Things on Tuesday: VAD Annual Turkey Fry Edition

In honor of Thanksgiving and the suddenly-upon-us Holiday Season, and truly, in light of the deeply-felt tenderness of the moments I am about to list there will be no hate this week only love.

Thanksgiving Week moments I loved.

1) Running into Ted at Tavolo – I love it when he pops up unexpectedly in my life (or vice versa). ‘Nuff said.

2) Putting my head on my big brother’s shoulder – I’m well past the age when such a gesture is common and I don’t have an overly snuggly family. I was sad and having a moment and whining about it and his bigger-than-me, stronger-than-me shoulder was just there. He totally listened and tried to make me feel better. He didn’t shrug me off physically or emotionally. My brother is really a good guy by standard practice, but that interaction really meant the world to me.

3) A behind-the-construction tape tour of the soon to open Casa B (253 Washington St, Somerville) – We have all been watching Alberto and Angie’s progress with nervous excitement. Seeing the kitchen where it will all go down made it feel very real. Fire & building inspections and then they can open the doors. Swing by today and see it they are open!

4) Blazing down 90 and 93 to try to get the roast turkey to the Turkey Fry by 8:45 pm – I’m a pretty conservative driver and I am even more cautious around the holidays what with speed traps, sobriety check points and intoxicated drivers, but Original Fried Turkey was going to get disqualified if we weren’t ready to plate by 8:45. I’d love to tell you I made it. My car clock said 8:47 when I threw it in to park popped on the hazards and ran into the house with a roasted turkey just 15 minutes out of the oven. We did not get disqualified though because all the other teams weren’t ready either.

5) Turkey Fry at Vince’s house. On January 4th 2011, incredible family friend, mentor and amazing community member Vince Droser died. The loss is still deeply sore, incredulous and painfully resonant. All of the pomp and honoring memorials have occurred and there has been much public mourning and remembrance. But that does little to soothe the daily battle with his absence that his dearest friends and family fight. Though other events have been skipped, his children really wanted to continue the Annual Turkey Fry –a neighborhood cook-off, chow-fest, coffee klatch and pass-the-hat– that brings everyone together as the nights get too long, and raises money and canned goods for a local parish.

So we did.

Each team prepared a roast turkey and a fried turkey and their take on several traditional Thanksgiving sides. A chef from Tavolo or the Ashmont Grill was on every team. The food was abundant and resplendent. The night raised over $2000 and I could not estimate the pounds of canned goods taken in. But what was amazing was seeing familiar faces in every corner of the house, rapt, in warm conversation; overflowing a room with out-of-tune singing when the guitars and the ukeleles came out; standing around the fire pit continuing the tradition of ghost stories.

At the end of the night my brother turned to me and said, “That was like 85% as much fun as it was with Vince.” Which I think says a lot about the kind of people Vince drew to him and the positive power of his legacy.

I am so thankful for the honest intimacy of family and friends. We miss you Vince.



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