I am still savoring a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and suddenly, it's Christmas in the CWE! Before tomorrow's festivities, the Holiday Window Walk and Holiday on the Plaza, force me back into a new reality, I want to share a Thanksgiving tradition that was transplanted to the neighborhood by some great new neighbors.
Jen and Tom Maclean (center), moved to the Central West End several months ago from Connecticut. In a six-degrees-of-separation chain reaction, Jen's son John (not pictured) dates our niece Abby, who lives in New York. After learning that the Macleans were being transferred to St. Louis (Tom is Director of Sales and Marketing for Guardian Life Insurance Co.), Abby, who has visited us here, raved about the CWE and suggested they look for a place in the neighborhood. The Macleans found a great apartment a block away from us and, as the "small world aspect" of this post continues, into the same building and on the same floor as our dear friends Annie and Joe Schlafly, who had moved back to the CWE about the same time.
In Connecticut, the Macleans had a Turkey Bowl tradition they wanted to recreate here when their children (l. to r. above, Pete, Julie, Kara, and Tommy), were in town for the Thanksgiving holiday. They invited their new St. Louis friends including the Schlaflys and their family, who were also in town for the holiday, Rita, James, and Sara Sowins, recent transplants from Los Angeles, and us to join in.
The instructions from Tom Maclean were to meet at Lindell Field near the handball courts. When we showed up all we saw was this large tent and a large crowd of rather imposing athletic-looking people on the field. Jim, who last played in a Thanksgiving football game in 1966, referred to this outing as his "46th year comeback game." As we approached the field he remarked, "This looks serious," while I said, "Wow, I didn't know the Macleans knew this many people!"
As we looked around though, we spotted our group (see below), and learned that the game in the two photos above was a long-standing Thanksgiving Day ritual between the ER docs and surgeons from Barnes-Jewish. It was comforting to know they were on the adjoining field, just in case of an emergency.
Tom Maclean (third from left) explained the rules of the two-handed touch game to the players, and the game began. As a bystander, I could never figure out who was on which side,
until a touchdown occurred and cheers erupted.
There's Joe Schlafly (in checked sweater) in the middle of the action, while daughter Julia Lilly had his back.
From left, Julie and Kara Maclean, Ellen, Cabanne, and Julia Schlafly, Jim Howard (Cabanne's husband), Joey Schlafly (home from Chicago), and Tommy Maclean.
The cheering section included our neighbors, James and Rita Sowins (seated), who recently moved into our building. I introduced Rita to Jen Maclean and that's when their friendship began. James is the Creative Director of Brown Shoe's Dr. Scholl's brand and was, as he said, "sidelined with injuries." Rita is a fabulous book designer.
Photo courtesy of Jen Maclean
The Sowins daughter, thirteen-year-old Sara, above, was perfectly content feeding Byron, the son of Julia and Peter Lilly. You'll see more of charming Sara when I post "Pasta Making 101"--she's my teacher!!!
Another Maclean tradition fortified the group after the game---delicious lox, assorted cream cheeses and bagels. Jim and Cabanne Howard, above, who preceded her parents in a move to the neighborhood, were rushing off after the game to prepare sweet potatoes for 20.
There were many others enjoying the beautiful Thanksgiving morning, including this spunky trio above, and the family group below, out for a walk in the park before their Thanksgiving feast.
Photo courtesy of a bystander
Here's the whole Turkey Bowl 2012 crew, a combination of players and cheerleaders. Thanks to Jen and Tom Maclean for sharing their tradition with new friends in St. Louis. It was the perfect start to Thanksgiving Day, one I hope will continue next year. Jim will probably take Ibuprofen before he heads out there next year--46 years is a long time between games. And it will take me a year to get ready for Turkey Bowl 2013. I'm working on my passing game!