I always ask myself why and come to the same conclusions: Traditions!
Whether you are born in the U.S., a recent immigrant or like me, a first generation from immigrant parents … on Thanksgiving we are not just all Americans … but we are all Hundred Percenters. That’s right. Not 99 percenters or one percenters, but 100 percenters. We are all the same. We are the same united by each of our own respective traditions that include common denominators such as family, friends, food, sharing, relaxing, football, volunteering, maybe a little shopping and most importantly giving thanks.
For the Oppenheims, like many other families with kids in college, it means making sure they have plane tickets to fly home and carve out time to share cherished family hang outs.
It also means to make sure the kids are home to participate in the Oppenheim annual Thanksgiving Day turkey standoff. That’s right a standoff. You see, for the past 19 years I have made a roasted turkey in an old used enamel cracked crock pot inherited from a neighbor planning on discarding that pot. That started a whole ritual on how we prepare the turkey and vegetables that go into the hand me down pot. The whole process starts around 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning and by 10:30 the bird goes into the oven for several hours.
Where is the standoff you may ask? Well you see, like all traditions that is the beauty of Thanksgiving, traditions evolve.
Three years ago David, my childhood friend from New York, and his family began joining us for Thanksgiving in Florida. And true to form, David also has developed his own tradition: to fry a turkey every Thanksgiving. Thus the annual turkey standoff began.
Now for those of you who have not fried a turkey, let me tell you it is an experience! Watching five gallons of peanut oil boil in a huge vat and making sure that it does not exceed a certain temperature where it will self-combust, and then placing a huge turkey into the vat is probably akin to excavating landmines. One wrong move and it’s all over.
Of course once the perfectly browned fried turkey comes out, it’s time to eat. But the problem is…. which turkey to feast upon?
Like all fried food the turkey is best consumed while hot and before it cools off. It is always succulent with the juices all locked into the bird. I admit it gives my 19-year-old family turkey tradition a good run for its money.
So on this Thanksgiving, I give thanks to all of you for supporting our efforts to be able to serve our clients, friends, and community through the practice of law. It is always humbling, as an old-time lawyer friend explained to me, to be able to earn a good living practicing law as opposed to practicing law to earn a good living. I give thanks to all of you on this Thanksgiving for giving me the privilege of doing the former rather than the latter.
So whether it is a turkey standoff or your own tradition, I wish you and your families the very best and remind all Americans that on this Thanksgiving Day there are no 99 percenters or one percenters. We are all Hundred Percenters.
May God bless us all.