For more than a half-century, a group of Dallas friends assembled to play touch football each Thanksgiving Day morning on the front lawn of their old elementary school in White Rock. As the men aged, their determination and love of the game stayed strong. After the final game in 2009, Dallas reporter John Anders noted:
“They arrived on walkers and in iron lungs…Grandchildren would drop them off andperhaps stay behind to serve as stretcher-bearers following the conflict.”
Now, six decades later, team captains Brent Parrott and Bryan Renfro are sharing this beautiful story of friendship and Texas football in the new book,The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story, which releases this month.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In 1960, on the front lawn of Martha Turner Reilly Elementary, a tradition was born. A group of seventh-grade boys captured the free time before Thanksgiving dinner to engage in a game of touch football. It was a good day to play. So good, in fact, that the game would resume each year at the same time in the same place. Through the ebb and flow of lives, loves, and responsibilities, the Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational continued for five decades. The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story offers a first-hand glimpse into an era long past and captures the essence of tradition, friendship, life lessons, history, culture, the ups and downs, happiness, and sadness for those lost,over decades.
Today, Alzheimer’s has touched most of the 22 members and a portion of the book proceeds will be donated to Alzheimer’s research. The book releases November 2019
This coming-of-age book is a must-read for anyone with nostalgic heartstrings. One of the most beautiful things about this book is that it is interactive. Though it is available in hard copy, the book is best consumed digitally because the story is supplemented with artifacts and details (videos, links, newspaper clippings, and photos) that preserve an era in American history long past. The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story is a readable account of the personal and cultural experiences of a group of friends that tells a story about all of us.
“(This Book) captures the era of growing up in the 50s and 60s with sensitivity and
humor.”- Neilia West (Reviewer)
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Dallas natives, Brent Parrott and Bryan Renfro are life-long friends and the co-authors of The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story. Brent Parrott is a writer, former technology executive, and teacher, who currently serves as Board Chairman for the charter schools of Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy.Bryan Renfro graduated in 1970 from the University of Texas at Arlington and was drafted into the Army the following year during the Viet Nam war. He was the editor and sports writer for Sound Off, the base’s newspaper in Fort Meade, Maryland. For five decades, he served as the organizer and “Commissioner” of theannual Thanksgiving touch football game known locally as the Turkey Bowl that is chronicled in the book.
and can be purchased on the book’s website and on Amazon.