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A Unique Thanksgiving Tradition

Cabin in Woods

Nearly everyone has a great Thanksgiving tradition to share. Some are a little ‘out there’. Like this one.

Back in the early 80’s, our family started a tradition of going to Oak Grove State Park on Thanksgiving day. We’d rent a large stone cabin to host extended family for the big feast. There was a large fireplace which added to the ambiance of the chilly afternoon.

The adults would busy themselves in the kitchen area with the turkey preparation and all of the sides and pies. My uncle Bob was a turkey roasting expert. I still, to this day, have yet to taste a turkey as tender, juicy, and flavorful as Bob could make them.

I’ll always remember Grandpa Mike sitting near the fireplace keeping a watchful eye over his grandchildren.

A portable radio was placed on the mantle that played Kenny Rogers, The Oak Ridge Boys, and various Christmas classics by the country greats.

I will always remember that on one beautiful, snowy Thanksgiving at the cabin that my cousin Terry wondered aloud, “I wonder how fast I could fly down that hill on one of those  turkey pans?”

By the time our laughter died down at the sheer thought of it sunk in, aunt Judy, indeed, cleaned and washed a large turkey pan and we all traipsed through the snow to the edge of the hill to watch Terry attempt this Old Milwaukee fueled idea.

It worked quite well and no broken bones, either. He made it all the way down and I’m still not sure how he made it through the mighty oak trees from which the State Park got it’s name.

Of course, we all had to try it. I can still see grandpa Mike looking out the window just shaking his head with a grin. He must have been thinking, these kids are the future of our generation? Lord help us!

The next Thanksgiving at the cabin, we all brought our own customized turkey pans. Some had graphite applied to the underside, while others had brightly painted flames and an ‘STP’ sticker on the spoiler. Yes, we went all out, and the Great Turkey Pan Races were born.

As we grew older and the years passed, the tradition of that cabin has faded away. I would love to bring it back, for those were the best Thanksgiving memories for me. Terry, Todd, Laura, Sherwyn, Tim, and the rest of the Turkey Pan Racer’s…what do you think?

My Grandpa Mike passed away on May 21st, 1986, and my uncle Bob has also gone before us, no doubt, showing the other good folks in Heaven how to roast a perfect turkey.

This Thanksgiving, remember, or create, a tradition. No matter how odd as it may sound.

Really Bad Ways To Deep Fry A Turkey


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