James Brown continues his tradition of giving out Thanksgiving turkeys

November 21, 2006

People started lining up at Dyess Park before the sun came up, and they stood for hours in the cold blowing rain.

"I ain't goin' nowhere," said Daisy Barnes. "I'm determined to get this turkey. I done stayed here this long."

There's a steady beat to pass the hours, and music that stirs the soul.

LueElla Seabrook was the second person in line.

"I got here at 5:30 this morning," she told us.

They're all here for the promise of a turkey and a close encounter with one of the most famous men in the world.

"I really want to see him. I've never seen him in person even..." Daisy said.

And James Brown never disappoints.

It's something he started doing back in 1991, in this public park not very far from the spot where he used to shine shoes.

His rise to worldwide fame took him far from Augusta, but every Thanksgiving, he makes it a point to come back home to offer up a prayer and be a blessing.

"It will be a blessing to me, because I wouldn't have one if he didn't give it to me," Daisy said.

Brown says it's all about home.

"This is our home, this is our country, forget about the war and everything--think about eating and sleeping," he said.

And he gives back to the very people who understand just how much he had to overcome.

"I just hope I can last a few more years...God bless you and God bless America."

James Brown may be the star of the show, but it takes a team of volunteers working along with employees from the Augusta Recreation and Parks Department to make it happen.