KYA-AM – Bwana Johnny – November 26, 1970 (Thanksgiving Day) – Rob Frankel Collection –
You graduated high school and went away to college – it’s your first time having a holiday away from home. Thanksgiving was never very high on your list of memorable moments growing up anyway. Your family didn’t actually DO Thanksgiving, that was something your Aunt did. This year they all decided it should be a big family event; in Las Vegas.
You hate Las Vegas – there’s never been anything for you to do there, except lay around the swimming pool and watch people.
So when your roommate told you the dorm was doing an orphan’s Thanksgiving, you jumped on it.
Twenty of you, taking over the Dorm kitchen – food riot would best describe it. Three turkey’s, two 25 pound sacks of potatoes, 40 pies (at last count), enough assorted vegetables to feed most of downtown Berkeley and gallon jugs of Gallo Hearty Burgundy, lined up along the counter. You counted 20 and more kept showing up – your Dixie cup was never empty and somewhere between boiling the potatoes, passing two joints around and scarfing down an entire cherry pie on your own you blanked out.
All you know for sure is; there had to be around a hundred people who showed up, you fell in love at least five times that day – with whom, it wasn’t exactly clear. But you do remember laughing a lot and throwing up a couple times in a wastebasket and dancing on the dining room table. A lot of yelling and tons of leftover food. And you finally figured out that this was what Thanksgiving was all about.
And providing the musical backdrop was a beat-up Philco radio, perched on top of the refrigerator, pumping out Bwana Johnny at KYA to the point of distortion. Good times, great food, slurred words and a raging hangover the next morning.
And you can hardly wait for Christmas and New Years to do it all over again.
Welcome to your college days.