"We eat turkey just like you do," says Lynn Gray, city manager of this cotton-farming hamlet (pop. 491) on the westerly side of the Texas panhandle. One gets the feeling he's been asked that question a time or two before.
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You may be surprised (only kidding) to learn that the town owes its name to flocks of wild turkeys that once roamed in and around a small nearby creek, the aptly-named Turkey Creek. For many years, the place was known as Turkey Roost, but the Post Office, sometime in the 1920s, back when they were building the Turkey Hotel, thought Turkey Roost was too long a name, explains Gray -- and so they changed it to just plain old Turkey, Texas.
But, really, on Thanksgiving Day, who doesn't want to know a little bit about the king of all Turkey Day-named towns?
First off, the biggest thing going in Turkey is Bob Wills Day, the last Saturday in April. Thousands, yes, thousands of people converge on place for a festive day of celebrating the birthday of the man known as the father of Western Swing. Wills was raised in Turkey -- well, of course he was -- and used to play his fiddle down at in the parlor of the old Turkey Hotel.
For years, the hotel used to lay out a nice Thanksgiving Day spread, but not this year, assistant manager Albert Valdez told us the other day, because the owner's son and daughter-in-law, who run the 85-year-old hostelry, want to take the whole long weekend off.
"Don't matter none, anyway," said Valdez, "cause we already had our community Thanksgiving dinner last Sunday down at the Bob Wills Center."
The hotel, where George W. once stayed when he was governor, is kinda spooky. The story goes that during cold winter nights the front desk is heard ringing when it's answered, but no one is there.
And then there's the tale of Room 20, which always seems to be occupied, with the bed looking slept in and all, despite the fact that no one has signed the register. Some say it's the spirit of an old cowpoke.
Usually, this time of year, the hunting is real good and lot of folks come to Turkey hoping to plug themselves a mule or a white tail deer, or may be even a hog. "Yeah, we got a lot feral hogs around here," said Valdez.
"Trouble is, it's gotten too hot this year. We're at about 70 degrees right now, and that's too hot for the animals. It needs to be little cooler to get the animals moving."
Last year, Turkey made a few headlines when PETA asked the mayor to change the name of his town to Tofurkey, the vegan turkey alternative.
As you can well imagine, this didn't sit well with residents, one of whom told CNN, "Well, I believe in everybody having their own opinion, but there's a bumper sign that you can get any place in Texas at tourist bureaus. It says, 'Don't mess with Texas.' My theory is, we're going to make a new sign-- don't mess with Turkey, Texas."