By Angelo Falcone
Every year, Thanksgiving lands on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving Day is one of the holidays that most men in blue especially miss celebrating with their families.
“Asked on the Line” made random informal inquiries of mainliners and asked: What do you love to eat for Thanksgiving Day? Before you were incarcerated, when, where and with whom did you celebrate Thanksgiving? At this moment, what or for whom are you most thankful for having in your life?
Anthony “Habib” Watkins: “Turkey drumstick (leg), candy yams, collard greens, ox tails, potato salad, mixed vegetables and an assortment of pies and cakes. In 1988, I was in Ontario, California, with my then common-law wife and our four sons. With us were her grandparents, mother and siblings and one of my sisters with her children and some of her grandchildren. I am thankful for the Most High and for a family that continues to support me in this endeavor, as well as for Patten University and a handful of prisoners who support me.”
Corey McNeil: “The traditional stuff. On Thanksgiving Day, [before incarceration] I was at home with family and friends. I am thankful for my health and for my family and friends who are supporting me during this time.”
Ruben Ramirez: “Everything and anything. I like to experience new tastes and sensations so that maybe I can incorporate those flavors in my own recipes someday. I used to do all the cooking for Thanksgiving. I enjoyed cooking everything from the main course to dessert. It was a labor of love for me. I am thankful for everyone that I have surrounded myself with throughout the years, and I am thankful that I continue to have positive support from my people outside.”
Antonio Manning: “Turkey, dressing, peach cobbler and cranberry sauce. Before incarceration, I would celebrate at my grandmother’s house with family members (uncles, aunts, brothers, etc.). I am most thankful for God’s grace in my life at this moment and for my dad who has loved me unfailingly.”
David Rodriguez: “Turkey. Whichever family I was with. Jesus Christ.”
Jerome Watts: “Fried turkey, ham, stuffing with cranberry sauce, pecan/pumpkin pie and potato salad. Before incarceration, I was usually with family at my grandmother’s home. I am most thankful for family.”
R. Mohamed: “Turkey and dressing. Before incarceration, on that day, I was with everyone I knew and could see. At this moment, I am most grateful that my supervisor, Grossi, treats me like a human being.”
Alex Ross: “Turkey for sure! Cranberry sauce, coleslaw and fresh fruit. Before incarceration, I was with all six of my sisters, my brother, my mom, and all of our kids. I am most thankful for God and my family.”
Eddie Hollingsworth III: “Macaroni and cheese that is ‘homemade’! Fried perch and catfish, along with ‘homemade’ mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw and biscuits. I was with my entire family at my grandmother’s house from about 3 p.m. to midnight. I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross at Calvary not only for my sins but for the sins of the world.”
Daryl Hill: “Turkey, collard greens, rice and gravy, stuffing, sweet potato pie and biscuits. Before my incarceration, I celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom, sister, wife and kids. I am most thankful for God and my family.”
Lorenzo Romero: “I love turkey. With potatoes, pumpkin pie, stuffing and real ice cream. From 1985 to 1999, I spent Thanksgiving in San Bernardino, Calif., with my wife, two sons and family. At this time, I am grateful for the ‘real’ people God has put on my path and journey and for my cell partner who has been a loyal friend.”