Originally created 11/22/06

Hundreds endure cold for turkey giveaway

For hundreds of Augustans, waiting for hours in Tuesday's frigid conditions didn't matter.

They bundled up, shivered to the sounds of music and eagerly awaited the arrival of the Godfather of Soul, who showed up shortly before 1 p.m.

As much a tradition as Thanksgiving itself, James Brown helped give away about a thousand turkeys, one way in which he shows his love for the community.

"We've all got to love each other," Mr. Brown said as he handed out the turkeys at Dyess Park on Tuesday.

Wearing a black leather jacket with a large American flag across the back, the legendary soul singer stood beside Mayor Deke Copenhaver and other members of the community shaking hands, giving hugs and igniting smiles.

Joevance Green, 11, said waiting in the cold was worth it.

"It means a lot because I've never met James Brown before," the Sego Middle School sixth-grader said.

It beats getting a turkey from the store, Joevance said.

Rico Wright has made it a tradition to attend the turkey giveaway and arrived at 4 a.m., expecting the large crowds that would surely gather.

"I just thank God that James Brown is giving away turkeys," he said.

The light sleet didn't bother Doll Davis, 64, who clapped her hands and danced about to keep warm.

"I'm just thankful to be alive, and I'm thankful for the turkey," she said.

And what does Thanksgiving mean to the Godfather?

"It means God has blessed all of us and we need to give thanks for the things we get everyday," he said.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.


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