Southern Journal –
By Glynn Wilson –
It is turkey season in the South again, and I don’t just mean hunting season, which begins the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It is a time when the days grow short and cool and I have trouble staying awake after dinner.
Going to bed early also means I sometimes wake up too early in the morning and have to rub my dog’s chest and belly before we can go back to sleep. Jefferson the Springer Spaniel jumps on the bed the minute I stop snoring, ready for his morning loving, even if it is only 4 a.m.
Thanksgiving is a time when the news slows down, unless you are interested in shopping news and football, which is about all you can get this time of year when Congress shuts down and the Legislature in not in session — unless there is a big disaster somewhere or you like sensational crime news.
What used to be a spiritual season for a family break has of course been turned into a capitalist orgy by the money men who want us all to believe that democracy and capitalism are one and the same thing. These days even religion is capitalism. It’s all about the money.
I have been around long enough to remember what it was like to spend Thanksgiving with a real family watching the real Iron Bowl on a big old RCA TV back when the Alabama-Auburn game was actually played in Birmingham, the Iron City, on Thanksgiving weekend. Some idiots on TeeVee still call it the Iron Bowl. I recall lounging around in the suburbs for days in a Lazy Boy recliner easing in and out of sleep. I’m sure that world still exists somewhere in the viewing area. But it does not exist for me anymore, really.
I could travel across town and spend the day with a crowd of teetotaling Southern Baptists. But I never do.
Last year I took The Locust Fork News-Journal crew to The Veranda on Highland Avenue, since the hodgepodge bunch of misfit photographers and videographers who help me put this thing together don’t have much in the way of family either.
Not sure what is in the offing this year, but I noticed something interesting this week while on a visit to Southside. The new Dreamland Barbecue is offering up a big hickory-smoked whole turkey breast dinner with a quart of their famous sauce and a loaf of bread for $34.99, and they claim it is enough to feed 12 people. I wish I had a crew that big. Maybe one of these days.
I remember back when there was only the original Dreamland BBQ location in Tuscaloosa, back in my undergrad days at Alabama when Paul “Bear” Bryant was still alive as the winningest football coach of all time. It is a chain now, but the recipe is still good. And of course there is a new god at the helm in Tuscaloosa now, one with a bronze statue of his own.
I also remember working for a chain of newspapers back when newspapers were good, in the days when the publisher gave everybody on the staff a free turkey for Thanksgiving. Alas, those days are long gone forever, my friends.
Sometimes I wonder why I never got married and had a bunch of kids, but only for a brief moment. I suppose I could have created a big family of my own had I been so inclined. But there is no regret behind these words at all. I like my freedom and learned not to trust women early on in life. I never have found one I could really trust, at least not one with whom I could share a mutual attraction — and a nomadic life style.
I have moved perhaps too many times in my life, although I’m not done yet. Pretty soon I will be living on the road in a camper van, and not just on weekend camping trips or chasing the news from one locale to another.
I have not hunted game with a shotgun since I was a teenager. But if you watch a little reality television on the National Geographic Channel, it is not so hard to envision a world where it might be a good idea to know how to stalk turkey in the wild and shoot your own groceries. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it doesn’t hurt to think about it.
You never know who the people might choose to serve in the White House next. One more big economic collapse might be all it takes to render Thanksgiving moot. It is an American holiday, after all. What will happen to Thanksgiving if the ignoramuses are allowed to destroy our government and way of life forever?
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. We wised up in 2008. Let’s keep that trend toward meritocracy going and keep turning the clock forward, not back.
© 2013 – 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.