The Slide Years: Thanksgiving

By Eilene Lyon

The Slide Years is a series in which I select an image my dad took from 1957-1982 with Kodachrome slide film, then I write a stream-of-consciousness essay – a sort of mini-memoir.


Sadly this slide somehow got covered in little black spots, and the color is quite poor. One thing I like about it is seeing my uncle, Nathan Halse, as a teenager in a candid shot. Because he died at 20, there aren’t many photos like this.

Clearly this is Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandma and Grandpa Halse’s home, in Corvallis, Oregon, in 1958, before my time. My mother is on the right, married just more than a year, and pregnant with my brother, Steve. Nathan and Tres (on the left) are two of Dad’s three brothers.

Grandma Halse was a wonderful cook, so I know they had a great meal. Check out those cool-looking milk bottles! You can also see the frosted drinking glasses with Oregon scenes on them – premiums from local gas stations. And the dishes are gold Depression glass. Money was always tight in the Halse household, so there usually wasn’t anything fancy.

Dinner has yet to begin; there’s still plenty of turkey, cranberry sauce and other food on the table. There were four young men in the family to feed. Undoubtedly after demolishing this they’d still have room for dessert. Maybe one of Grandma’s succulent pies, or even better, suet pudding.

Yep, suet pudding. Now, I’m sure some of you are saying “Yech! Who would make a dessert out of suet?” But you shouldn’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Dreamily dark with molasses and raisins. Drowning in a thick, runny powdered-sugar glaze. Oooh-la-la!

It’s been so many, many years since I went to a big family dinner at Grandma’s house (Grandpa died before my time). I haven’t forgotten them, though. I miss her cooking, warm hugs, and soft chuckle. She was a doll.

Halse Tres and David in Corvallis OR Thanksgiving 1977
A predictable Thanksgiving Day after-dinner pose. Tres and Dad on Grandma’s sofa in 1977.

42 thoughts on “The Slide Years: Thanksgiving

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  1. Typical men, on the sofa while women are in the kitchen cleaning up! lol I miss those big family gatherings at holiday time with all the wonderful family food traditions; trifle being ours. I’m still trying to wrap my head around your suet pudding. We’re all so spread out now they rarely happen anymore. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dad actually offered the dishes to me not that long ago, but I really didn’t have use for them. My mom gave me the china, but she packed it so poorly that most of the dishes broke in shipping. I couldn’t stand to have something like that happen again.

      Liked by 1 person

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