The best turkey we ever had was the year we lived in the Ferguson house on Randolph. We had never been so poor. We had the garage on the corner of Broadway and Second Street. (It would later be known as Joe Amos’ Garage.) We were basically going $4.50 in the hole every day during those days.
Clark had always wanted to run a garage, so we were buying it from Les Givens. Clark wasn’t a mechanic — his idea was to sell gas, put air in tires and fix a tire once in awhile. It was 1951. We had two little kids and another one on the way.
The FFA boys came around selling tickets at 10 cents each for a turkey. I wanted to help them out so I bought a ticket — probably with my last dime.
It was one o’clock in the morning the night before Thanksgiving when there came a knock on the door. I got up to see who was pounding on our door and there stood Floyd Merrill, the ag teacher, with a halter on a live turkey. “Guess what! You’ve won the turkey!”
Dumbfounded, I tried to process this event. I got Clark up and together we decided to displace a puppy dog we had living in our back porch. The dog went into the house and the turkey went into the porch.
The next morning Clark hauled the turkey down to my dad’s farm where he helped behead, de-feathered and otherwise prepared the bird for cooking.
When I sit around these days after Thanksgiving with leftover turkey coming out our ears, I can’t forget what a blessing that must have been for us. The menu before that must have contained a new way to fix macaroni and cheese as the main dish that year.