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Listeners share their working on Thanksgiving stories

Marketplace Staff Nov 22, 2013
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How are you planning to spend Thanksgiving? In the kitchen? On the couch? Or maybe like Carmen’s beloved sister-in-law, hitting the stores?

Or, are you like listener Ruth Hanessian, a bird expert — turkey and otherwise — and owner of the Animal Exchange in Rockville, Maryland since 1979 whose doors will be open.

“Going into Thanksgiving day is actually very lovely, because I get to talk to all the visitors that aren’t two-legged. The most important is to turn the lights on, because birds don’t eat in the dark. When the lights are on, everything comes to life. It’s really quite amazing.”

How did Hanessian get into the bird biz? “Growing up in New York City, in a not very wealthy environment, I had a pair of binoculars. So I started bird-watching. Girl Scouts got me even more into it. I decided I would go to Cornell University, where they had a major in birds. I remember in my yearbook, it said I was a lover of ‘soft-winged things.'”

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