Posts Tagged ‘Officer Obie’
It’s the anniversary of the date in 1941 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill that officially established the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. But we got a jump on things this year; the leftovers are already gone… So it’s appropriate that we turn our attention to another cuisine, one for which we should surely give thanks– and one over which we must be watchful, lest it go extinct…
In 1936, the WPA Survey estimated that there were 5,000 delis and 36 appetizing stores in New York City. Today, there are only a handful of each left. For more on the plight of the Kosher Deli, see here, here, and here.
As we pick up a pickle, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965 that (then 18-year-old) Arlo Guthrie and his friend Richard Robbins were arrested by Stockbridge, MA police officer William “Obie” Obanhein for illegally dumping a bag a garbage after eating Thanksgiving dinner at Alice’s Restaurant. Guthrie and Robbins pled guilty, were fined $50 dollars each, and sentenced to pick up their garbage. Guthrie went on, of course, to memorialize the incident in “The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” which he first performed live on WBAI radio (a listener-supported station in New York); the song was so popular that the station would play it only after a listener made a substantial donation. Since then, as some readers will know, it’s become traditional for many classic rock radio stations to play the song each Thanksgiving.
And speaking of Alices, we might also recall that this was the date, in 1864, that Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson– aka Lewis Carroll– delivered a handwritten and illustrated manuscript called “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” to 10-year-old Alice Liddell.