The smell of roast turkey filled Sulo Lahti's 'entertainment room', which was located within a remodeled section of the Lahti's barn. It was never Sulo's intention to use the barn-room for anything more than a place for he and his friends to drink wine and play cards. His wife Anna Marie, (Little Annie) however, had other ideas and it was eventually converted into a place for entertaining all guests.
This day, Thanksgiving Day, found the Lahtis entertaining their closest friends Doc Harry and his wife Carol, Walt & Mary Karnosh, and Arnie Heikkinen who was with his latest lady friend, Bambi the barmaid. All had been busy dipping chips, drinking wine, and eating veggies from a snack tray.
Annie set down a turkey-filled platter and looked at her hungry guests. "We'll be ready to eat as soon as Sulo brings in the yams."
"I yam what I yam," croaked Arnie, "and I yam about to eat what the Pilgrims ate."
Bambi looked at Arnie, "I don't think the Pilgrims ate yams."
"Sure they did," Arnie chuckled. "They ate them with brown sugar and marshmallows…"
"No, sweet potatoes or yams hadn't been introduced to New England yet," interjected Doc Harry, who is usually an authority on everything. "They also didn't have brown sugar, corn on the cob, or pumpkin pie either."
"That can't be true," Arnie quickly rebuffed. "I know for a fact that they planted corn. Some Indian guy helped them do it."
"That Indian guy's name was Tisquantum," interjected Bambi. "Most people refer to him as Squanto. I don't think that they ate corn on the cob either," continued Bambi. "Their corn wasn't the sort that you could eat that way. They would make a type of flour out of it. They probably made it into fried bread."
"You seem to know quite a bit about the Pilgrims," Harry smiled.
"Just because I'm called Bambi, have blond hair, and work in a bar, doesn't mean that I don't read."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean anything derogatory," stammered Harry.
"I'm sure you didn't," responded Bambi with a big grin. "You know, I hope to become a teacher someday, just like you and Annie."
"A noble profession," said Doc Harry. "We need good teachers."
Arnie suddenly interrupted, "What about this Tis-quanto guy?"
Bambi marveled at her escort Arnie, who had just grabbed a drippy handful of wet black olives, and was sucking them out between his fingers.
"It's a pretty good story," she said, while looking daggers at her date. "Squanto was probably responsible for saving the entire Plymouth colony. He taught them how to plant crops, how to survive and how to live off the land. It was because of him that they didn't all starve that winter, and it was because of him that they had a successful harvest."
Harry continued, "Squanto's story is a very interesting one. In 1605 Captain George Weymouth happened to sail to Massachusetts. He thought that his financial backers might like to see some real Indians, so he had his crew capture a few to take back to England. Squanto was one of five that Weymouth brought back."
Harry looked at the empty olive bowl, and then started spooning nuts onto a small paper dish. "While in England Squanto lived with a Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Gorges taught him English and eventually hired him as a guide and interpreter for his sea captains. In 1614, Squanto returned to American with Captain John Smith and Captain Thomas Hunt. Their purpose was to trade with the Indians. For some reason Smith left Squanto with Captain Hunt, which was a big mistake. Hunt decided to make some money on the side, and the next thing you know, Hunt headed off for Spain and tried to sell Squanto as a slave in Malaga. Squanto was then bought by some monks…Uh, can you slide some of that dip over to me Arnie?"