Words & Banter

Tune In Again For … Turkeys & TVs

Created by Black
Red loves Thanksgiving, turkey, and TV dinners, but last year she never expected that they would somehow be connected (thanks to Black!) to a history lesson. This year, even though it will be a more "normal" Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to rerun the column, while Red can't help but wonder if Black still prefers sushi over turkey …

Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


I know it can't be avoided, but I feel bad that Mom's spending Thanksgiving alone, but given the coronavirus it can't be helped.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Unfortunately, there are many people in that situation this year. Myself included.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


Please. You only "do" Thanksgiving because it's expected of you. Unlike Mom, you don't even want me to make you a Thanksgiving dinner care package.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Not a fan of turkey – but did you know that TV dinners were created because of Thanksgiving?



Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


Sorry, but you can't convince me that someone thought lonely people would want to sit in front of their TVs eating Thanksgiving dinner. Or are you going to tell me it's related to all those televised football games?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Neither. Swanson, the frozen food company, had greatly overestimated demand for Thanksgiving turkeys in 1953, and in desperation put out a call for ideas to its employees. A salesman suggested they turn the turkeys into frozen dinners using three-compartment aluminum-foil trays similar to what airlines used for in-flight food service.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


I used to love TV dinners as a kid! My favorite was the fried chicken. But as long as there were mashed potatoes, I was happy. Although, I remember them having four compartments – a meat, two veggies, and dessert. Usually apple cobbler.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


They added desserts in 1960. But, admit it, you loved that the different foods did not touch each other. And, I bet you ate the food one compartment at a time.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


Of course, I did. But does it really matter why I loved them? And since you've become a TV dinner expert, what inspired them to call them "TV" dinners?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Marketing. Frozen meals was not a new idea, it just never gained traction. But, this was 1953 – television was a new phenomenon. So, tying the two together was brilliant and TV dinners quickly became a huge market.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


That's an understatement as I remember eating them a lot growing up.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


It was a major convenience for women – whether or not they held a job outside the home. Although, eating dinner in front of the television may have contributed to the decline of family meals together. But that is another topic altogether.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, Thanksgiving's supposed to be celebrated with family. And with a big turkey!


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


This year Thanksgiving will be different. And, I plan to celebrate with sushi.

P.S. – Black loves to do research, and while looking for an image of Swanson TV dinners, came across this wonderful television ad from 1955 for Swanson TV dinners. Boy, how times have changed.

Photo by nycshooter on iStock
What do you get when you cross Flag Day (June 14) with June being Effective Communication Month? Well, if you include Black in the mix, you get one of Red’s favorite memories … and a unique way to think about the importance of communicating – whether in your personal or professional life. And especially if you’re in a racecar!


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
Keep Reading ...Show less
Photo by John Gomez on iStock

There’s much debate about the role America should play in world politics and standing by our allies, and we can’t help but wonder … how many people look at history before forming their opinions? Which is why we feel so strongly about remembering D-Day (and are rerunning the post below), which is about so much more than just a day …


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I still can’t believe you didn’t know what D-Day was.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

All I knew was it had to do with World War II and beaches. And, required lots of strategic planning. Remember, I am not a history buff like you.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Or a movie buff. There has been an assortment of D-Day movies, and I wouldn’t expect you to have watched the older movies, like “ The Longest Day” with John Wayne, but I figured you’d have seen “ Saving Private Ryan .”


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

The Tom Hanks movie? It was a great war movie, but from what I remember, it was about the search for a particular soldier during WWII. Although I remember the opening scene showed the horrors of war. Regardless, I do not get my “history” from movies that might take literary license for the sake of storytelling, even if Steven Spielberg’s movies are mostly accurate.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

That opening scene WAS D-Day.
Keep Reading ...Show less
Photo by Iam Anupong on iStock

Some memories fade with time, but others remain as vivid as the day they happened. Like the day my big sister and I played golf together (an extremely rare event), although the memory isn’t about golf, but about how a sister’s flippant comment can stay with you for over 40 years …

There was no way to know it would become a highly effective way of remembering the importance of sunscreen. Especially as it happened before May was declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and May 27 became National Sunscreen Day.

I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.

Keep Reading ...Show less