Visiting Prattville, Alabama, sounded interesting; after doing some research, I was all for it and ready to go. The secret draw, of course, was that my son was going to be in town to shoot an NFL/Hyundai commercial, and nothing was going to stop me from visiting with him on location!
I discovered that my home away from home was only a 15-minute ride away from Spectre, a town built to shoot Tim Burton’s film Big Fish. If you ever get a chance to visit, do so because it is simply indescribable and well worth a look. Check out this fascinating article “Ghost Town of Spectre, Alabama: Then and Now” by Kelly Kazek for al.com. Downtown Prattville is a lovely little town with a dam and a former cotton factory providing a scenic photo op for the passing tourist.
When it comes to food, the best place in town is Mick’s Cajun Market. Reasonably priced, the restaurant features authentic Cajun fare. The food is fabulous and so is the service. Never have I been in a restaurant that encourages patrons to try as many samples of dishes before ordering!
The rest of my stay along Interstate 14 was exactly what I meant it to be: uneventful. There was no Seder, no matzah, and no four questions were asked. I spent the days working on my revisions for The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2018, and I had the evenings with my son. It was nice to take the office outdoors overlooking the pool, enjoying the light and the fresh air.
The film crew had very little time to spare between shoots, production meetings, set scouting, and equipment prep. It was amazing and my first time to witness it all.
Passover has always been about tradition and family. All over the world, Jewish families, big and small, gather to celebrate. Would I have liked a matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, and a good glass of wine? Even a Haggadah reading and a cup for Elijah? I sure would have, but the gathering was so last-minute, so unexpected, that I just resigned myself to the fact that there wasn’t going be a traditional meal, nor would there be wine on Erev Passover, as Prattville is a dry county. Did it matter? It did not.
What we ate and drank that night is of no importance. It was anything but kosher, I can tell you that much. Together we remembered a holiday rooted in history, and we celebrated what really matters: family. Scripture does not teach us what will happen when Elijah announces the Messiah. The prophet Malachi proclaims, in the portion of Scripture we read on Passover, “God will turn the hearts of parents to children, and children to their parents” (Malachi 4:6). In other words, Messianic days are a time of family. Therefore, whenever you have the joy to be gathered around the table with those you love, you have a foretaste of redemption. I certainly had this foretaste of redemption being able to spend this precious time with my son.
Family, however, isn’t only about blood. It is just as much about friends, those who care enough to offer their friendship and to help you when you need it. In addition to being reunited with my son, I experienced a special gift of friendship and care this Passover. A big thank you to my colleague Amber for generously driving me to Prattville. I deeply appreciate it!
Happy Passover! Happy Easter! May we all experience the gift of family and friendship during the holidays and always.