Plenty to Be Thankful For
Posted on: 1st November 2012 11:35:19

Welcome to the November 2012--   Holiday Inn!



As I begin this month’s conversation I must say it feels as though the holidays are quite a distance away. I don’t seem to see any hint of the good will that a holiday like Thanksgiving brings through all the political  “noise”.  


The candidates bicker, political pundents bicker and the armchair politicians bicker. The saving grace? It will be over on November 6th if we all get out to vote and make our voices heard over the “noise”.


As our country steps into a new political chapter, I’d like to take a look back at it’s shape in 1942 – through the eyes of Irving Berlin and characters like Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) and Fred Astaire (Ted Hanover).


Although it was a time of great world unrest (World War II waged overseas and families waging war at home with rationing of food and gasoline), it is remembered by many of my group members as a simpler time when family and friends worked together and fought against a common enemy not each other.


Unfortunately, I think someone forgot to mention that to our friends at Holiday Inn.


From the very first scene (I’ll Capture Her Heart), Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) and  Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire),  are fighting over a girl.   This feud continues throughout the film and although the girl changes from Lila (Virginia Dale), to Linda (Marjorie Reynolds), the goal is the same “get the girl”. (Sound familiar: Boy meets girl…boy gets girl…).


Here, it appears that neither gentleman care who they step over to do it.  It often amazes me that the ladies even bother. However, much of the scheming goes on behind the ladies’ backs. That said, the women are often no better. Each in her own way schemes to keep the other from a big career opportunity.  (It is Linda who takes Lila on the detour that puts her car in a pond)!


These scenes are perfect catalysts to discussing the behavior of men and women when dating. Why is it a competition for most men? What brings out a woman’s claws? What happens when we practice deception?     Great discussions can evolve from here. 


This film is ripe with great discussion topics:


As we watch Jim Hardy evolve from a performer to a farmer: What drives him to do it? Conversely, what drives him to the sanitarium? Open this up to your group: Have you ever taken on a project that was overwhelming? How did you handle it?


Why do Lila and Linda each leave these men?  What would you do if you had the choice between these men?  What really happens when you think all your dreams are coming true?


As the film closes Jim sings, I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful For and makes the decision that will change his life. Take a moment with your group to reflect upon memories and ask what makes you thankful? Talk about great stories!


Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!



See you in December for a trip to another Inn—The Columbia Inn in Pine Tree Vermont – for White Christmas

 -- Lori










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