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Friday, November 16, 2012


Well, it's that time of the year again--turkeys, stuffing, pumpkin pie. You know the drill! The library will be closed on Thanksgiving day, and will reopen on Friday. Even though the library is closed, we encourage you to use our online catalog and to download eBooks, music, and magazines. You can do all of that while cooking, cleaning, and recuperating from the holiday!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful chance to pause, reflect on what we have, and to be thankful. As I was searching through our online digital collection, Des Plaines Memory, though, I was reminded that there are some cranky people out there who don't appreciate Thanksgiving, including one Charles Bennett.

Charles Bennett was a schoolmaster in Des Plaines in the 1850s. We recently added one of his personal diaries to Des Plaines Memory, our online collection of old photographs, postcards, and letters.  We like to think of Mr. Bennett as our resident "crank from the past." He didn't seem to enjoy being a schoolmaster all that much.

It just so happens that his diary contains the following entry for Thanksgiving day. Here's what Mr. Bennett had to say:
To day is Thanksgiving, at
least so says the Governor. But I have disobeyed his
orders, Thanksgiving is not
observed among the "natives".
And I generally make it
a rule to do according to custom
that is, when convenient. Caught one chap eating his dinner
today. I put the tempting morsel
out his sight. I think I shall
keep Saturday, that is, if it do
not get a walking ticket before
that time, I design going to town
tonight in company with one of
the pupils, to see the friends, With Sentiments of Respect
and Esteem, I remain, Your most obedient and humble
Servant, "Schule Master"
Well, I hope you have a more pleasant and relaxing Thanksgiving than our Mr. Bennett did!

P.S. For more "old timey stuff" check out our Thanksgiving Des Plaines style posts from a few years back.

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