I just spoke to my cousin Hal. He had called to get my parents phone number, because the number he was calling was going to the fax sound. I told him that was the right number, try again later. And we talked a little while, of football and Thanksgivings past.
It got me to thinking about all the 54 Thanksgivings of my life, make that 55. I dont recall the first 4. I do recall my 5th. i had a new pair of brown corduroy elastic waist pants, and i was going to wear them at my Grandpa and Grandma Watkins. I musta put them on 20-30 times in the days before we left Active Alabama for Soso Mississippi. only the night before i got a terrible tummy virus and we didnt get to go. i was almost as sad that i didnt get to wear my fancy pants as i was that we didnt get to see everybody.
Everybody…. now that’s the point, isnt it? For us, on Thanksgiving, and then, usually for Christmas, we went to Jackson and Soso, and later just Soso, after my Grandpa died and Grandma married JB Brown, a truly great guy, and moved into his house on Santa Clara in Jackson.
This may bore you to tears to read, but maybe it will help you set your own table. I am going to list everybody I beleive I ever had Thanksgiving with:
Grandma and Grandpa Watkins (I honestly thought that was their names until i was about 6.): Bernice Meaders Watkins Brown, Doc Clark Watkins
James Bascom Brown (my step grandpa) his son James and his wife and two children.
Grandma Owens: Anna Jenkins Owens
Mom and Dad: Don and Georgia Watkins
Alan, my big brother. And later his wife, Juanese, her parents Robert and Kasolynne and their 4 wonderful kids
Norman and Nell Brush and their 8 kids
Aunt Sarah and Uncle Randall Brown and their three boys
Uncle Chester and Aunt Nadia Owens and their son
Ray and his wife Sarita
and their three boys
Eric, Jason and Chad
Uncle VW and Aunt Jewel Owens and their daughter Ann and her two sons: Tony and I cant remember the other
Aunt Polly and Uncle Evan Leary and their five boys
Dwight and his now exwife Terri Beasley Leary Hunt
Hal and Jennifer (i think i spent a thanksgiving with the Jennifer’s family one year, though i cant recall why)
Keith and Becky
Brett and Mary
Ross and Tracy
Uncle Mack and Aunt Betty and later Aunt Betty 2 Watkins
Uncle James and Aunt Jeanette Watkins Kennedy
Uncle Walter and Aunt Shirley Watkins Everett and their daughter
My first and second wives and an ex girlfriend (and various members of their respective families)
My lovely Suzanne and her wonderful father Richard (and it seems we had a Robinson Thanksgiving one year, but i cant be for sure)
Dylan and Elizabeth
The following are no longer at the table:
Bernice Meaders Watkins Brown, Doc Clark Watkins
James Bascom Brown
Anna Jenkins Owens
Juanese Wilkerson Watkins
Norman and Nell Brush
Aunt Sarah Owens Brown
Uncle Chester and Aunt Nadia Owens
Uncle VW and Aunt Jewel Owens and their daughter Ann
Aunt Polly Owens Leary and Uncle Evan Leary
Aunt Betty Macador Watkins
Uncle James Kennedy
Richard Greenlaw Robinson
I am sure this is especially fresh, as my sister in law just passed away this past week, but it calls to mind all the tables I have set at on Thanksgivings, and all the above who I will sit with no more, unless there is, as some folks believe, another life, where there may be other Thanksgivings, if so, I like my cornbread dressing dry, my turkey breast without gravy, pecan pie, and if my Grandma Brown is cooking, maybe some blackened fried okra.
I miss that… I
I miss them all.
I am grateful for the ones I still have and the other friends I have never had Thanksgiving with.
For all of you, and all of them, I am thankful!