November of 1961 was much the same as it’s past two predecessors, a few snow flurries, a few sunny days, and either a new baby, or one on the way. You see, Sharon and I had been married just three years, and hadn’t quite figured out how to get through a year without a new addition to the family.1961 was no exception. When Thanksgiving rolled around, we did as was the norm for us, and that was to make ready to drive the 40 miles to Salt Lake City, to spend the day with Sharon’s extended family. It was quite an extension. A multitude of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and possibly a few unidentified who could smell the turkey, and stopped by for a free meal.
Sharon’s doctor had told her that the baby was due sometime during the latter part of November, or the first of December. Well, the baby was running the show, and he, (Mike Jr.) must have sensed his first chance at a good meal, made his intentions known early on Thanksgiving morning. Sharon phoned her mother around seven o’clock, and let her know that she’d gone into labor. This was not what her parents wanted to hear; they were ready to load up their car with kids and their contribution to the Thanksgiving banquet, and head to Salt Lake City, not spend the day in a hospital waiting room.
Let me preface the rest of the story by mentioning that I wasn’t the favorite son-in-law, I was still attempting to convince the elders that I was a worthwhile addition to the family, but, to their way of thinking, about all I was doing was making sure their daughter was producing more babies. After all, three in three years was just about enough for anyone—as far as they were concerned.
So, with this in mind, Sharon’s parents, along with a younger sister, were at our door within a half-hour. My father-in-law was a no nonsense kind of guy, and wasn’t about to waste his time making pleasantries with me. No, he headed for the bedroom, gathered his daughter in his arms, and without a word, he, Sharon, and my mother-in-law were out the door, and loaded in the car, and headed to the hospital. “What’s wrong with this picture?” I had to ask myself. Thankfully, Sharon’s sister was left behind to watch the previous two years production of Foley progeny.
I arrived at the hospital, and completed the paperwork for Sharon’s admittance. By the time I found the maternity waiting room, Sharon had been prepped, and was ready to go to the delivery room. They trundled her down the hall, and paused for a minute for me to give her a kiss, before she disappeared behind closed doors. I was not permitted to watch the birth, so, I busied myself in the waiting area, watching Macy’s parade, and some pre-bowl game hoopla. I didn’t have long to wait, for Sharon had had considerable practice delivering babies, and within an hour, she was out those same doors, this time accompanied by baby Mike.
As I remember, Sharon’s folks stayed just long enough to see the new baby—it was nothing new to them—they’d waited for the other arrivals the previous two years, and this time, they didn’t want to miss a good meal.
Later that day, in Sharon’s hospital room, we shared a turkey dinner. We toasted Mike’s arrival with 7-Up, and made a promise that we kept; there would be no new additions to the Foley family during the next year.
Mike‘s arrival made the Thanksgiving of 1961 one of the most memorable of all.
I hope your Thanksgiving is as blessed as ours was in 1961.