Courier Life’s

Stan’s thankful for many things, including O’Reilly

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O’Reilly does it again.

Last year Mr. Bill penned the ultra-fantastic, page-turning “Killing Lincoln.” If way back in the ’50s we had books that were half as interesting, I would have gotten a better mark in High School history.

Now comes “Killing Kennedy,” a super-sensational hardcover filled with loads of facts and, again, another thoroughly enjoyable read. I picked it up this week to mention both titles, even though the JFK book has been out for a while. Take a look at today’s date and let me remind you that on Nov. 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, one of the most prominent American speeches filled with phrases known by all. Every sixth grader in this nation can deliver the opening and closing lines of President Lincoln’s stirring address. Can you?

• • •

If you are reading this on the Monday it is posted on, you have another three days until Thanksgiving Day. Did you remember to defrost the turkey? Right now, before another minute goes by, walk over to the freezer and take it out. The frozen bird needs a few days in the refrigerator to defrost properly. You forgot about that, didn’t you? Ok. So do it right now. You’ll thank me later.

If you are reading this in a Friday newspaper, I hope you enjoyed the turkey chow mein, turkey and broccoli and turkey egg drop soup from the Chinese takeout restaurant.

Now to those of you who were well prepared with the timing and delicacies, congratulations. I hope and pray that you had a peaceful feast but, the force may not be with you. I am willing to bet you 50 cents that somewhere between the first glass of wine and the time the turkey was carved there was at least one major political battle.

I also would not be surprised if Uncle Ralph and Aunt Phyllis picked themselves up and swore, as loud as they could, that they will never return.

The point is, this has been one hell of a politically passionate year causing many close relationships to be split forever. In the spirit of the holiday it would have been nice if a “No discussion about politics” sign was posted on the door.

This major rule could have been established and enforced at least for the day. Let’s have another glass of wine and talk about the turkey, the weather, Aunt Sarah’s recipe for chulent, Jennifer Aniston and the football game.

Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt a bit to mention those things we are thankful for. I am most thankful for the new addition to the Gershbein family. Grandchild number eight, Jacob Gershbein, checked in on Oct. 30 at more than nine pounds. By this time next year, I expect him to tell me what field of medicine he will specialize in.

For years I’ve heard about how wonderful it is to have grandchildren. Everybody on the planet has heard the gag, “How marvelous life would be if we could only figure out how to bypass the children and go directly to having grandchild­ren.”

Bumper stickers boast, “Got an hour? Let me tell you about my grandchild­ren.”

And of course there’s the most famous line from every grandma in the world, “Not because he’s mine, but…”

I know I have said this before, but having grandchildren is such a blessing that I am compelled to say it again. Being a grandpa is the only part of my life that lived up to the advance hype. With everything else there has always been a measure of disappointment. When I was told, “Oh wait until you graduate college.”

Big deal. I then had to go out and find a job.

When they said, “Wait until you get married.”

Sure. That’s when I had to share a bathroom.

My favorite was, “Wait until you own your own house.”

Right! No more calling a landlord. I learned quickly that I was responsible to fix the leaks from the roof myself.

But having a grandchild? You hold him, you hug him, you sing to him, you love him and then you look at your watch.

“It’s five o’clock already? Here sweetheart. Hold your baby. I’m heading home.”

I am wishing you all happiness, good health, wealth, and the time to spend it.

Read Stan Gershbein's column every Monday on

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Reader Feedback

Stan from Courier-Life says:
I just peeked at the N.Y.Times best selling list on the Internet. Killing Lincoln has been on the list for 59 weeks and is number 3 again. Killing Kennedy has been on the list for six weeks and is number one again.
Yup! O'Reilly does it again.
Nov. 19, 2012, 7:47 am
Tinman from Sheepshead Bay says:
I'm thankful I can vent after reading your column every week. If you want to read more history try Oliver Stone's brilliant "The Untold History of the United States" -- from WWII to the present -- or watch the 10-part series on Showtime.
You should like it since he criticizes Obama as much as he does Bush and Truman and points out the flaws in our nation's last 65 years.
Mr. Stan, you do know that Mr. Bill was a Play-Doh character on SNL, not an author of two books, right?
Nov. 20, 2012, 8:19 pm
The Boss from Rosebank says:
To Tinman - You do not get accurately portrayed history from Oliver Stone. This one, like almost all of his work, is filled with "junk" history. The academy award winner is a brilliant writer and director yet a great deal of his work is filled with his biased opinions based on a vivid imagination. The drug user has been in and out of rehab several times and it has been said that getting a history lesson from Oliver Stone is akin to getting lessons on table etiquette from Idi Amin.
While being wonderfully entertained by Mr. Stone's accomplishments you might want to rethink your thinking about his historical offerings.
Nov. 22, 2012, 1:48 pm

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