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The Best Holiday?

blusk
Not applicable

I’m not a big “holiday guy."   I’m usually in bed before the New Year clicks over, I don’t wait for Christmas with eager anticipation like I once did as a kid, and I won’t drive far to see fireworks on July 4th.  However, I do have a very special holiday, and Thanksgiving Day is a very big deal to me.

In my previous incarnation with another airline, I had the privilege of working in Paris on what originally was an open-ended temporary duty assignment in 1991.  In the end, it wound up lasting about a month.  That month happened to be November.  I fell in love with France and was excited about working at a major European airport (at the time, you couldn’t see Sud Caravelles, Dassault Mercures, Tupolev TU-154s, and Middle East Airlines Boeing 707s together anywhere else but Paris Orly), but the work was the most stressful of my almost 35-year airline career.  Toward the end of the month on Thanksgiving Day, I became very homesick, especially when I realized that all across the US people, including my family, were celebrating Thanksgiving. 

My final permanent duty with my original airline had me living apart once again.  This time, I was in Dayton, Ohio, for ten months.  The plan was that my wife would stay in Dallas and try to sell our house.  The house never sold, and I wound up taking a severance package and came back home.  All of that was very much in the future when Thanksgiving rolled around.  In the middle of an American Airlines strike, I wouldn’t be stopped from coming home from Dayton on Thanksgiving, and flew two airlines with a connection in Louisville just to get home.  (I stayed in Dayton for Christmas.)  My own times away from home were brief, and I can only imagine what military families go through this time of year.  But, I know that given the opportunity to be home on only one holiday, it would be Thanksgiving.

I like the fact that Thanksgiving isn’t commercialized.  You don’t send Thanksgiving cards or exchange Thanksgiving gifts.  It is a time for family and camaraderie, and this year my family will be entertaining my mom and a longtime friend of my wife.  All of us on the Blog Team are going to take a short break on posting new material, but we will keep moderating your comments.  We will be back with new material on Friday.  Until then, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

4 Comments
Mike_Barnbaum
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Well Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Brian. My Thanksgiving was spent with my girlfriend in which we travelled (on Southwest out of Sacramento) to Seattle to spend time with part of her family. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with her Sister, Brother-In-Law and Nephew. We have made this trip the last couple of years as well as this year. I was also on the phone this year with my sister from Livingston, New Jersey. Next Thanksgiving, I would love to travel to Newark (without Bag Fees, of course) to see her and have the opportunity to finally fly the best in the business on Southwest. On a final note, my girlfriend surprised me at the airport in Sacramento on Thanksgiving with a Thanksgiving Card. I was taken by surprise, in that I wasn't quite sure if people actually get Thanksgiving Cards or gifts as it was mentioned to this very effect in the original blog post on this subject matter. Well, guess I have to shop for those Hanukkah Cards and see if Dreidels and Menorahs, among other things are available for the folks on my shopping list. Hanukkah, I believe comes early this go around, starting at Sunset on December 1st. In closing, I do agree, Thanksgiving is the best Holiday. I had a great time being with family in Seattle, and next year on Southwest, I look forward to Thanksgiving in the Newark area. --Mike Barnbaum, Rapid Rewards Member in Sacramento, California
blusk
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A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Mike! Thanks for spending part of your holiday with us. Brian
rcravens
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Happy holidays to you, Brian ... and congrats on your latest article in Trains magazine. I always enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at Amtrak operations, and your piece offered a unique angle on the subject. Kudos!
blusk
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Thanks, Ross.