Final Thanksgiving Celebration

Submitted by ub on Fri, 11/29/2013 - 19:25

After 18 years of preparing Thanksgiving meals for Trinity United Methodist Church, City Islander Anne Cox has earned her long deserved break and is stepping down to return to Europe. City Island Images believes she deserves a special recognition.

Although the church has covered the cost of purchasing the food for this Thanksgiving dinner and entertainment program, Cox and her fellow volunteers have always made it a point to labor long hours cooking and preparing the meals to be served free of charge for anyone who wishes to take advantage of this fabulous Thanksgiving feast.

Over one hundred individuals from many walks of life took part in the celebration. The day long free event included songs and musical entertainment, courtesy of The Chungs.

Although this Thanksgiving celebration was open to everyone, absent from the special City Island community event were the chair of the church council administration, as well as the head of the board of trustees, who unfortunately are also usually absent from regularly scheduled weekly church services.

It reminds City Island Images of an old proverb: If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen.... Don't persist with a task if the pressure of it is too much for you, or if you're not interested. The implication being that, if you can't cope, you should leave the work to someone who can.

This is widely reported as being coined by US President Harry S. Truman. That's almost correct, but in fact Truman was known to have used it at least as early as 1942 - before becoming president. Here's a citation from an Idaho newspaper The Soda Springs Sun, from July that year:

"Favorite rejoinder of Senator Harry S. Truman, when a member of his war contracts investigating committee objects to his strenuous pace: 'If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen'."

He used a version slightly nearer the one most often used nowadays, in 1949, after becoming president, when warning his staff not to concern themselves over criticism about their appointments:

"I'll stand by [you] but if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Truman was well-known as a plain-speaker, in a way that politicians in our more media-sensitive age rarely are. This was celebrated by Merle Miller, who published a set of interviews with him - called Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman. It includes this unambiguous gem, which would hardly get past the presidential spin-machine these days:

"I didn't fire him [General MacArthur] because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three quarters of them would be in jail."