Friday, December 1, 2023

Thanksgiving Tradition

Bluegrass Turkey Jam “Founders” (2000)
A favorite holiday tradition began over twenty years ago with my first Thanksgiving weekend Bluegrass Turkey Jam.

In the 1980s, I’d hosted weekend potluck exchanges of Thanksgiving leftovers. But in 2000, the Saturday event evolved into a turkey feast with potluck side dishes and desserts followed by live music.

That first year, I’d expected six bluegrass loving friends to come to dinner. A few hours before they were to arrive, I got a call from one of them, asking if she and her husband could bring four more musicians. “They’re good,” she said. And, boy, were they.

From that humble beginning, the party grew and grew, and musicians I didn’t know often showed up. One year, fifty people drifted in and out of my house between afternoon and midnight, but most years there were 15-25 players and 30-40 guests in total.

Through the years, the music was predominantly bluegrass, but often included classic rock and roll, blues, jazz, and country. The annual party was a holiday highlight that ended due to the covid pandemic.

I wasn't going to have a party this year but decided to invite a few friends over after all. I’m glad I did because I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it.

Music is such a part of my life that it’s included in my books.