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Lincoln: Gratitude and Thanksgiving memories

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A photo from the Casey collection depicting women in a class in Port Byron; two of the women have not been identified.

November — the official time of Thanksgiving, but we should all try to give thanks always and in everything. Yes, it is sometimes hard.

This year I am incredibly thankful for the life of our daughter, Becky Lincoln, and her battle with Type 1 diabetes. She supported research to end and cure Type 1 diabetes so if you are so inclined, a donation in Becky’s memory to JDRF would be much appreciated. Donations can be sent to: JDRF, 1757 Central Ave., Suite 102, Albany, NY 12205. More information can be found at

I am thankful for the outpouring of love and memories of our Becky; she certainly had an positive impact. Hug someone just a little tighter and longer today.

I am also thankful for the ongoing efforts, imagination and passion of the Conquest Comprehensive Planning Committee. As you read this column, we will have had our second community meeting/report open house. I have been asked, as historian, with a number of tasks, among which is a Conquest song. In the past I have written hundreds of press releases, history columns, a book and a play, but a song? Sure I can — well, at least I think I can. Stay tuned.

One of the Thanksgiving memories that gives me joy: About 10 years ago, Becky and her California friends decided to have an old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner at her small apartment. I had been notified that I should be on call. The ground-up cranberry sauce was one of the requirements, so ahead of time I searched for a grinder and sent it on. In our family it was a good opportunity for the younger family to assist with Thanksgiving prep by grinding up the cranberries and oranges — not sure who was the grinder in West Hollywood, but it got done ahead of time!

Another “kid task” was tearing the bread for stuffing, but the mixes have gotten so much better — an older child could cut up the celery and onions and stuff the remaining celery with peanut butter for an appetizer. Thanks to the three-hour time delay, our bird had been in the oven for a couple of hours before I got the first call: tenting with aluminum foil or not, and stuffing the bird or separate pan? I tent and used to stuff, but now advise a separate pan. There was a call for the regular cranberry sauce, so I advised that that be accomplished soon, so that it could chill. Kitchen voting had vetoed the green bean casserole, but new voices prevailed and the hunt for the crispy onions began.

All moms love to be asked for advice, and that was one of my happiest days — I would have loved to have everyone around our table, but definitely the next best is helping by phone 3,000 miles away!

I give thanks for all those creative cooks who donated to the Election Day bake sale and for the heavy, hungry turnout that had us sold out by 2 p.m.

Joni Lincoln

Joni Lincoln

Advent/Christmas season will have our Amazing Grace parish worshipping at our Countryside United Methodist Church in Springlake at 10 a.m. beginning on Nov. 27. It would be grand to see many of you! Christmas Eve service will be at 4 p.m. and Christmas Day will be a short, joyous celebration!

I am thankful for the Casey collection of photos. Another appears with today's column. I am looking for help identifying two of the ladies pictured and also the occasion. I know the first person is Nancy and Eileen’s mom, Marion Casey, the second my mom, Betty Pilgrim, the next we don’t know, the third Anne Norton (Cindy Norton Tanner’s mom) and the last one is also a mystery. We think they may have been participating in an adult education class, maybe in Mr. Schasel’s shop? Please let me know your ideas. Thank you dear readers, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Joni Lincoln is the historian of the town of Conquest.


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