Happy Thanksgiving from the Tiki Bar! Hess Trucks & Charlie Brown

The first Hess truck, 1963
The first Hess truck, 1963

Thanksgiving in the subtropics is a little different than it is for most people. For instance, today I put the top down on the convertible and drove down to the Hess station to buy a toy Hess Truck.

When I was a kid, we’d get up extra early on Thanksgiving, drive down to the Log Cabin Diner in West Atlantic City and have breakfast (they were one of the few places open). It was right next to the Hess Station…and we’d have breakfast there because the Hess Trucks came out on Thanksgiving Day. The Hess station opened at 8am, and there was always a line of about 50 people waiting in line to get a truck. We waited in this line for several years in a row, until we realized that line fizzled out around 9. So we’d go to the diner, have breakfast and wait for the line to slow down. Once it was down to about 5 people, one of us would go get in line, buy a truck, and return to breakfast.

If you didn’t get a Hess Truck on opening day, chances are you wouldn’t get one at all that year.

Things are a little different now…they trucks come out on November 11, and you can always get one online. Oh…and I remember when they were $4.95. Now they’re 28 clams.

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

One thing that never changes is Charlie Brown…We’ve been watching the “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” since it came out in 1973. Of course back then you had to get the TV Guide and bookmark the page for the date and time. In the 80’s we video taped it, so we didn’t have to worry about missing it. In the 90s we bought the video tape, and that’s what we still watch every year.

What a masterpiece of mangling holiday traditions! What kid wouldn’t want a dinner of popcorn, toast and jellybeans, prepared and served by his dog? I have to admit, at least twice over the years we’ve had a similar Thanksgiving dinner…once on purpose, for fun.

If you haven’t seen CB’s Thanksgiving, you’re missing out on a real treat. You can catch the whole episode of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on YouTube.

The house smells like turkey. We’ve got the air conditioning on because it’s 78° outside. We’ll have our traditional little turkey dinner in the dining room, then have drinks at the Tiki Bar on the lanai.

From us here in the sunny land of South Florida, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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