Like many, I have tired of bombastic politicians who play roulette with our lives for power, influence and privilege. Instead I train my eye on those things that bring us together, that bind us in shared aspirations and goals. If there is any
positive outcome for the painful situation our country is living, it is the awareness that we are all in this madness together and we have to help one another. We have to offer a hand.
Through a series of unpredictable circumstances I find myself alone for this day of gratitude and thanks giving. Being free of the weight of mounds of food and overeating released me to consider other options. So, I walked less than a mile to the Patterson Park Recreational Center where Bea Gaddy Family Center was set to serve turkey dinner to 50,000 people and volunteered my time in service to others in need.
Tall, short, young, teen-aged, carmel-colored, ebony black, grey-haired, pink hair, skinny and then not so much, Goth, and urban, fraternity brothers, ex-military, pink cheeks, nappy hair, curled, pressed, and dyed, dread-locked, uncles, aunts, grandmas and grandpas and cousins, neighbors. And these were just the volunteers, so many that we worked in shifts to give everyone a chance to help. The mass of humanity crammed into the gymnasium was humbling and witnessing the number of hungry Americans on this day, in this one city, at this one location was overwhelming. Especially considering the many times this picture is repeated throughout America.
Patterson Park was home to a soccer game and vendors
to feed easily 1,000 observers and their families. Syncopated salsa rhythms pulsated through the frigid fall air. I passed a food stand with a little, round-faced grandmother pressing and cupping ground cassava into the palm of her hand. She stuffed it with some delicious looking mixture and once it was nice and evenly round she slapped it onto a sizzling hot griddle to brown. I couldn't resist. It was served with a cabbage slaw and a sinewy slice of grilled beef. Yummmm.
I sauntered home through the piles of fallen leaves, happy and grateful for this Thanksgiving Day Holiday.