So I am sitting here stuffed as we recap this year’s dinner. My wife and Carmela, my student from Philander who has been with us for Thanksgiving every year since 2010 when she was a sophomore, go over the notes to plan ahead for next year. Tonight we had 11 come for dinner, and then 2 came later to fix a plate and have dessert, plus 5 of us. 18 in all.
2 fried turkeys, 1 HoneyBaked Ham, collard greens, green beans, dressing, sweet potato casserole, mac & cheese, corn, cornbread, Hawaiian rolls, Oreo cheesecake, Pound cake, Italian cream cake, sweet potato pie, cranberry sauce, lemonade, sweet tea, water, and Kimbrough’s special punch (non-alcoholic of course!)
Then I always try to figure out when we started doing this. Benjamin was born in 2008 (November 4th) so we didn’t do anything. In 2009 our parents came to Little Rock and my work study student, a single parent, had dinner with us. So 2010 was really the first year of a big student Thanksgiving dinner.
For 2010, we had about 10 students plus the 4 of us. It was also the year when a local station came to shoot a Thanksgiving news story since for most people it seems unusual for the president of the university to host students on Thanksgiving. So it was a great feel good holiday story.
I even got a Tweet from the news director today. We sent her a plate!
I can’t find a 2011 picture. But that’s the year those students and my wife stayed up late talking. I went to bed at MIDNIGHT and left them downstairs. Still talking.
We brought the tradition to Dillard in 2012. And since it is a bigger school we invited more students.
Always a good way to spend Thanksgiving, sharing a meal and providing a slice of home for some who might be able to make it there.
Although one student called his mom, put her on speaker, and she asked him if he had any vegetables.
That made my night.