A Navyman e-mails:
The “turkey prop” reminds me of a Navy Thanksgiving celebrated onboard my ship in the early 90’s. We were pierside in Okinawa, loading Marines and equipment for a major exercise in Korea. Mess Specialist David Robinson, preparing the meal for the officers’ mess made a beautiful bird stuffed with cornbread and sage sausage. When his prize bird made it to the table, our embarked Marine officers refused to carve it, thinking it was a prop. For the first go-round, they ate roasted turkey loaf. Robinson was disappointed beyond belief, at which point I told him to state his case to the senior officer present. He did, and the Marines promptly re-oriented themselves his centerpiece, picking the platter clean in very short order.