The perfect answer at Thanksgiving
The regular TIMES NEWS Saturday feature called "It's the Reader's Turn" is unpredictable from every angle.
Here's how it works.
Editor Bob Urban comes up with a timely question each week and a different writer goes out into the public to ask five people for a response. We never know what the question will be and we certainly never know how the responses will turn out.
The questions always provide insight into what the public is thinking. In a way, it's an easy question for people to answer because there are no wrong responses.
I was given the opportunity to ask five people what they're most thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Each person I ran into seemed to give the perfect answer. Keep in mind that I approached each person individually and nobody heard what anyone else had said.
Linda Rice and George Geissinger both cited good health as something they don't take for granted. Who could disagree with that? Good health must come first, I thought. Being thankful for good health is number one.
At that point, I approached the next two people I saw on the street Chris Morrison and Charlie Haldeman. Both mentioned the importance of being thankful for family. Now there's a perfect answer, I thought. That's a given. There is nothing more important than family. It made me think of the saying: "The best things in life aren't things."
I still needed to find one more "man in the street" to answer the question. Turns out, the next person I approached was a woman named Lucy Gerace, a hometown baker who concocts the best sticky buns this side of the Mississippi.
Lucy was setting up an outdoor stand along East Broad Street, where the smell of baked pies and other sweet indulgences wafted into the front door of the TIMES NEWS office.
Lucy's answer was equally interesting. She is grateful for Jesus's gift of eternal life. There's another perfect answer, I thought. I admire those who are resolute in their faith and so willing to express it. We're taught that faith is the foundation of our being, and so Lucy's answer was an inspiration.
As I looked at all five responses to the question, I couldn't help but think all five were perfect.
Keep in mind that we always run into people who turn us down.
"I can't answer your question because I don't want my picture taken," said one woman. "I won't be going to the hairdresser until Tuesday, so keep your camera away from me."
I suppose she could've said she's thankful for her hairdresser. But she wouldn't let me take her photo and so l couldn't use that particular response anyway.
And then there's always the jokester, such as the man who said: "I'm thankful this Thanksgiving that my wife doesn't know about my girlfriend." Oh my. I wouldn't touch that answer with a ten-foot pole.
He wouldn't let me take his photo either, and I don't think the reason had anything to do with a hairdresser.
But that's how it goes with the Reader's Turn feature.
We just never know what to expect.
Here's hoping you can expect a healthy, blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends.
And please remember to extend yourself to those who find themselves alone over the holiday.