One of my all time favorite stories told at Thanksgiving is the one told by my paternal grandfather, Charles Johnson. For posterity sake, my mother recorded my grandpa telling his famous story in 1992.
In WWII, November 1945, my grandfather and his fellow African American servicemen were sailing near Spain on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Grandpa said that many men volunteered for duty in the galley (kitchen) which he was one of. The men were asked to take out turkeys from the icebox (freezer) and put them out on tables in the cutting room, so that they could thaw out for Thanksgiving dinner. The next morning, the men went down to the galley, opened up the door, and were met with an awful odor. Everybody cleared the room to get away from the smell. Grandpa said that none of them had gas masks!! However, grandpa, being curious, wet his handkerchief to put over his nostrils and bravely went into the cutting room to investigate the cause of the nauseating odor. He looked at the tag on the turkey’s leg and was shocked to see that the date was 1926!!!! Oh my, the turkeys had been in the freezer for 19 years or more!!! To get rid of all the turkeys, the crew threw them overboard into the ocean. Grandpa said that he cleaned up and went back to see if the turkeys were gone, but all he could see were boxes of frozen turkeys floating down the Atlantic Ocean. No fish were seen. The fish didn’t even want those “stinking turkeys”!!!
It is a LOL ( Laugh out Loud) and ROTF (Rolling on the floor) moment each year when Grandpa’s stinking turkey story is told. Even though he has been gone for thirteen years, his gift of storytelling and his voice can still be remembered and heard.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING GRANDPA