Thanksgiving at Post Oak – The Hartselle Enquirer

By A. Ray Lee

Journalist

Clint and I met Francis Luce at Birmingham Airport and drove south to the Little Dixie Motel, where we had made arrangements to sleep for the next three nights. Francis and I had a growing friendship that began a few years earlier when Effie was working as a student secretary for him at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. He had been a campus chaplain and was now an instructor.

Over the years, we have found that we have more in common than Christian ministry. We looked forward to meeting each year for a few hours away from urgent responsibilities.

This would be his third Thanksgiving hunt with us at the Post Oak Club. He had hunted in the Everglades, taking turkeys and pigs. His goal had been to score a triple in a year, but the stag had always eluded him. He will not reach his goal this year but will do so later, when he wins a nice young colt by 5 points.

He had read articles on hunting clubs like the Post Oak. When I invited him to be my guest, he jumped at the chance.

We quickly left our bags at the motel and headed to the clubhouse to visit the local members who were preparing for the Thanksgiving dinner we were going to enjoy the next day.

In a small tin-covered shed adjacent to the main pavilion, a fire pit had been set up, and the aroma of the roast pork was tantalizingly reminiscent of the next day, when tender meat would cover platters on tables laden with all the goodies. things that make Thanksgiving dinner so special.

The next morning the hunters started arriving at the clubhouse early. There would be a large group for the first hunt of the season and the dinner that would follow. This was before bow hunting became popular and deer hadn’t been disturbed for 10 months. The first hunt usually produced the best results of the season.

At 8 am, the hunters eagerly piled into the vans, hoping today that they would get the “big one.”

The weather was favorable. The dogs were cool and the deer were moving. Several shots rang out, but as the noise of dogs and handlers died down, the men’s anticipation increased as hunger recalled the feast that awaited them. Everyone was ready to call him one morning.

No one in my line had seen a legal deer, but when we got to the clubhouse there were two handsome dollars hanging from the skinning rack, ignored as everyone made their way to the tables laden with food.

After a prayer of thanksgiving from local pastor and club member Anthony Patterson, we stood at makeshift tables outside as we took the opportunity.

Shortly after noon on Saturday, Clint and I dropped off Francis in Birmingham with a venison cooler to catch his flight back to Florida. Then we rushed over to the house, where Effie and the girls waited with a delayed dinner of turkey and dressing.

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