Ed Note: This article was originally published in 2008 on Cards Diaspora by Mountain Fresh after the devastating news that Rusty’s, a traditional Edwardsville IL ‘Skanksgiving’ gathering spot, was shuttered.
For whatever reason, this article got put up in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016. As long as this site is in operation, the day prior to Thanksgiving we will have it up.
The vast majority of you will not find this post amusing/entertaining in the least. But it’s become something a small group of people look forward to reading every year on this day. So I hope you’ll indulge us posting this once again…
Skanksgiving: a time to share joy, cocktails, and inflated stories of success with the majority of your graduating high school class.
“People who get excited about New Year’s Eve are d-bags; Skanksgiving is where it’s at,” offered loyal CD reader and problem drinker John Bucher. “If every day was Skanksgiving, you could say goodbye to the Taliban and hello to world peace.”
But it won’t be all fun and games for one quiet St. Louis suburb this year.
This brimming hamlet’s 28,000+ residents began their 2008 Skanksgiving with a burning and all-important question: “Where the hell am I supposed to go tonight now that Rusty’s is closed?”
Edwardsville, Illinois: Baseball Town, USA. – once home to Rusty’s Restaurant, a place thousands of proud Tigers felt was the Skanksgiving capital of the world. One of Edwardsville’s first victims of the recent economic downturn, Rusty’s had their final last call June 4, 2008 – and closed their doors forever.
Future dentist and current night owl Beau Moody offered the CD his take:
“I mean… I’m never going to go to a class reunion – Skanksgiving at Rusty’s was as close as it’s ever going to get for me. I love Laurie’s, but it’s just not the same. Quite frankly, I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with this tragedy.”
Downtown watering holes Laurie’s Place, the Stagger Inn (Again), and Cleo’s stand ready to pick up the slack, but it won’t be enough for local attorney Tom Ludwig.
“I wouldn’t even step foot in Rusty’s any day other than Skanksgiving. Now that it’s gone, I guess I’ll just stay home this year. I’m deeply saddened by our community’s loss,” lamented Ludwig.
Though many intend to move on with their lives and give the recently re-badged Big Daddy’s their business this Skanksgiving, some are unable to let go.
As early as Sunday evening, flyers were circulating the streets of Edwardsville calling for a gathering in the now vacant Rusty’s parking lot for a Candle & Natural Light vigil to mourn the legend of Rusty’s Skanksgiving.
But regardless of tonight’s plans, the landscape of Edwardsville’s night-before-major-holidays-nightlife is forever changed.