“My last name is spelled the same way, but no,” he says, smiling.
The character Clark Griswold had a litany of bad luck incidents during his travels from Chicago to Los Angeles, with destination theme park Wally World. He wanted quality time with his family on vacation, but he failed at every turn.
But Dan Griswold, 70, says he has been fortunate all his life. And that’s why he’s planned a Thanksgiving Day dinner giveaway.
Dan was born in Canada on the St. Regis Reservation.
“Yes, I’m a Canuck (slang for Canadian),” Griswold said.
Griswold comes from the Canadian side of the reservation. The U.S. side of the reservation adjoins it, and Native Americans – the Mohawk Nation – can cross the border freely.
Griswold is a Canadian Native American.
“I was raised all over, but I spent the last 30 years in Oklahoma,” he said.
“I came to Refugio four years ago for health reasons,” he added. “It’s a lot warmer here.”
“I used to be a bull rider,” he said. And he has lots of broken bones that remind him of that when it gets cold.
Griswold will be 71 on Feb. 15, and he’s made a few friends in Refugio since moving here.
One of those friends is Salome Garza, owner of the Cool Million Bar at 302 Osage in Refugio.
Garza said she helped Griswold get settled when he moved to Refugio.
Now, Griswold feels so thankful, he wants to share.
“In my culture, I have so many things to be thankful for. I’ve had good health, and I’m celebrating that by giving,” he said.
So on Thanksgiving Day, Griswold will be set up outside the Cool Million Bar serving turkey dinners.
“It’s free. I don’t want anything out of this. No donations,” he said.
The turkey dinners, including dressing, sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, apple sauce and apple cobbler, will be served beginning at noon “till the food is gone. It’s all homemade. None of it is store-bought,” he said.
“This is for anyone who wants to come – kids, whoever,” he added.
Grisworld will have to-go dinners contained in Styrofoam boxes, for those who want to take the meal home.
“There is seating in the Cool Million,” he said. That’s for those who want to eat inside after being served.”
“We’ll bring some other tables,” he added.
“Salome is letting me use her place of business,” Griswold said.
Garza said she was excited about the event.
“The reward is serving all this stuff and giving it away,” Griswold said.
“At the end of the day, we’ll be blessed,” Garza noted.