Fire Station 3 was responsible for the brisket, which was taken to the main Fire Station 1 for their 3 p.m. meal. Jessica Palmer Photo
The streets of Roswell were virtually empty as the day began. Those with last-minute purchases at Walmart were few and far between, resting up for Black Friday. Even the homeless camps were deserted.
Most people across the city were busy with preparations, for various events and family get togethers.
The Roswell Fire Department, with 33 firefighters and 10 EMTs working the holiday, had begun to cook the dinner that they would share with family members in Fire Station 1. Fire Station 3 cooked the brisket while Station 1 was in charge of the turkey. With 70 pounds of potatoes, they were prepared to feed an army.
Meanwhile, officers of the Roswell Police Department, who had held their celebrations earlier in the week, were brown bagging it. At 10:30 a.m., Veterans Memorial Hall opened their doors to all comers.
Elsewhere Valeria and Raymundo Sanchez of the Sales Barn Café, 900 N. Garden Ave., hurried to complete their buffet, which is free to anyone who enters their doors. Valeria began the tradition when she and her husband opened the café four years ago. It is their way of giving thanks for realizing a dream. “I will keep up the tradition as long as we have the café,” Valeria said. Their feed included some four separate salads, a full complement of pies, ham, turkey and dressing. The family will take any leftovers from the feast to the various camps around the city to share their largess and their Thanksgiving.
At noon, the Community Kitchen, 115 E. Deming St., which serves the indigent so many days a year, was closed. Those people who arrived to eat were confused. A simple sign directed them to the Memorial Hall, 1620 N. Montana Ave., and with Pecos Trails Transit closed for the holiday, those without transport were left with a three-mile trek on foot to attend the festivities.
By 2 p.m., traffic was picking up and shops were filling up while many families had made their way to Spring River Park & Zoo to partake in a not-so-traditional Thanksgiving picnic, giving thanks perhaps for the mild 76-degree weather.