Happy Thanksgiving! Ahh, an American tradition carried on since the year after the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. We Americans love history the way we wished it had been, rather than the way it actually was. 

First of all, the Pilgrims didn't come to America for religious liberty, they did not land on Plymouth Rock, they didn’t wear those black and white outfits with silver buckles on the hats and shoes. The Thanksgiving table was spread with shellfish, pumpkin stuff, squash, peas, duck, goose, onions, fish and corn bread — no turkey, no mashed potatoes.  

The native Americans that either happened by or were invited, took one look at the spread, noted that it was a 3-day or more common meal and meeting, and immediately sent out a hunting party to bring some meat, mostly venison. Pretty soon the indigenous peoples vastly outnumbered the newbies to the point of uncomfortability; probably the reason we have no records of a second annual turkey day for a long time. The glances of mistrust exponentially outnumbered the looks of love at the first celebration. After, even ole Squanto died trying to start a war of the settlers against the natives. Bet they didn't teach you any of this stuff in history, eh? Google it and check it out.  

The idea of a day of thanksgiving was promoted by George Washington and Abe Lincoln. These two certainly realized the U.S. of A. really should be thankful, as the alternative to their struggles would have resulted in the Colonies of Great Britain or the Divided States of America.

So, why am I writing such a Debbie Downer version of a national holiday? As we sit writing, with the TV blaring about mass shootings, unsolved crimes, politics that split our nation, we will find that the greatest nation in the history of civilization will pause, join with family and friends and come together for a weekend of ‘coming together.’ 

We will actually be thankful for the blessed nation we are. With a lot of warts, our forefathers set forth this new nation with laws that made the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness a reality. We will sit around our tables and enjoy the fruits of our labors that have been blessed like no other place in the world. 

We in the farm implement business serve the most productive food and fiber producers that have ever precisely placed seed in the ground or livestock on feed and watch them grow until harvest. Those of us senior citizens have seen more change in agriculture in our lifetime than has occurred since the first farmer laid down his spear.  

So, we are optimists, willing to overlook our faults at times, to inspire the next generations to carry on, using the blessings that have been handed to us to do bigger and better things. Our family will pause before the traditional Thanksgiving meal, bow our heads and give thanks to a higher power for all the blessings, for the food, those who produced it (we leave these fellows out a lot) , the hands that prepared it, and ask that we would be strengthened to be stronger servants for mankind and our Creator.  We will hug our family, indulge and then lament over the loss of our favorite team and doze off into a turkey tryptophan induced Lala land. What a country.   

We wish you a happy Turkey Day and hope you uphold your traditions, remember the blessings, embellish the good time memories and pursue the life, liberty and happiness we have been given to have and hold. Happy Thanksgiving!

Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. —  Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.



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