Spreading an attitude of gratitude
The Carson Ruritan Club was packed with family and friends of Johnny and Michelle Oakley’s for their annual Christmas party! It is one of those events folks look forward to all year long.
Johnny told me, “We host the get-together to spread holiday cheer! Everyone knows everybody in Carson. We have people coming from all over. I include my Johnny’s Auto & Truck Service customers to show my appreciation, and I, also, invite businesses I buy things from.”
It was the first year they held it at the club due to the growing number of attendees. He commented, “Between 200 and 300 guests drop in and out. A team of family and friends help prepare the dinner.”
The amazing menu consisted of: Beef ribeye loins & pork butts (both prepared by Mark Jernigan), marinated chicken breasts (prepared by Glen Newton), mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, green beans, cole slaw, sweet potato casserole, etc. “Guests bring a dessert, if they feel moved to do so.”, Johnny shared.
Joey said, “My sister, Terry Oakley Randolph, plays a big role in the feast since she owns a catering business. And, two other sisters, Carolyn Pecht and Shirley Wilkinson lend a hand.”
Upon Terry’s invitation, I attended my first Oakley party, last year. I was hooked instantly on the deliciously, fun affair. The sweet potato casserole alone made me an addict. Sorry you couldn’t make it this year, Patty Pope; I ate your share.
Mark Jernigan (“Rhino”) made me aware of the special Carson baked beans made by Ronnie Pecht. Ronnie told me it takes him roughly six hours to fix them. Mark said, “Kids will put them in waffle cones they’re so good!”
I was approached by a woman that right away said, “You probably don’t recognize me, do you?” I sure enough didn’t. She
continued, “I clean your teeth.” I told her, “I’m sorry, I didn’t recognize you without your scrubs on.” She laughed and said, “Most people don’t”. I utilized Amanda Pecht later to check my teeth. I figured it isn’t anything she hadn’t seen before.” She was happy to oblige.
Johnny and Michelle arranged for a special treat this year: the Triple B Band. One of two founding members of the ‘Old School Motown Blues Band’, Scott Billings, played guitar, and original band member, Maurice Meade, played lead guitar. Other members included: Thurman Hargrave on keyboard, Todd Mobley on bass guitar, Dave Mayes on drums and founding member, Jimmy Tynes, provided vocals.
At the time I left to attend a friend’s birthday party, most guests were congregated at the far end away from the band.
The only takers on the dance floor were rambunctious youngsters who were having a blast.
Michelle commented, “Oh, give them some time, they’ll be dancin’ the night away for sure.”
Kristi K. Higgins, also known as “The Social Butterfly”, recently joined the ProgressIndex newsroom staff. Kristi, who writes about her experiences at various community events, will be contributing her insights and perspective, as well as sharing stories of human interest, for ProgressIndex customers. She can be reached at khig[email protected] or 804-722-5162.
Everett Gay, 3, and William Woods, 4, are caught havin’ a good ol’ time on the dance floor during Johnny and Michelle Oakley’s annual Christmas party held at the Carson Ruritan Club.
Michelle and Johnny Oakley pause for a photo during their annual Christmas party. The couple hosts the get-together each year “to spread holiday cheer”.
The Triple B Band provides music during Johnny and Michelle Oakley’s annual Christmas party at the Carson Ruritan Club.