They’re at it again — Southwest Riverside’s brightest stars are sharing their holiday traditions, memories and plans for the day with SWRNN readers.
Whether it’s tales of deserts trips or a frozen turkey tumbling down a London escalator — readers will be tickled by some of the stories told here.
Happy Thanksgiving and…enjoy:
My favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition is going to the track with my kids! I will be staying home for Thanksgiving and cooking with the family. My favorite part of the feast is the turkey and cranberry sauce. And some of my best memories are of my dad and me going to the MX track every Thanksgiving when I was younger.
– Brian Deegan , Motocross Legend, 14-time X Games Medalist, Global Rally Cross Driver and LOORS Pro2 Champion
Our family tradition is to travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the Thanksgiving week. It started when our children went off to college on the east coast and they wanted a warm place to spend Thanksgiving. We usually find a restaurant serving a turkey dinner on the beach.
–Gary Jacobs, owner of the Lake Elsinore Storm
Thanksgiving has always been a traditional day for our family. Now that my son is grown and my parents gone, we try and bring our closest family and friends to share the bird. I love to cook turkey and I am told it’s one of the best. Recipes from my mother and her eight sisters have been passed down to me. The meal rarely varies – as I believe that this meal and the meaning of the day should be replicated as much as possible year to year. Thanksgiving Day is just that — a day to be thankful for what we have and for those who share our life with us.
–Christina Lesch, owner, along with husband Ken of Temecula wine country’s Gershon Bachus Vintners
Thanksgiving! It’s a time to look back at the old memories and create new memories. For the past couple of years our son has prepared Thanksgiving dinner and it’s been wonderful for many reasons –he’s a great chef, but primarily it’s at his
house! This year Thanksgiving returns to our house. We plan on family and some friends, some old and new. One tradition that we will keep is to see a couple of the new movies at this time. Another tradition and one that gets lost is appreciating all that we have. It is important for us to remember all the blessings we enjoy, so a key part of our Thanksgiving will be giving thanks to God for all that we have. Take time to say thanks.
–Gino and Diane Simones, owners and publishers of Neighbors Newspaper- Temecula Map Guide
My fondest Thanksgiving memories are of spending time in the desert with my parents. We used to spend the Thanksgiving weekend riding motorcycles and enjoying each other and our friends. I am hopeful to rekindle the tradition with my own family in the coming years.
–Lt. Eric Dickson, Hemet Police Department
I was raised in South Africa so we did not have Thanksgiving. I did however go to boarding school and two of my friends were day scholars whose parents were American diplomats. In my senior year, I was invited to their Thanksgiving celebrations. Permission was denied because it was a school day.
Then in 1969, I had the chance again. I met a whole lot of Americans in Germany and they decided to come to London where I was living for Thanksgiving. Yikes, so what does one do for Thanksgiving? I got a recipe for pumpkin pie from my mother who had an American friend and I was sure she must have it wrong as no one makes a pie out of pumpkin. I went to the outdoor market in London after work and loaded my backpack with a big pumpkin to cook and make pie and other vegetables. There was no room for the fresh trussed turkey, so I carried it in a big bag, which broke and that poor turkey rolled out all the way down the escalator in the London Underground much to the onlookers’ delight! No one noticed all the scratch marks and broken leg after it was cooked and all 20 of us enjoyed the story and the pie made out of pumpkin. One of those Americans has now enjoyed 43 Thanksgivings with me and our family and we still laugh at the runaway turkey.
–Gillian Larson, “Survivor: Gabon” contestant and founder of Reality Rally
This will be the first year ever that my mom can no longer drive to our home, a blatant indication of the inevitable progression of life. It’s the kind of thing that makes you sigh and ask, “Is the glass half full or is it half empty?” As difficult as life can be, changes like this one remind me that, in some situations, you have to work hard to seek the light. So this Thanksgiving, instead of worrying about tomorrow or things I cannot control, I will simply be thankful for what is — today!
–Tammy Marine, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley
My best Thanksgiving started off starving! I was on the road with my wife Kirsten in a small city and all the food chains were closed. We had not eaten since the night before. It was coming up on 5 p.m. and we were watching TV in our hotel room — no room service available. All these commercials with piping hot turkey coming out of the oven being sliced and enjoyed were very hard to watch! Then I got a call from our tour manager saying that a Thanksgiving feast was being served in the hotel. Turkey never tasted so good. Being on a road tour is not always glamorous, but Thanksgiving with my family including my pride and joy — my 11-year-old son Noah, with all the food and the turkey is the best place to be.
I wish everyone a full belly and that everyone will find something to be thankful and grateful for every day. This is not just a time for us; but to also remember to give to others! Happy Thanksgiving!
–Erik Turner, Warrant guitarist and winemaker
Every Thanksgiving we drive up to Northern California, Redwood City where we visit family. Our big day usually starts with preparations for the big turkey cook-off where somebody is in charge of deep-frying a turkey and the other bakes the turkey the traditional way in an oven.
Before dinner my uncle always breaks out the best wines from his collection, including some of the best Pinot Noir wines from the Anderson valley. My aunt always recruits us to help her make one of the best side dishes which consist of chopped Brussels sprout, bacon and carrots. During dinner, while everyone is arguing about whose turkey won the cook-off, we are usually going in for seconds and even thirds. With our family every Thanksgiving is always full speed ahead and left with funny and sometimes embarrassing stories. Just so that nobody forgets, these stories get recapped year after year.
–Steve and Angie Sillin, owners of Rosati’s Pizza Pub
I worked as Director of the National Weather Service in San Diego from 2003 to 2011 before retiring. Since my staff had to be there 24/7, including holidays to make forecasts, we brought in Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners each year. I would take my young daughters along so they could see us giving back to those forecasters who do so much for our safety and well-being.
Last year, after I retired, we brought Thanksgiving dinner to my wife’s cousin in the Bay Area, who was pastor of a Church in Mountain View. We toured the Bay Area, Muir Woods and even saw the garage when Hewlett and Packard built computers that started the Silicon Valley empire — a computer geek’s delight!
This year, we’re staying at home, but will sing in the choir for Thanksgiving Day Mass. We’ll have a traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie dinner.
Friday, we start on the Christmas decorations…
–Jim Purpura, WeatherCurrents.com meteorologist
I am thankful for two college educated kids — thanks to the 1st National Bank of Dad. Thankful to have a job in an era when so many of my friends do not. Thankful for medical technology that saved my life on the operating table last summer. Thankful to two parents, now deceased, who taught me values of hard work, honesty and family. Thankful that what I do — sports talk radio and writing columns — has meaning to listeners and readers.
–Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, SWRNN sports columnist and xx 1090 Sports Talk Radio host