Bringing Cultures Together - A "Hamburger with the Lot" at a time
There's something particularly enjoyable about Thanksgiving. A time where thanks is given to the wonderful bounty of America, to its freedoms, to its sacrifices (particularly of the troops who gave their own lives). For me, it is also a time to thank my family, all of 'em - wife, sons, nieces, nephews, brothers, father, mother and sister and Tessie. Without mum and dad, I wouldn't be here, nor would I know what I know, would not have seen what I've seen and would not have had a "Hamburger with the Lot". Without my own upbringing, I wouldn't know a "nong" from a "wanker". Without my brothers and sister, I would have had no allies later in life. They struggled their way forward and we all ended up bonded - even though we're separated by distances, we know we're together. Then without my adopted country, I would never have known politics had a left and a right nor would I know that the Verizano bridge towers are six inches wider at the top than at the bottom because it's that big. I wouldn't know how big a bonus can be. I wouldn't know how fast you can be promoted if you're good at at what you do. I wouldn't know what a reflected echo sounds like outside the Oyster bar in Grand Central. And I wouldn't know what three miles of old money in Greenwich looks like (a la North St). And without both countries, I wouldn't know what it's like to eat a "Hamburger with the Lot" on a Wall Street Journal instead of the Daily Telegraph.
To all of you out there, I give thanks to the most important people in my life, starting with Stella, Brandon and Max. And I also thank my family down under who brought me the "Hamburger with the Lot". On ya mate!
And I want to thank the Equadorian in deli Taste of New York City who looked at me quizzickly before dutifully doing a damn fine job putting together a burger the likes of which he had never made before. He asked me several times "you want - beets - on that?" "and you want - pineapple - on it?" "which goes on the pile first". He sliced the pineapple too thin and missed the tomato(e). But, the amazing thing about this great country America is that, if you want it, someone out there will make it for you. If you yearn for it, work for it, go after it, you can have it. Let's hope it stays that way.