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Storm-Weary Residents Head For Aisles Area Stores, Delis Offer Hot Thanksgiving Meals

FRIDAY, NOV. 29, 1996

No power, no poultry, no problem.

Lake City residents easily found ways to serve the full turkey at home, with a slight variation on a fast food theme. They poured into grocery stores for a box-load of precooked Butterball goodness - ready with jam, potatoes, green beans and pie - and guaranteed to stuff 10 people.

“I’d say it’s doubled over orders from last year,” said Terri Norton, assistant restaurant and deli manager at Rosauers. “A lot of them (customers) don’t have power. A few of them want us to reheat them.”

The last-minute calls were pouring in, so the Coeur d’Alene store went to Spokane Wednesday to round up as many of the $39.95 turkey specials as possible. George Oatman, who lives on the still-darkened east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene, came for the full-meal deal, wine and a three-candle centerpiece.

He and his wife planned to heat and eat their dinner at Pinewood Care Center, where sister-in-law Kathy Eddy is temporarily living with her father. Eddy is recovering from hip-replacement surgery.

Danielle Baxter and Chris Johnson, dressed in their black leather coats with rebel flag and Aryan Nation shoulder patches, also stopped by for one of the dinners to go. Stuck with a studio apartment with only a hot plate for cooking, they were happy to have a shopping cart full of holiday fest ready to roll for home.

“Can we get this with macaroni and cheese?” Johnson joked.

Baxter shivered. “I’m from Florida. When it got down to 50 degrees I thought, ‘OK it’s winter,”’ she said. “My friends said, ‘Oh no.”’

Even people not stranded by the storm were taking to this turkey option. “A lot of people are calling and saying their power is coming back on,” said Theresa Young, who also works at the Rosauers deli. “They still want them and they still want them hot.”

Hot is $10 extra.

Co-worker Chad Calvin hungrily watched the birds depart and dreamed of his own 4:30 p.m. exodus. He hoped he would find power at home. “The only thing holding up one of our trees is the power lines,” Calvin said. If not, there are other options, Calvin said.

“My dad’s girlfriend is without power,” he said. “So she bought a new house.”

Lynn Crowder lives luckier. Her electricity returned Thursday afternoon, just as her family was contemplating what the alternative dinner would be.

So they threw the fixings in the oven and depended on fate to keep it cooking. “You have to think positive,” Crowder said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo

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