Giving Thanks

Kage Baker did like to literally give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. Some quiet moment somewhere, often at the end of a sudden little drive  – “Let’s go find a good landscape,” she’d suggest, and off we’d go. Not far, not long, just somewhere Kage could find an especially felicitous lookout over the sea or the hills and try to make eye contact with God.

She got the idea from the lovely old comic strip Rick O’Shay, by Stan Lynde. It ran in our local paper from 1958 to 1981, and Kage loved it. It was well drawn, funny, pithy – and it included in its Old West cast the inimitable Hipshot Percussion, gunslinger with a heart of gold. Also with the lean, long-shanked physique Kage liked best in gentlemen … Occasionally – on Sundays or holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas – Lynde would draw a single panel cartoon. It would show Hipshot, posed contemplatively in some exquisitely rendered empty landscape, saying: “Thanks, Boss.”

That’s all. No other message, nothing obvious or heavy or particularly denominational. It was one of Kage’s favourite depictions of honest devotion.

It’s a cool grey day here in Los Angeles, skies like polished granite, the whole Basin scented with good cooking and familial affection. (Which smells like pies, in case you didn’t know.) I hope all of you, Dear Readers, have the chance to for a little quiet time – maybe a pause when the gravy comes smooth, or a bit of a cuddle with someone on the couch, watching Twilight Zone.

Me, I’m going to take a little drive in the hills, and admire some quiet places. I have a small message of my own to send:

Now that she’s caught Your gaze at last, God, please take care of Kage.

Thanks, Boss.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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4 Responses to Giving Thanks

  1. I remember those panels fondly.


  2. Tom says:

    The Cathedral of Hipshot; yes, none better, nor music sweeter. Except that we’re listening to Bryn Terfel’s cd of Christmas carols, and it’s a contender.


  3. Trapunto says:

    I’m thankful for your blog.


  4. I remember sitting around the breakfast nook at our house in Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks (1965-1971), passing arround the LA Times and enjoying “Rick O’Shay” with the whole family. Nothing seemed hurried or frantic then.


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