On the way to Atlantic City Thanksgiving day, where we would spend our time at slot machines while others gathered with family and friends, we tried to find a restaurant that was open. I didn’t realize that so many of them close – even McDonald’s. In the City a lot of them are open becuase it’s a good day to make money, but out of the metropolis, here on Highway 9, everyone was closed. Then we saw a sign for the Bayville Diner and, lo and behold, a few cars in the parking lot.

We went in and were waiting for menus when the woman who runs the place with her family came up and told us there was only one thing on the menu – turkey dinner – and it was free.

There was something remakably touching about that. A family-run diner that shut its cash register at 1:00 pm and served a Thanksgiving meal to anyone who wanted or needed it. I was reminded again of how kind and generous people can be, and from the looks of this small establishment on a highway, these were not people who could afford to be overly generous. Yet they were. So we ate our Thanksgiving turkey and on the way out left a $20 donation. It was an unexpected experience that made it a true Thanksgiving after all.

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