This story was originally published in The Star-Herald. Edits were made to reflect upcoming 2016 events.
By Jewette Battles
G. G. Holmes, KAP Director of Community Development, and I, ever so often, have a brainstorming session. It goes along with the old theory that two heads are better than one. We had one yesterday, and it lead us to this idea.
In 1886, a fire started in the hay loft of Sneed’s Livery Stable. Every building on the East side of Kosciusko Court Square was destroyed, save for one building. This building is identified today by the letters “A & A Grocery” boldly printed across the top of the structure.
In 1919, this very building was known as the Potts-Oliver Co. It was a store of many items divided into several sections. A specialty of the grocery section that took place in November of each year was known as “Turkey Day.”
W. B. Potts and J. H. (Cap) Oliver bought a dozen or so turkeys, geese and guineas, took them to the top of the store and let them loose. A huge crowd below chased the fowls, and any that they caught was theirs. Some of the fowls had extra gifts attached to their legs.
On November 20th, KAP will, for the third time, reenact the legendary Turkey Tossing of nearly 100 years ago. However, there will be no standing on rooftops nor tossing of live fows. Our turkeys will look more like rubber ducks, but pay no mind to that. They will have a git certificate for a turkey tucked inside them.
One might ask, “Why would I want to come to the square, stand on the street and jostle for a turkey? I’ll just go buy one.” Here is our novel idea. It is called, “Pay-it-forward.” Someone does something good for us; we pay it forward by doing a good deed for someone else. Pay-it-forward is a concept, a challenge even, to change the world by forming a Pay-it-forward chain. “Lend a hand, give what you can. Do good and feel good doing it.” This concept is all the rage. Even movie stars are getting in on it.
We might think that to change the world is a bit much, but what we can do is to change Kosciusko. Let us start by coming out on November 20th, catching a turkey, and if we do not need it, we can pay it forward by giving the gift certificate to someone who does need it or to an organization that will distribute it.
So come to the square, catch a turkey and if you do not need it, pay-it-forward because “Tis the Season.”