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The first Thanksgiving, celebrated in October of 1621, was a 3 day long feast. The pilgrims and the Native Americans celebrated the pilgrims’ first harvest at the Plymouth Plantation. In 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday. This is a special time of year to give thanks for the things in our lives that we are blessed with.

As Thanksgiving approaches this year, local Waynedale residents and business people are thinking of everything – and everyone – they’re thankful for this time of year. Here are some thankful “shout-outs” from the Waynedale community.

This year will be a particularly special Thanksgiving for David Miller and his family. The Past Commander of the American Legion Post 241 finally gets to have his son home from active Air Force Duty after he was deployed around the world for the last few years.

Cindy Elzey, owner of Rich’s Auto, located at 2135 Sandpoint Road, noted that Thanksgiving is a particularly special time for her and her employees, because the shop first moved into their Sandpoint Road location Thanksgiving weekend 2002.

“We’re just thankful for so much,” Elzey said, “we’re totally and completely blessed with health and wealth. Everything is great.”

For retired local teacher, Dr. William Jarvis, the holiday gives him gratitude just to be alive and for the fortitude to get through his own tough times. A longtime music teacher and educator, Jarvis was a professor of education at the old Taylor University on Rudisill Boulevard. Once a resident of the neighborhood near Old Mill Road, Jarvis now lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He shared that he’s just thankful to be alive to celebrate another Thanksgiving this year. A brain injury he suffered from a car accident in December 2000 forced him to retire after a long stint in acute care at Parkview Hospital and in rehabilitation.

“I’m just thankful for life and the small joys it brings,” he said. “And we’re always thankful for the friends who bring blessings.”

Zach Welklin, a Physical Education Teacher at Maplewood Elementary, noted that he’s grateful for the help his school has received from a local church. Waynedale Baptist Church provided his elementary school with dinner for its recent parent-teacher night, he said. The church also sent gift baskets to Maplewood’s staff as a sign of appreciation for the hard work its teachers do, said Welkin, who also coaches the school’s championship basketball team.

“The last few years, they’ve been very supportive of our school,” the fifth-year PE teacher said, “and we’re very grateful for everything they’ve done.”
Tina Brown, co-owner of Curly’s Village Inn, said she and her staff are thankful for another year in business at their long-time location. For Brown and her bar, Thanksgiving usually is the busiest time of the year. She noted that the night before the November holiday is usually jam-packed, as college kids return from school for the Thanksgiving break, and go out for drinks with friends.

“It’s actually become bigger than St. Patrick’s Day,” Brown noted.

She said her business usually will take their entire staff out to dinner, or cater in a dinner to the bar, to celebrate the occasion, as well. Her bar and restaurant are celebrating 50 years in business at their 4205 Bluffton Road address. She said that this year, the bar is particularly thankful they were able to purchase a new LED sign to put on the front of the building to display the bar’s specials, deals, and events.

“We’re thankful for our new sign,” Brown said, “and, of course, our employees, and our core of regular customers.”

But Miller, Past Commander of Post 241, located at 7605 Bluffton Road, said having his son, Adam, home for the holiday is the best Thanksgiving treat he could have possibly hoped for.

“I’m so thankful that after all those years of missions that he’s home,” said Miller, who noted that his son recently bought a home in the area. “He said he was ready to come home. So now, he’s here and he’s safe.”

Michael Morrissey
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Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer