I always write a different version of the alternative thanksgiving story every year. Here is another version that might be a short little read.
Turk and I met in the first grade. Since his last name was Byrd and mine was Black, he sat behind me. We were both shy and had nothing to say to each other until the day she asked to borrow my gravy bowl. I looked at him in astonishment, as if he were getting ready to serve me an a fowl joke.
We lived in a small town in southern Virginia where money was scarce, and my gravy bowl was a valued possession. Reluctantly, I loaned it to Turk and I turned around to take it back, but Turk wasn’t done. I grabbed at the bowl and he pulled away. I tumbled over the back of my chair, face in the ground, feet in the air. That is until I flopped over kicking him right in the fighting gobbler. And by the way the bowl broke.
I was mad, but the teacher let us know we were both at fault. Afterwards we became friends. Over many years, Turk Byrd became my best friend. He would become a pilot, and I an architect.
However, one day Turk had to leave, his family was a target of Butterball, a vast network of individuals bent on ruling thanksgiving. Turk’s mom got a job in DC, and he had to leave me here. It was sad, and we cried, but such is life. It would be my first thanksgiving without Turk. I was not happy about peeling potatoes without him. I would peel them, those peel grim potatoes.
But after a few years we were reunited at college. He had gotten much taller, actually too tall for the doorways in the buildings. If fact, most of the time he was Turkduckin’. After college we drifted apart as most people do. he got a job out west, I got one back home on the farm.
Later, I found out the Turk had died in an altercation with a man and a carving knife. While I was very sad to hear my best friend had died, I remembered fondly of our college days.
I remembered he like to eat. So much so that constantly he would mention Turk would be a stuffed Byrd.
[thanks for listening]