Thanksgiving 2019: We have a government in danger of shutdown, impeachment hearings, a Congress in stalemate, and a divided nation.
It’s an upside-down world, so the holiday is here just in time. I’m ready to serve up some sincere gratitude to a few of the people, places and things that make me gobble like a pardoned turkey.
Speaking of Congress, if I must: Thank you to representatives who still hold town-hall meetings. That should be part of their oath.
“I hereby promise to hold at least three meetings each year in my district, or I will resign my seat.”
Thank you to the people who make those YouTube do-it-yourself videos. As a child, I never learned much about fixing things, because my dad did all the fixing, and I was perfectly happy with that arrangement.
Thanks to the YouTube experts, my repair expertise now goes beyond changing light bulbs.
Thank you to LSU football coach Ed Orgeron, he of the deep Cajun growl. There aren’t enough “characters” these days. Coach O makes watching SEC games more fun.
Thank you to the Cindys in my life. Ms. Sexton joins me in making up the longest-running news anchor team in Tennessee.
Mrs. Carroll is responsible for my longest-running marriage ever.
Thank you Mayfield for your egg nog. I’ve tried them all. You win.
Thank you Jane Pauley and your team. You lower my blood pressure every Sunday morning on CBS. You prove the news can be delivered without phony “breaking news” theatrics and sensationalism, and it doesn’t have to be presented at breakneck speed.
Thank you to those of you who turn your headlights on when driving in rainy or foggy conditions. The rest of you, I worry about.
Thank you to teachers who use their personal time and money to take extra care of students with less-than-ideal home lives. These teachers provide Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas when no one else will.
Thank you to the nurses and assistants who work in elderly care facilities. Long hours, low pay, heavy lifting, and helping so many who have no family. Yours is a true calling, and I wish I could give every one of you a hug.
Thank you to the veteran who paid for my meal at Burger King. Yes, that really happened. And yes, it should have been the other way around.
Thank you to the 200 churches and clubs who have invited me, fed me and listened to my ancient jokes as I’ve promoted my books. Easily some of the most enjoyable times of my life. When I see you eye-to-eye, I never talk about “the news.” I’d rather make you laugh.
Thank you to the local newspapers. Journalists are under fire (sometimes literally) these days, but thanks to you, we know that someone is keeping an eye on those in power, from your town hall to Washington, DC.
Thank you to my parents. Yes, you’re no longer on Earth, but I’m constantly being told I’m turning into you. Now that I’ve had time to really think about it, I take that as a compliment. Plus, you never left me in a hot car.
Thank you to kids who know how to give a good, firm handshake. Someone’s teaching you right.
Thank you to Google, Alexa, and that Waze lady in my car who gives me good directions. I have done so much thinking in my life that my ol’ brain is just about worn out. I’ll gladly accept your help.
Thank you Charlie Culberson of the Atlanta Braves for being a good role model. Young athletes see too many examples of “me-first” ballplayers who loaf, showboat, and think they’re more important than the game. Charlie, you honor your family, your team, and the fans every time you step on the field.
Thank you to whoever delivers Mexican Coca-Cola to the United States. If they ever finish “building that wall,” I hope they leave a crawl space for my Mexican Coke to get through.
Finally: Thank you for listening to me on the radio, watching me on TV, reading my stories, and for being my friend through the years. I once really was the kid in the candy store, and thanks to this career I love, I’ve never really left. Elton John puts it into music far better than I could ever say: “I see hope in every cloud, and I’m thankful, so thankful, for all that I’m allowed.”
David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405.