Jose Fernandez tells his wife, Teresita, about the first Thanksgiving he spent in the United States.
Jose Fernandez (JF): I didn’t know about Thanksgiving. From the little English that we knew, my brother and I knew that we were not going to have class that day. And everybody was saying, Thanksgiving, but we understood it as ”San-Giving” so we figure out, Oh, it must be some patron saint of the United States. And my brother said, Well, this must be a real important saint because they’re going to have these dinners and so on. So we went over and looked at a missal in spanish and we kept looking and we didn’t see any saints marked for that particular day.
So we asked our friend Jack Johnson, who was our neighbor, great guy, to explain to my dad, who spoke English, this idea of Thanksgiving. My dad said that Jack had told him that they celebrated with pumpkin pie. So we went out and we got this pumpkin pie and it was frozen and we had the sharpest knife there trying to cut it–we couldn’t cut it–and finally we did it. My dad had a piece and I had a piece and we thought it was just horrible. The next day we talked to Jack Johnson and Jack, he said, No, you’re supposed to put the pie in the oven. You know? And bake it. From then on pumpkin pie is a favorite of mine at Thanksgiving.