By Kirsten Marie Frese and Sarah Anchors
ANNAPOLIS – Bea Gaddy, an advocate for the homeless, will be helping to prepare dinner for 50,000. Chief Bill “Red Wing” Tayac will be traveling to a Piscataway Indian Nation burial ground to give thanks. Michael Michele, an actor on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” will be catching a plane for Indiana, after wrapping up a late-night session on the Baltimore set.
From TV dramas to turkey, massive dinners to mourning, Thanksgiving has different meanings for different folks.FALLING DOGS
Michael Michele, an actor on “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” will be working in Baltimore until late Wednesday evening. Then before sunup on Thursday, she will catch a plane to her parents’ home in Indiana.
Michele, who plays Detective Rene Sheppard on the drama, said she plans to relax on Thursday and “eat herself into oblivion” while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with her sister and parents.
“It’s a big thing for my dad since we were little girls,” said Michele, who lives in New York City when not filming the show. “He sits down in front of the fireplace, smokes his pipe and watches the parade … every Thanksgiving.”
Michele said one reason she likes to watch the parade is to see which balloon is going down first.
“I used to live where they inflated the balloons,” Michele said. “It is kind of funny when Snoopy starts going into a building.” She quickly added she hopes no one gets hurt.REMEMBERING THE DEAD
The holiday has a somber meaning for members of the Piscataway Indian Nation of Accokeek, in western Prince George’s County.
Chief Billy “Red Wing” Tayac, 62, refers to Thanksgiving as a “national day of mourning.” He said after the Pilgrims thanked their tribal friends, they killed them and stole their land.
[More than a decade after the initial Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims waged war against some Pequot Indians, said Gary Browne, a history professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.]
Nevertheless, Tayac will celebrate the holiday with family and friends, sharing foods originally eaten by American Indians, such as sweet potato and corn.
“The day is about giving thanks for what you believe in,” Tayac said. “After dinner, some of us go up to the burial grounds [in Accokeek] to give thanks to the ones who gave us those beliefs.”ABSENTEES
Maryland’s first family and the University of Maryland men’s basketball team will be out of the state on Thursday.
The Glendenings are heading to North Carolina to visit with Frances Hughes Glendening’s sisters and aunts, while the No. 5- ranked University of Maryland team plays in the Puerto Rico Shootout against other top-ranked teams.
Thanksgiving day is Raymond Glendening’s 19th birthday; the governor’s son’s favorite chocolate birthday cake is expected at the holiday dinner, said Susan Casey, a spokeswoman for Maryland’s first lady.
Casey said Mrs. Glendening is “not really into” cooking, but will be enjoying her favorite holiday dish, her aunt’s corn casserole.FAST FEAST
Alice McDermott, author of the novel “Charming Billy” which won this year’s National Book Award for fiction, said at the request of her three children she will be substituting at least one packaged recipe for an original.
“What they want this year is Stove Top stuffing, not the cranberry stuffing I make,” said McDermott, 44, who will be spending the holiday in her Bethesda home. “But on the pumpkin pie, my [13-year-old] son insists on real whip cream and not Cool Whip.”
Will the four-day weekend give her some writing time? “That would be nice,” she said.
McDermott, a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University, said she tries to write while her children are in school, but has not had much time lately with all the book signings and interviews she’s had to schedule.TURKEY MURDER
There will not be a shred of turkey at Bruce Friedrich’s Thanksgiving table.
But the vegan and campaign coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has his work cut out for him before sitting down to a meatless, dairy-free meal with his family in Norfolk, Va.
Friedrich, 29, is organizing demonstrations nationwide and cable TV commercials to inform people that “Thanksgiving is murder on turkeys,” he said.
So what does a vegetarian eat on Thanksgiving? Friedrich will be sampling both a roast-shaped soy UnTurkey and Tofurky, which shapes tofu into dark-meat drum sticks and loaves.
For dessert, there will be pumpkin pie and “Tofutti,” a milk-free tofu ice cream that Friedrich maintains is creamy and rich.
Both turkey substitutes can be ordered through the PETA veggie hot line, Friedrich said.FEEDING THE MASSES
Bea Gaddy, Baltimore’s 65-year-old advocate for the homeless, will be helping to prepare an annual “family” dinner for 50,000.
“I’ll sit down and all of my own children will be there,” Gaddy said. “Our table is with everybody else.”
Gaddy promises that no matter how many people come to her 18th Thanksgiving gala dinner at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimore, there will be enough food.
What does one cook for so many? Two thousand turkeys, Gaddy said. But PETA devotees would be pleased; she said she will also serve plenty of vegetarian options.
Inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown will prepare the turkeys, donated by Virginia’s Shady Brook Farm. But it takes 500 volunteers about 12 hours to make the potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn and other dishes donated by various supermarkets, organizations and private citizens, Gaddy said.
“I hope one day it will be that no one will need us to set up a Thanksgiving meal,” she said.
Among the volunteers may be Kweisi Mfume, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Mfume, of Catonsville, said he has made volunteering a tradition, spending his last five holidays serving others at a local soup kitchen. Serving the city’s hungry is his “way of giving back to the community,” he said. Mfume said Gaddy’s feast is one of two possibilities he’s considering for his volunteer efforts this year. -30-