley will drive to Washington, D.C. to catch a Redskins football game. ISIS declared it will attack D.C., and my daughter has two options – to go or to stay home. Instead of caving into fear, she should go and have fun.

Though skepticism abounds, we are still living in the greatest country in the world.

The First Amendment guarantees us freedoms of speech, religion, assembly and the right to petition. One freedom always up for debate is the right to bear arms. There will always be an argument on the guns issue.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays since childhood. It’s a holiday shared by family with food — most often, too much food.

In our Italian family, the appetizer was a pasta dish that knocked our socks off. Mom made either ravioli or lasagna for starters. In her younger years, she made ravioli, but as she aged and the family got smaller, it was easier to make lasagna. Either way, I didn’t complain and was usually too full to eat the turkey, but I always made room.

As I’ve gotten older, things are not like they used to be. My dad is deceased as are my grandparents and my mom now resides in a nursing home. My childhood memories are something I will always cherish.

Another tradition long forgotten is the rivalry football game between Pittston Area and Wyoming Area that used to be held on Thanksgiving Day.

I could remember getting up on Turkey Day and watching the parades in New York City on television, then bundling up to attend the annual high school game. It was usually held at 11 a.m. After the game, we headed home in time to thaw out and have our feast.

After dinner, the tryptophan from the turkey would kick in and it was a race to the couch for a nap.

Something that doesn’t happen often enough these days is visiting relatives Thanksgiving evening. We literally did the “over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go” — Grandma Callaio’s house, that is. For us, it was Parsonage Street, not the woods, and a car instead of a sleigh. The leftovers were bountiful and it seemed like I had just eaten the main meal when it was time to dig into leftovers.

Today, the family visits are replaced with planning a shopping strategy to cash in on Black Friday sales.

I always felt bad for department store employees who have to work crazy hours on what is called the biggest shopping day of the year. I’m not sure how they can enjoy their holiday without thinking about work.

Whether you’re still carrying on with old traditions or making new ones, I wish you a peaceful and grateful Thanksgiving holiday.

Quote of the week

“The power to question is the basis of all human progress.” – Indira Gandhi, Indian prime minister.

Thought of the week

“Life is a game. Money is how we keep score.” – Ted Turner, American businessman and TV pioneer.

Bumper sticker

“Love is a reciprocal torture.” – Marcel Proust, French novelist.

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at

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