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Both Beauford and his dear friend, James Baldwin, were in a fragile emotional state during the weeks and months leading up to Thanksgiving that year. Both men benefited from an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner party that Baldwin organized in Beauford's honor.
David A. Leeming, author of Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, says that the party was "memorable, and Beauford demonstrated his happiness by for the first time in years singing some of the old songs with Baldwin."
Fern Marja Eckman, author of The Furious Passage of James Baldwin, provides readers with greater detail. She notes that Baldwin lived "about a block away" from Beauford, in a flat located above a country restaurant. Baldwin had the owners of the restaurant, whom he called Pierrot and Pierrette, prepare the meal under his supervision. Eckman quotes one of the invitees for the evening, a Belgian writer and director named Robert Cordier, to paint a picture of the festivities:
Jimmy took over the whole restaurant for Thanksgiving ... The table was carefully arranged with autumn decorations. It was really a banquet for twenty people. Jimmy's a gourmet, a connoisseur of wine and cognac. That was a great night!
Happy Thanksgiving weekend from Les Amis de Beauford Delaney!