A Quick Recap: Tuesday’s Early Bird—and the Significance of Florida’s St. Augustine as We Dive into Celebration and Remembrance

By Grace Maselli


Our early bird potluck meal and membership meeting on Tuesday, November 20 rocked the house. Or just as aptly, filled Tampa’s  Life Enrichment Center where we meet every third Tuesday of the month with a razzle dazzle of Thanksgiving food and conversation. Idea sharing encompassed core timebank concepts including the belief that people are our greatest assets, and that we’re here to help one another by offering services we’re drawn to provide because they bring a sense of efficacy and joy. And all without an exchange of wampum. Of course, center stage was turkey, accompanied by mashed this and that, salads, veggies, and broccoli and cheddar scrumptiousness, along with pie, pie, pie.

Florida Factoids

According to some historians and Thanksgiving aficionados, Plymouth, MA in 1621 was not where the first celebratory meal was shared between colonists and Wampanoag Indians. Rather, roll it back by an approximate half century to 1565 when a boat load of Spaniards came ashore to Florida’s very own St. Augustine where the Europeans broke bread with the native Timucuan people.

You can also forget the bird 450+ years ago. The History Channel says what was served up “lacked most of today’s typical Thanksgiving dishes, but it did feature a traditional post-Thanksgiving staple—leftovers. Unlike the Pilgrims, who served food freshly harvested from American soil, the Spanish were forced to make do with whatever provisions survived the long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. According to Robyn Gioia, author of the children’s book America’s REAL First Thanksgiving, the European colonists likely ate hard biscuits and cocido—a rich garbanzo stew made with pork, garlic, saffron, cabbage and onion—washed down with red wine.” Delicioso!


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