For some reason, I need to approach this in the most evenhanded, down-to-earth manner. So let me lead by saying, in a spirit of full disclosure, that my back and thighs are aching…and that this is often a fact of aging neuromuscular life. Okay? So having deflated any hints of Pollyanna, let me say this. Let us give thanks.

Yes, it is our Thanksgiving, national gratitude day. Which came about…forget apocrypha involving pilgrims and Indians…through the tireless work of one woman. Born in the 1820s, she became obsessed with the idea that all Americans should give thanks at the same time. She pounded away on this notion for decades, and finally got vast organizational buy-in from American churches. But she wanted the secular stamp of government approval and finally got it. She leaned on Abraham Lincoln until he relented and signed that thing into law.

So that I can give thanks for being here come instead of dead on a Berkeley Street. And that I have friends and family, and that I have Jane and a supportive cast of mammals. Jane in particular being more than I would have predicted at an earlier stage of growth and development. And here we are. And let us give thanks.

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