Thanksgiving edition carries on tradition

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines …

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This time of year, the work inside our printing plant picks up.
The hustle and bustle that goes with the Thanksgiving and Black Friday editions are a bit like what one might imagine in Santa’s workshop in November.
For the past several days, the staff of the Delaware Printing Co. has been putting together, piece by piece, the Thanksgiving edition — one that has always been our largest of the year.
On Thursday, we hope you enjoy taking time to look through the holiday specials of local retailers.
And we hope you’ll pull out the latest edition of “Game On” — a popular section with crossword puzzles, word searches and more. Indeed, it should offer some mental exercise and fun for all ages.
While many daily newspapers have been charging extra for the Thanksgiving edition, we have resisted. On newsstands, we have kept the price at $1.

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We understand that this has been a difficult year for most everyone.
So maybe Thanksgiving is just the “break” we have needed from the challenges of the pandemic and the divisions of this election year.
Thinking about the holiday, it reminded me of a column that Jack Smyth, then-owner and -editor of the Delaware State News, penned in 1953.
It was published the day before the first Thanksgiving edition in the first year of the “first daily in the capital of the First State.”
Mr. Smyth wrote:
“It is rather amazing how we Americans tend to forget the real significance of a holiday.
“Right here in Delaware, there is a widespread anticipation of that wonderful meal most of us will enjoy. But is it too different in quality from the delicious food we are fortunate enough to eat every day?
“Thanksgiving to some will mean simply a welcome day of rest — a ‘break’ before the busy Christmas season begins. Others look forward to attending that big football game — or to making the social rounds.
“Now all this is wonderful — and we certainly don’t believe any of these activities should be curtailed — or even frowned on.
“But we do think it is important to keep in mind the real meaning of Thanksgiving Day — for no other reason than it should give us a much needed dose of humility.”
Mr. Smyth wrote about the hardship that early settlers endured and added some reminders of what Delawareans had.
“Now we accept food, comfort and luxuries as our right — and cry like babies if something is disturbed,” he wrote. “And these material things seem to have an undue importance in our lives.
“So let us give thanks — and mean it.”

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Unfortunately, pandemic precautions already have curtailed some plans.
Rising case numbers, hospitalizations and percentage of positive cases have heightened concerns.
Public health officials are discouraging travel and urging small family dinners and virtual family time.
One of this fall’s interesting surprises on the local sports scene was a much-anticipated Thanksgiving Day high school game — something that used to be the traditional day of Downstate rivalries.
Lake Forest and Milford were to meet in the “Battle of the Bell” on Thursday morning, but the game was canceled after coronavirus concerns at Milford High.
Our sports editor, Andy Walter, noted recently that this would have been the first time since about 1970 that the contest was played on Thanksgiving. “Back then, fans were still taking the train that ran between Harrington and Milford — and where the bell trophy came from,” he wrote.

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Today marks the 258th day since the first case of coronavirus was announced in Delaware.
Each Tuesday, the Delaware State News sends out free email newsletters with the latest on the virus.
It offers a quick rundown on cases, testing, restrictions and more. To receive, sign up for “Daily Headlines,” and this comes as a bonus.
Visit delawarestatenews.net/newsletters.

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In closing, we wish to express our thanks to our readers, advertisers and all the people who produce and distribute our newspapers.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Andrew West is executive editor of the Delaware State News.