Now, let me get back to Thanksgiving. It is the tradition of getting together with family that I value the most. Let me tell you about ours. There are two sides to any family. My two just happens to be the Wrights and the Perrys. It is the Wright side of the family that gets together every Thanksgiving. Things will go down like this. Thanksgiving will be held at our house right here in Cadiz. My wife, Penny, will start cooking sometime Wednesday and do so continuously till the first bites of turkey are taken on Thursday. With all due respect to all the fine ladies of the world, Penny just may be the best cook in the universe. Fortunately, she will have plenty of help. Aunt Carolyn will bring her famous lettuce salad and sweet potatoes, Cousin Lisa her homemade biscuits, Cousin Leslie her world’s best German chocolate cake, and last but not least, my mother will supply the dressed eggs. Oh, I can’t forget Leigh. She may bring the most important thing, and that is the drinks and ice. She says that is her talent. Really though, we are blessed with a family of great old school cooks.
We will gather around noon. After a little reacquainting, a lot of hugs and firm handshakes, Uncle Wayne or I will say the blessing over the food. Then we will all eat till we are stuffed. After the meal, most of us will sort of gravitate toward the TV to watch football. I am sure someone will be mauling the Detroit Lions as they do on Thanksgiving every year.
Speaking of sports, it always amazes me as to just how many of our family either were or still are athletes. Cousin Greg Glass was a standout football player for Caldwell in the early 1980s. Greg and his wife Leigh’s sons Davis and Jake were very good football and baseball players for Christian County. Cousin Leslie’s son John David Fourqurean starred in football and baseball for Trigg. Our sons Zack and Zeke did pretty well in basketball and cross country. All that said, perhaps the best of athlete of all is current high school senior Maggie Glass. Maggie is a standout softball player for Christian County. She has a legitimate shot at being Kentucky’s Miss Softball this year. Cousin Ella Fourqurean may not be involved in sports, but she is a shining star in the TCHS FFA. I think Uncle Wayne Glass may have even played a little football in junior high back in the day for Caldwell County. His specialty the last couple of decades, however, has been wrestling. One year, I believe it was he and my dad Gene that were wrestling and broke the glass out of a storm door at Grandma Wright’s house in Princeton. I think they went through the door and ended up on the porch. It was all in fun. Speaking of Grandma Wright, that is where I really wanted to go with this week’s column.
As much as I enjoy the present, I also cherish the memories of Thanksgiving past and the memories of family that have passed on. I fear that the youngest of our family will soon forget those that have left this world. So please allow me to share these memories for a moment. Let’s start with Grandma Wright. She was the sweetest of souls. Her fried chicken and her dumplings were awesome. She also never let anybody butter his or her own rolls. She relished in that duty. How about Granddaddy Wright? He was a former country preacher, farmer and policeman. Granddaddy could play any instrument you could put in front of him. He played a fine harmonica, as well. I can still remember him making music. Uncle Kenneth is gone too, as well as his first wife Betty. Uncle Kenneth was one of a kind. He would come in from West Virginia loaded with new jokes to tell each year. It seemed that each year’s batch was worse than the year before. You know what, though? I even miss those jokes. In his latter years, when he was very much overweight, Uncle Kenneth could still do one-hand pushups, and oh how he loved to show off that talent. Then there was my Dad. He was Uncle Gene to the nephews and nieces. It is absolutely everything about him that I miss.
Well, enough reminiscing. I want to wish everyone reading this column a happy Thanksgiving. I encourage you to enjoy the present this year, but take time to remember the past as well. Take time to share your family heritage with the young ones. Break out an old photo album or home movie. Tell a story about those that have gone on. It may bring on a laugh or a tear. Either way, our memories really do become our treasures.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference
Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.