Dear Partner Letter #2: Thankful

Songs & Stories From Home Episode 62


Welcome to Songs and Stories from Home. After a Thanksgiving greeting and the song Thankful I will be sharing another Dear Partner letter written to my longtime friend, Mike McCoy. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. In 1863, in the middle of our Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation that we as a nation should take the last Thursday of November, and wherever we stood in that House Divided celebrate together and be thankful for all that we have and all we are able to share even in the darkest of times. Now nearly 150 years later in all the states of America as best we can we take a moment alone and together to realize how much there is and how much we have to be thankful for. 

As I was working on songs about the forty-five year (now fifty-five year) friendship that is my relationship with Mike McCoy, it felt important to write at least one song about gratitude. A song that was simply about being thankful. In our case thankful to have gotten to the age we have and the place we are, to have shared and to be able to share so much both professionally and personally; grateful for the memories and thankful for the dreams. So this week we sing together Thankful, from the Between Old Friends album. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


I am thankful for life for love and for laughter

Thankful for adventures leading to this place
I am thankful for prayers though not all of them answered

Thankful for the chances to dance at this age


I am thankful to fall down get up and keep trying

Thankful to all of those I have met on the road

I am thankful to still know that feeling of flying

Thankful that somehow I have found my way home


I am thankful old friend for all you have shared with me

Thankful for the journey and all that that means

I am thankful we’ve gone to the end of the rainbow

Thankful for the memories and all of the dreams

©Copyright 2010 Love Gives More Music


Dear Partner, 

Thanksgiving 2020. Because of the Pandemic there will be no extended family gathering for Pat and me this year. Though you and I are still planning on getting together the Monday after Thanksgiving, as we’ve done for the last 25 years, it won’t be at a restaurant. While I continue to nurture an attitude of gratitude, as a nation we appear more divided, more wounded, and more exhausted than thankful. Offering grievance more easily than grace. 

Thinking back to past Thanksgivings I can remember one other where giving thanks became overwhelmed. When we were a nation lost, consumed by disbelief, and grief. Thanksgiving 1963. You and I were both sixteen. While we hadn’t met yet, beginning the Friday before Thanksgiving we inhabited the same foggy world of whispers and confusion sitting in front of a black and white TV saying goodbye to a President and to what else we did not know. 

For me it began in Mr. Kamp’s Physics class when Mr. Skinner entered the room without knocking and delivered the news. Soon my classmates and I were walking zombie like in the halls before eventually gathering in small groups outside school before scattering. It’s shocking how quiet a house containing three teenage boys can be at such a moment. That first night with my parents along with my brothers I watched the casket being taken from the airplane. The thirty-four-year-old First Lady in a bloodstained dress. On Saturday the flag draped casket in the East Wing of the White House. An endless boundless stream of people walking by that casket in the Capitol Rotunda the next. The same day we watched the President’s assassin assassinated on live TV. On Monday the country said goodbye to its youth and its youthful President, the first since George Washington who did not live in the 19th century. John John, the President’s son, on his third birthday saluting as the caisson carrying the casket drawn by four gray horses passed by. Black Jack the restless rider less horse, boots backwards in the stirrups. The bugler’s missed note as he played taps. The lighting of the eternal flame. Jacqueline Kennedy’s veiled stoic face, the folded flag in one hand, her husband’s brother’s hand in the other. 

Forty-eight hours later the new President, Lyndon Johnson, spoke to the nation. All I had I would have given gladly not to be standing here today, he began. No words are sad enough to express our grief. No words strong enough to express our determination to continue the forward thrust of America that he, Jack Kennedy, began.

Johnson went on to talk about things we would be doing as a nation. Bound together by tragedy. He emphasized coming to terms with our history of racial injustice. He ended with what could be described today as an overly naïve and sweet note. Let us unite in the words, America, America, God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. 

The next day we celebrated, if that’s the right word, all there was to be thankful for. And we will celebrate, if that’s the right word, again this year. All there is to be thankful for, even in the light of all that separates and divides us.   


I am thankful old friend for all you have shared with me

Thankful for the journey and all that that means

I am thankful we’ve gone to the end of the rainbow

Thankful for the memories and all of the dreams