• Jacqueline Gum

    Thanks for sharing this story and your particular history Jeanette! I never heard of Ragamuffin Day…how interesting! I’ll bet I was watching you march in that grand parade! We never missed one! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours:)

    • Jacquie — You probably didn’t see much of me, if at all. The cameras swung to Santa Claus pretty quickly!

  • “Anything for Thanksgiving” — That must have been so much fun. In my neck of the woods (Colorado), the holiday was more of a somber one.

    • It was fun, Glynis. We didn’t go very far. We pretty much stuck to our own neighborhood and it was a morning tradition because, of course, we had to get home for the turkey.

  • I love the “Anything for Thanksgiving”. Certainly beats trick or treat. Too bad it died out. You look very cute in your uniform Jeannette – they can say what they want about the ‘good old days’ but in many ways, they really were. We enjoyed so much with often so little. Happy Thanksgiving to both Jeannette and Susan.

    • Thanks, Lenie. I was scrounging around in in my box of old photos (always mean to organize them!) and found the picture which I hadn’t seen in years.

  • What a pleasant surprise to see Jeannette here! I came here expecting to see a Thanksgiving recipe and instead I learned about a tradition that I had never heard of before.

    Thanks so much for the wonderful history lesson. Happy Thanksgiving to both of you and to all the other wonderful readers here.

    • Nope, Sherryl. No Thanksgiving recipe just a pleasant trip for me down memory lane.

  • Love this story my New York friend. While I grew up on Long Island, pronounced actually lawnguyland by many locals, I’m not at all familiar with the Ragamuffin Day. For certain though, while sitting around to watch the Macy’s Day Parade I bet I saw YOU!

    Happy Thanksgiving Jeannette.

    • Pat — that’s interesting that you didn’t have Ragamuffin Day in your community. Of course, in those days my world was pretty much the few towns around me and driving into my grandparents in Brooklyn on the weekend. I don’t know if was better then but life sure was simpler!

  • Totally fabulous Jeanette! What an awesome picture of you! Bizarrely, my partner just showed me an article in the paper 2 days ago about Ragamuffin Day and children begging for money, which I’d never heard about before – how synchronistic. I am also thankful for my friends and family, and that I live in America, and a particularly beautiful part of it too. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, and to you and yours too Susan:-)

    • A.K. — Thanks — can barely remember that I was once that young! So interesting that your partner found the article about Ragamuffin Day.

  • Pat Ruppel

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Jeannette. Thank you for the lovely story on how you grew up in Bellmore and the photos of you and the parades. I never heard of the tradition of begging on Thanksgiving and it was interesting to learn of it. I’m always amazed of the many traditions and stories we all have. I never tire of it.

    • Pat — I know. Begging for Thanksgiving was peculiar to New York City and Long Island. We didn’t go trick or treating.

      • Pat Ruppel

        It sounds like it was unique to New York City and Long Island. They seemed to do things like that back there. I grew up in Philadelphia and I remember the night before Halloween we would go out and TP houses and such. It was called mischief night and people weren’t upset. They were accustomed to it. I’ve never heard of that anywhere else either.

  • Hi Jeannette

    What a thanksgiving story. You had so much fun. Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing this awesome post.

  • Love the picture of you in your high school marching band uniform 🙂 Ragamuffin day would make an interesting premise for a short story.

    • It would make a fun short story, Jeri. I’m sure the New York Public Library has even more background on the tradition. I was happy to find the images there.

  • Oh what great photos, what a bloody awesome post.

  • Wow, begging for Thanksgiving! What an interesting custom. Loved all the photos. Have a great Thanksgiving.

    • Glad you liked the photos and story, Leora. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, too.

  • Krystyna Lagowski

    Ragamuffin Day, what a hoot! I wonder how it got started?!! Too bad it couldn’t compete with the parade, but then, you got to march with Santa Clause himself. Adore the old photos, so much character. But totally loving the pic of you in “uniform”so impressive, right down to the epaulets!!

    • Thanks, Krystyna. Playing the cornet and marching in the parade really helped shape my childhood. I was so proud to be part of an award-winning band and to march in the parade.

  • Hi Susan and Jeannette

    This is quite unique aspect of Thanksgiving and more interesting is the begging for it and also Ragamuffin Day.

    Life in country side has its own romancing and only those can feel it who have spent any part of their life living in peaceful suburbs full of greenery.

    Much impressed with the way you narrated small things in big thoughts and it shows how deeply you recalled your wonderful memories.

    In my part of the world this event is not widely observed but a huge number of communities celebrate it within their families.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your great views in this post and Susan thanks for featuring her on this auspicious event.

    • Thank you, Muba. I’m sure that you have wonderful traditions in your part of the world, too.

  • Cheryl Therrien

    Haven’t seen or heard from Jeannette in quite some time. Lovely and interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

  • Meredith

    That tradition is so interesting! Funny how some things run their course over time and others stick around for decades. How neat to be a part of both. Thanks for sharing your story Jeannette!

    • Meredith, it was a fun tradition. I really enjoyed going down memory lane while writing it.

  • Bola

    Interesting tradition and thank you both.

  • Jon Jefferson

    My youngest daughter is in band and does all that marching. Which reminds me, she will be doing something she has wanted to do forever. This spring she is going to visit New York with her band. It may not be marching in the Thanksgiving day parade but should still be a fun time.

  • Catarina Alexon

    Nice story, Jeannette. You look the same. Had no idea about the begging tradition and learned something new. Agree with you that thanksgiving is a holiday with a true purpose. We all have so much to be grateful for. Not least that we didn’t come back from war with, say, our legs cut off. Believe it or not, but I’m actually grateful for a lot of things and don’t think that will ever change.