James Jones column: Thanksgiving in Tuscaloosa never gets old

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

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For the sixth straight year, I will be spending Thanksgiving Day in Tuscaloosa.

The opportunity came to me when I began working at The Selma Times-Journal in the spring of 2018.

Tuscaloosa is not that far a drive from Selma; only 75 miles separate the two cities. Once I reach Centreville on US Highway 82, I’m virtually there. Bibb County is 35 miles from Selma and a 25-minute drive to “T-town.”

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During my 26 years working at The Biloxi Sun Herald, I only celebrated Thanksgiving in Tuscaloosa four times. Several of those years I spent the holiday covering the Egg Bowl contest between Ole Miss and Mississippi State. In other years, I ran the sports desk when others went on vacation.

Returning to my hometown for Thanksgiving is always special to me, especially in these challenging times.

During those years in the Magnolia, I often stopped by Winn-Dixie to buy a couple of dinners to get through the day. Those days are long gone because stores now close on Thanksgiving, giving employees a chance to spend with their families.

I was always too proud to ask my co-workers for any Thanksgiving cuisine. It wasn’t their responsibility to feed me and

I never tell my sister the food I’d prefer she cook. While I have my favorite choices of food, I’m grateful for anything she makes.

Turkey and dressing with cranberry sauce, hot rolls, Green Bean Casserole, Macaroni and Cheese always works for me. It’s a menu that I never get tired of.

After we finished eating, discussion about football took center stage, specifically who would win the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn, played the following Saturday, dominated the chat. Arguments ensued when no one agreed with my prediction, but I’m often spot-on.

Sometimes I spend the night and do early Black Friday shopping. Other times, I go home and get ready for the Iron Bowl. I enjoy myself and to me, that’s the only thing that matters.