The Story

Once upon a time in the land of the free before revolutions, colored wars, or depressions; before giant Snoopys, black Fridays or even Cowboys and Lions…there was this one day.  About one thing.  Sharing.  A  land, a table, a meal and most importantly – humanity.

This year in downtown Ventura we’ll acknowledge, for a 5th consecutive year, this day not simply by remembering but by doing. On Thursday, November 22th a city in common will share a few hours and a few hundred pounds of potatoes to simply be together.  An act perhaps best expressed in the thoughtful words of John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Through a partnership of faith, charity, city and citizen the “One City” meal takes place.  A Thanksgiving for the people of Ventura.  Whether you need a meal or not, are looking for some company or just need an excuse to recuse yourself from some…this is your event.  A moment of convergence and pause around the table, over a meal.  Remembering in our own way where we are and where we’ve come from.  A time to meet someone new and just maybe be surprised.  To set aside creed, color and net worth for the cause of humanity.

In a time of pixelated relationships and evaporating time we’re pushing back.  Fighting for this cause of solidarity in diversity.  Believing that there is value in people and that people value that.  That our cities are not finished but works in progress enhanced by the citizen.  That our city scape should be sculpted from the inspiration of good.

I love the reaction our Mayor Bill Fulton shared on his blog after sharing this event with a friend two years ago;

“Neither of us did what we expected to do when we showed up. Yet by sharing the “One Meal” with the “One City,” we both were able to give and share far more than we anticipated.”

I wonder if the founders of this day ended up with a tradition that exceeded their expectations as well?