Nugget offers Thanksgiving to families and singles |

Nugget offers Thanksgiving to families and singles

Karen Woodmansee
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal

Whole families and individuals joined to gather for the annual free Thanksgiving feast at the Carson Nugget.

The Scanlon family, led by 24-year-old Sarah who brought her three children, and were joined by several cousins, nieces and nephews decided to come to the Nugget after her parents left town for the holiday.

“They went back East,” she said. “So we decided to try something different.”

She brought her children, Makayla, 6, Kaiden, 1, and Justine, 4, as well as her niece Kaylie, 4, and cousins Evalynn, 10 months, Patrick, 16, and Stephanie Kieffer, 16, and, along with Louis Eades, 27, they filled up a table.

Their first trip to the Nugget for Thanksgiving found them enjoying roast turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetables and pie.

The little ones liked the turkey and mashed potatoes, but Justine made it clear chocolate was her all-time favorite food.

The others cited the turkey, potatoes and bread rolls as the best parts of the meal.

At a nearby table, Mary Lou Schindler, 59, and her mother, Marie Marsh, 87, shared their meal with Marge Arnold, 79. They had several other friends with them,

Schindler said, but those three went off to play the slot machines.

Without the Nugget’s free meal, Arnold said, she would probably be home in bed curled up with a good book.

Schindler was impressed with both the food and the service.

“It was very good, and they’re all so upbeat and friendly,” she said.

Marsh estimated in her day she must have cooked about 68 Thanksgiving dinners, and would still be cooking except the rest of her family was in South Dakota.

“They all came to my house for Thanksgiving,” she said.

She moved to Nevada a year ago to be near Schindler, she said.

Juan Salgado brought his wife, Raquel, two daughter, Joanne, 8, and Kenya, 3, along with nephews Austin, 7, and Johnny, 9. Salgado said he would be with his family even if the Nugget were not serving Thanksgiving, but since they were, he and his wife were saved from cooking.

Jack Vaughan, 68, said he enjoyed the Nugget meal, and was grateful for it, but wished he could go back to his grandmother’s house in Wells, where he once cooked a Thanksgiving dinner on a wood stove, even making pumpkin pie and old-fashioned Southern-style stuffing, with cornbread and sausage.

“I made a highly successful Thanksgiving dinner there,” he said. “You just have to control your fire.”

A man who prefers the old-fashioned ways, Vaughan said, life in Wells was great.

“If you wanted a cup of coffee, you had to build a fire,” he said. “If you wanted a fire, you had to chop wood.”

Pedro Rodriguez, the Nugget’s executive sous chef, said the casino served its annual free Thanksgiving dinner to about 800 people in its banquet room ” about what they expected.

He said the workers began at 5 a.m. on Thursday and wouldn’t finish until about 7 p.m., but it was no burden for him because he enjoyed his work.

“When you like your job, it doesn’t matter if you cook for two or 200,” he said. “But this is good because you cook for a lot of people who need it. So you feel proud.”

– Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or call 881-7351.