Nov. 2006 issue

The First Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving came in November 1621, a year after the pilgrims landed in the New World, at Plymouth Rock. The Thanksgiving celebration occurred when the Pilgrims gathered their first harvest in their new home. It was hardly the beginning of a tradition, as they did not really describe it as a day of thanks nor was it repeated in the following years. The devoutly religious Pilgrims believed in prayer and fasting, rather than feasting and revelry as a demonstration of gratitude. However, the idea caught on with later generations and the original celebration became a good excuse for an official, annual observance of thanks.

Thus, the popular concept of Thanksgiving Day became deeply woven into the fabric of our culture. Along with football games and gluttony. More history here.

EZ Party Food

Well, it's just about party season. So here's a quick recipe for a hot item on the nibble-bar at your game-day soiree... EZ SweetNsour Sausage bites.

Hack some polish sausage into bite-sized chunks and toss into a crock pot. Dump in equal parts apple jelly and catsup until the meat is covered. Voila! You're done.

Heat it up, stick a cup full of long toothpicks next to the crock, and stand back! It is delicious, although it has almost no nutritional value. In fact, if you're a diabetic, just head for the celery sticks!

I only promised "easy"... not "diet-friendly"!

Bird Bath

If you're not quick enough too snag one of the store's fresh turkeys before they're all sold, here's a handy guide to thawing frozen gobblers:

Soak the still-wrapped foul in cold water for 30 minutes per pound. Change the water every 30 minutes.

If you have more time and want to thaw it slowly, in the fridge, use this guide to estimate how long it'll take:
....up to 12 lbs.....2 1/2 days
....12 - 16 lbs........4 days
....16 - 20 lbs........5 days
....20 - 24 lbs........6 days

.... over 24 lbs..... too late now!

The Real First Thanksgiving

In December 1619, a group of Pilgrims from England landed on the northern shore of the James River in a place now known as the Berkeley Plantation, Charles City, Virginia. The settlers, upon opening their orders from the sponsoring company back home in England, read therein;

"Wee ordaine that the Day of our [ship's] arrivall at the place assigned for the plantation in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God."

This seems to be pretty clear proof that the South’s claim to the first Thanksgiving is quite valid. It even was officially recognized by the administration of John F. Kennedy, in 1962. (It’s a wonder they allowed his family to remain in Mass. after that!)

History is often shaped by opportunity. While the Plymouth colony Pilgrims shared their harvest bounty in a feast with some of the New England area’s Wampanoag tribe, the settlers on the James River were massacred by Virginia's Powhatan Indians after antagonizing the natives. That obliteration of the colony, followed later by a northern win in the Civil War, left New England residents unchallenged in their claim to the first Thanksgiving celebration.

Proof of Virginia’s claim didn’t surface until long after Plymouth Rock had become so thoroughly accepted as the true location that to this day no school teaches any other version of American History. Not even in Virginia!

Studio of the Month...

...Isn't really a studio. It's a TV station! WCSC, Channel 5 in Charleston, SC, is the lowcountry's CBS affiliate and has kept me busy for eight years, doing their news promos, intros, and other incidental off-camera voice jobs. They are knee-deep in awards, and have the ratings to back 'em up.

It's the closest thing to a "regular job" that a VO guy like me ever gets! Thanks!

Are those awful political ads gone now? Is it safe to watch TV again? And who's going to clean up all that mud that got slung? Eeeeech!


Fare Notice

After receiving notices of rate increases from several sources (utility companies to property tax collectors, not to mention the pinch at the gas pumps) it occurs to me that I haven't had a rate increase of my own in nearly ten years! Ten years? Holy cow!

So I've been looking at my rate card and considering what changes may need to be made. It wont be severe, but there will be a slight bump up in the voicover rates after the New Year. But I want to give plenty of advance notice, and also see what others have to say about it

I have posted the anticipated new rate card on my web site so that you all can look it over. I'd appreciate any suggestions or comments you might have.


Something New

Advertising and PR gurus Bob Hammack and Alan Atkins of the New West Group in Oklahoma are trying out a new advertising method for their client, Foster Wines. It involves entertaining little audio clips embedded in e-mailed promotional material for a brand of wine called "Bohemian Highway". I am delighted to be both the voice and the producer of these audio clips that we've termed "E-teasers". Fun stuff. Here's an example of one..

The Bad Old Days

I've had a lot of response to my "remember whens" in the previous newsletter... especially from old audio guys.

Many old analog editors remember the infamous "print through" effect. When audio tape was stored on reels, the magnetic field would sometimes bleed through the acetate backing to the layer beneath, causing a faint echo effect... Very obvious if it preceded the actual recording!

This prompted the industry to make "tails-out" storage of master tapes standard practice, so that the print-through followed the original signal instead of preceding it. Do I sound really old now?

Good Question...

John Brooks at ProComm asked how come you never hear The Association's 60's smash it, "Never My Love" on the radio? It's just one example. I'll bet you can think of dozens of huge hits from years ago that never get air time today.

Why is that? I'm getting sick of hearing the same 50 songs on every oldie station on the dial! I want to hear "Green Tamborine", "Hey Jude", and other true classics that have been lost in the dust of focus groups and research-driven radio. I mean, I like Elton John...but c'mon!!


Moral: If you're going to do impressions,
you'd better be good at it!

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