Our Little List

1. We are thankful for our wild and woolly state, county, and city governments.

Each has its executives, councils, commissions and boards — gears that fit surprisingly well, twisting and turning generally when one pays the requisite attention and applies the appropriate pressure. We are thankful for the constitutions, charters, codes and by-laws that enable us to do pretty much whatever we want as a people.

There are lots of governments in the world, and lots of democratic governments, and lots of democratic governments in the United States. The Comet is thankful that we are in these ways blessed.

2. Without comment on the federal government at this time, we are thankful for the Constitution of the United States. We are especially thankful for the Fourteenth and Ninth Amendments these days.

3. We are thankful for the Omni William Penn hotel, for Carnegie Library, for Subway Restaurants, for Brueggers Bagel Bakery, and for a few other hotspots that provide free WiFi access in the Downtown area.

4. We are thankful for our present landlord, who has owned our present building for approaching sixty years, and who continues to maintain it excellently.

5. We are thankful for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

6. We are thankful for this land. Legend has it, maybe a hundred years after the first Thanksgiving, Pittsburghers were throwing themselves a party.

The party was held at “the Knoll” — a giant gumdrop-shaped hill that was long ago removed to clear land for our stalwart Allegheny County Courthouse. The Pittsburghers gathered around their Knoll and made thirteen piles of wood — representing the 13 colonies. They lit six bonfires to represent the six states that had ratified the Constitution. When the official word arrived from the capital, a seventh bonfire was lit for Pennsylvania — the seventh and deciding state. Congratulations, you have a country.

The many, many Pittsburghers lit the remainder of the bonfires and danced wildly around them, beating drums and making music in celebration of their new nation. Legend has it, those Native Americans who were present at that frontier town, on business or diplomacy, turned to look at one another as though to say, “Oh my goodness. They may not know what they’re doing, but we do. This land is so theirs.”

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