Weekend Reading 11/28/21

Welcome back once again to The Weekend Edition. It’s where I share with you my curated list of retro and nostalgia-themed stories and articles I’ve run across in my travels around the world wide web in the last week. So grab yourself a hot cup of coffee (or tea), get comfortable, and enjoy the reads.

  • In what I consider to be very big news, there is a rumor going around that Taco Bell will be bringing back the Mexican Pizza back to it’s menu in the very new future! I’ve been in a state of depression ever since they took it away from me last year.
  • Speaking of Taco Bell, The Retroist takes a look at another fondly remembered menu item, The Bell Beefer.
  • The Toy Box takes a look at the Cartoons of 1984 in a really fun post that really kept me enthralled throughout. There’s some deep cuts in this one like the little remembered Wolf Rock TV!
  • When Black Friday rolled around, it got me nostalgic for some of the craziness invovled in some of the hot toys in the past. So here is an article I came across in the Houston Chronicle looking back at the Tickle Me Elmo craze of 1996.

Video of the Week

Now that we’re past Thanksgiving it’s time to start highlighting some Christmas videos each week. And first, I want to share with you a movie…It’s called The Homecoming, and it was the movie that originally introduced The Waltons and inspired the hit TV series. It’s one of my favorite movies to watch during the Christmas season, and maybe you’ll enjoy it too.

1985 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

If you’re like me, you just can’t get into the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While parades, in general, are still very much entertaining, the modern parade features way too much current pop culture for my tastes. I prefer my pop culture to be the ’80s and/or ’90s centric. So I’m presenting you with an alternative to today’s parade with this full video of the 1985 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This way you can still enjoy a parade, and at the same time take a walk down memory lane.

Thanksgiving is Hard This Year

Thanksgiving has been a favorite holiday of mine for about 30 years or so now…since about 1992 I suppose. Before that, my family always went out for dinner on Thanksgiving because my Dad nor my brother were fans of turkey or dressing. So I was dragged along to places like Cracker Barrel instead of sitting down to a nice home-cooked, traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

But around 1992 I think, I put my foot down and declared that I wasn’t going out, and that I’d sit at home, make a frozen pizza and watch football. Surprisingly, my folks were ok with that since I was old enough to stay home. A year or so later, Mom decided that even though they were going out for dinner, she wanted some turkey. So she baked a turkey breast, made some dressing, and a bowl of potato salad. All of which I was free to consume while watching football, and she would just have some later in the evening after the restaurant meal had faded away.

For the rest of my years living at home, this was my Thanksgiving tradition. Those three dishes and football. When I got married and moved out, I told my wife that I wanted a complete Thanksgiving dinner, because I’d never really had one. We made plans to cook and invited our parents over. The spread that the first year set the bar for every Thanksgiving since, as we had the works. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese, deviled eggs, homemade rolls, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, green beans, corn, and pumpkin pie. That year started a tradition that has yet to end at our home. Every year without fail, I’ve cooked a large dinner and invited numerous people to join us. It’s been a labor of love, but one well worth doing.

This year is different though. While I’m still cooking the whole meal, there will be fewer people around our table to share it with. My wife and daughters will be here of course, but we are without some notable people. My Mom and Dad won’t be joining us this year. Mom has Dementia, and since her fall at the beginning of July, she has been in a nursing home. Dad plans to spend the day with her there, and I can’t blame him. She has been his world for 50 years now.

I went to visit Mom today and spent a couple of hours with her. Unfortunately, the Dementia effects are bad today, and not only did she not recognize me, but she also has no clue that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So I’m finding it hard to enjoy the holiday this season, as her idea all those years ago started me down a Thanksgiving path. And beyond that, her being at my table for the dinner has been something I’ve cherished throughout the years. Hell, it even broke the old tradition of them going out to eat for Thanksgiving. I’m still preparing the full meal, but it’s not going to be the same knowing she has no idea what’s going on, and that she and Dad won’t be with us. Dad doesn’t even want me to bring food down to him at home in the evening saying that he wishes the holidays just wouldn’t come this year. Even though it’s hard to wrap my mind around, I guess I can see his point.

But I’ve said all of that to say this…enjoy your loved ones this Thanksgiving (and every other day) because you don’t know when all of the things we take for granted will be taken away from us. Like I wouldn’t have thought last year that it would likely be the last Thanksgiving dinner I got to share with my Mom. It’s that thought and others like it that are going to make Thanksgiving hard this year. Luckily, I still have others that I love joining me, and for that, I’m thankful.

I hope you and yours have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Enjoy it.

– Mickey

Some Reading For the Holiday Break

I usually reserve this kind of stuff for The Weekend Edition, but if you’re like me, you may have a little extra time on your hands over the next couple of days. Hell, one of my favorite things over the last couple of years has been to spend the day before Thanksgiving lazily getting a head start on the cooking, and drinking coffee while catching up on reading some of my favorite retro bloggers and the like. It’s sort of become a tradition now. So with that in mind, here are some more links for you to enjoy while prepping for the main event.

I hope you find time to visit a few of these links. I’m sure they’ll brighten your day a little bit.

Weekend Reading 11/21/21

Here is this week’s curated collection of nostalgia-themed news, articles, and posts for you to enjoy. They’re all Thanksgiving related this week, so I hope you’re not already burned out on the holiday before it even gets here. But either way, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday this week.

Why Do the Lions and Cowboys Always Play on Thanksgiving? (Mental Floss)

Recreating Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving Feast (Dinosaur Dracula)

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: 47 Differences Between the Film and the Script (The Retro Network)

Black Friday Origins: The Transformers and Gobots Craze of 1984 (Rediscover the ’80s)

8 Forgotten Animated Thanksgiving Specials of the 1980’s (MeTV)

5 Awesome Things on eBay This Week (Plaid Stallions)

If you like this type of curated list of links, you should also check out William Bruce West’s Pop Culture in Review column over at his site West Week Ever each week. It’s a good look at the week in pop culture with plenty of retro-themed topics thrown in. Give this week’s column a look for some commentary on Ecto Cooler, Blockbuster, Sesame Street, and more.

Video of the Week

When a lot of people think of Thanksgiving, they think of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’ve been out of watching the current parade for a lot of years now, but I still like going back and watching the olds ones. With that in mind, let’s go 30 years back in time and relive the 1991 parade. Enjoy!