It was an October morning when my sister Caitlin and I received a text from our older sister, Kelly. All the text said was “GUYS CALL ME.” Since I now live in Phoenix, I am three hours behind and was, therefore, still in bed. Another text read “GET UP AND CALL ME.”
Minutes later I was informed that my sister heard back from producers at The Today Showregarding a submission for my dad to be on the show. I am a journalism student, so this was a HUGE deal to me. Friends saw me freaking out in the lounge of my dorm building, and I still wish that someone had a video of my initial reaction.
The big twist was that dad didn’t know Kelly had entered him to be featured on “Today’s Turkey Trot,” where The Today Show travels the nation surprising individuals with their favorite celebrity chef to learn their Thanksgiving traditions.
You may be asking why my sister entered him. My dad is Mr. Thanksgiving. He prepares weeks in advance for his favorite holiday. Tom McLister takes eight turkeys, marinates them in his “secret brine,” and deep fries them. He is a master chef and puts his entire heart into everything he cooks!
In order to enter my dad in the contest, Kelly sent the producers the required information: videos, pictures, five celebrity chef names, etc. It wasn’t until weeks later that she found out that he had been chosen. I was sitting at lunch when I received the call from Kelly saying “BOBBY FLAY AND AL ROKER ARE COMING TO OUR HOUSE!” You can say that I felt as though I was in a dream.
And what did I do? I immediately hopped on to Southwest.com to get me home to see the big event! The day before the reveal, the producers came to scout everything out while dad was at work. We were so excited to see everything coming together. We couldn’t wait to see the expression my dad would have on his face the next day.
That November morning of the surprise was indescribable. The entire nation knows who my dad is and what he is about. A BIG sincere thank you to Southwest Airlines. The Flight Attendant was extremely interested in the story of why I was going home and really took the time to have a nice conversation about it with me. Just another reason why I fly Southwest. Would I have been able to get back to the East Coast in time without them? No. Thank you for making this dream come true!