Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 23, 2012

Filling thankful bellies

Elks serve up a traditional Thanksgiving feast

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND —  Surrounded by family and friends, people enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at the Ashland Elks lodge were filled with appreciation Thursday.

Enjoying a family meal and discussing plans for this morning’s “Black Friday” sales, Kelly Parsons of Ashland said she was deeply satisfied and thankful to be spending time with her parents, Gary and Pat Ingram, and grandparents, Jack and Waska Kersey. The family volunteered to help the Elks with their community dinner, she said, and she worked alongside her dad doing whatever task they were assigned. “Dad and I are scraping the plates,” she said. “We’re plate scrapers and turkey tossers!”

Each at the table said they are grateful to have each other. “What am I thankful for? The health of the family. We’re all healthy,” Parsons said.

After citing health and family, Gary Ingram said he is thankful, “for our ability to travel, be retired and do what we want to do.” His wife, Pat, who joked that she wasn’t yet up for volunteer duty three weeks after having knee replacement surgery, was quick to endorse the food served by the Elks for the holiday. “It’s always excellent,” she said. “I’m thankful for life in general ... that God’s been so good to us. That we can all be together.”

Jack Kersey said health and family also tops his list of things to be thankful for, as well as “my wonderful wife I’ve got for 62 years.” His wife said, “I’m thankful for life and my health and our Lord Jesus Christ,” as well as her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and extended family.

Sylvia Morrison of Ashland enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with the Ashland Elks along with her son, Michael, and friend, Shaud Bentley.

“I’m thankful that I’m not homeless and I have transportation,” Morrison said with a warm smile, just before her son noted his appreciation for “always having a roof over my head.” Bentley agreed with the Morrisons point by point, along with his appreciation for the fellowship to be found among friendly strangers at the lodge sharing the holiday meal. “And, a loving dog,” he added, citing his affection for a yorkie named Happy.

As one who feels compelled to cook and fill every plate herself, Morrison said she can’t even try to hide her appreciation for an excellent meal at the Elks’ dining hall.

“I like coming here because I get waited on and don’t have to do the waiting on,” she said with a laugh. “It’s kind of cool to come down here and get waited on. I like that.”

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.