Country music has a tradition of giving back, and this morning in Nashville, Tracy Lawrence served up proof of that tradition once more with his Sixth Annual "Mission Possible" Turkey Fry, held at the Nashville Rescue Mission in Music City.
Lawrence and several of his celebrity friends spent the morning cooking turkeys for the homeless. Between that and some other volunteer work, the singer says he has smelled quite a bit of turkey.
"We postponed due to weather yesterday, and had some commitments to the church in Lebanon," he said. "I wound up cooking about 25 at the house, and we did a bunch of sides. We had to get the box meals ready to go out to the Veterans home, and to the Brooks House and several places in Wilson County. So, after cooking for two days, I'm going to be ready to eat tomorrow."
The singer of such hits as "Time Marches On" and "You Find Out Who Your Friends Are" says he enjoys the opportunity to give back. "I've been very blessed in my life. I've got a great career and a healthy family, a wonderful home life. I can't imagine what it must be like to go to bed hungry sometimes, and sleeping on the street. A lot of people are here because life has thrown them a curve ball, and this place does such great work at helping them get back on track. I've had the privilege of getting to know a lot of the guys who have gotten back in touch with their children and gotten their lives back on track. It's a wonderful thing to give back to something that lets people get on with their lives."
Lawrence smiled when asked about some of the tips to cooking turkeys in the deep fryers - like not putting a frozen one in. "No. It will explode," he said with a smile. "It's very dangerous. I think the big thing is to make sure the bird is thawed out, and the temperature is regulated, where it don't cook too fast. You've got to keep the temperature under 400 degrees."
Though he will have been around plenty of turkey cooking today, he will be more than ready for Thanksgiving Day.
"I love Thanksgiving meals," he confesses. "We do such a big traditional thing with homemade cornbread dressing. We will do a couple of fried turkeys and a ham, and we'll have several pies, mashed potatoes and all the sides that go with it. I'm going to eat all day and watch football. We'll do the initial seating, and we'll graze all day."
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of his first splash on the charts with "Sticks And Stones." The singer says that time span is tough to believe, but he's grateful for every mile along the way.
"It's kind of amazing that it has been so long," he confesses, but adds that "It's been an amazing journey. I've met a lot of amazing people in so many fields from celebrities to athletes; I've had an amazing life. I look back on it with no regrets."