Happy Thanksgiving  

Leaves From My Family Tree

Family Traditions

The longest-standing tradition in our family was Thanksgiving. The tradition weathered decades, deaths, and the Depression.

Thanksgiving has "always" been at Aunt Anna and Uncle Paul's house. Anna Marie Trump was one of my grandfather's sisters. She married Paul J. Orteig in June, 1924, and they hosted Thanksgiving at their home on Margarite St. in North Portland in November of that year.

My mother was born in October of the next year. A few weeks later, she made the trip to Anna and Paul's for her first Thanksgiving. For the next fifty-four years, Mom had Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Anna's house every year except for two: in 1952 Mom had polio, and also gave birth to my sister on December 4, so she wasn't well enough to make the trip to Aunt Anna's. In 1956, Mom gave birth to my youngest brother on November 8, and made Thanksgiving dinner for us at home. The next day Aunt Anna and Uncle Paul surprised us by coming to visit, bringing all of the leftovers from the extended family dinner with them.

When Mom was about 10 years old, Aunt Anna and Uncle Paul built a brick farmhouse in Orchards, near Aunt Anna's childhood home. That is where I had my Thanksgivings while growing up. The house was always steamy hot, and filled with the aroma of roasting turkey. There was, of course, a "kid's table" set up near the main table.

Uncle Paul died a few days after Thanksgiving in 1977, and Aunt Anna continued to fix Thanksgiving dinner for the extended family through 1979. The tradition was continued at Mom's for the next two years, and the two years after that Anna and the rest of the family went to my sister Nancy's house. Aunt Anna died in September of 1984.

Since that time, Thanksgiving has been scattered - mostly at Nancy's, Bill fixed dinner for Mom one year, and this year (2001) we were all out of town with other friends and family.

Thus ends decades of tradition.

Some of the information on this site is Family Tradition;
some of it has been documented.
If you would like to know my sources, please e-mail me.

© 2001-2003 Dianne McRae Revised 12 January 2002 Graphics by Shawna