There is a Christmas song that goes "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays..."
But what if you are one of those who have no place to go for the holidays? What if circumstances and life dictate you have to spend Christmas or New Year’s Eve or Thanksgiving alone, without family or friends nearby?
Well, if you are a member of the May family, you have tried to answer those questions for a number of years.
For over a decade now, the owners of Boomer’s Sports Bar, and what used to be called the M-6 Trading Post, have been making dinners for those who have nowhere to go on the major holidays. Food, fellowship, sports — and maybe even a few games of dominoes — are the order of the day.
"We've been doing this for so long that I don't remember when we actually started doing it," said Leann Wilkerson, now one of the owners of Boomer’s. "I thought my mom (Dean) might have started this when she was alive, but I'm not really sure."
Her dad Bill May, who opened the M-6 Trading Post back in 1992, wasn't 100 percent sure either.
"I don't recall, but after spending 35 years in the insurance business, I wanted to open a place that would give people want they wanted and needed," he said on Christmas day. ''I remember growing up as a boy and walking barefoot to the country store and they always gave me a bottle of orange soda while I played on the dirt outside.
"I never forgot that."
Bill spent most of his adult life building his insurance agency, but when they required him to go automated with a computer he decided he had enough of that and wanted to try something different.
"They told me there were 647 insurance agencies in the state of Texas that were going to get automated, and I told them to make me number 647," Bill laughed. "But it wasn't as much fun as it used to be, and I couldn't be as responsive to my customers as I would have liked so I sold my agency to Jim Logan in 1992 and opened up this little convenience store out here."
Bill and his wife Dean ran the small country store until 2005, when he sold it to Harlan Wilkerson. Harlan turned it into a sports bar, and expanded the operation until he sold it to his brother Pete and his wife Leann.
"We wanted to take over because Daddy lives right next door and we wanted to make sure he was taken care of, so we bought it," Leann says. "We have run it for over a decade now, and I know every year we have owned it we have taken care of feeding most of the men out there who are away from their family or don't have anywhere to go. It's a way for them to get a good meal and enjoy some good company."
Her husband Pete Wilkerson agrees.
"We haven't been closed one day in the 13 years we've owned this place," Wilkerson said. "We have always cooked and provided meals for those who are interested on all the major holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter.
"We're pretty proud of that."
"It's not always crowded, but we're happy to serve whoever needs a holiday meal or place to go," Leann says. "There are some times when the cooking and all the work seems overwhelming, but when I hear all the men say how good the food is and how thankful they are, well, then it's all worth it.”
On Christmas Day this year, there were people who were in and out most of the day, and by evening most of the turkey, ham and stuffing had been consumed. Friends like Bill Whiteley, Sam Pennington, Gene Gary and Ryan and Harlan Wilkerson were all still there providing hospitality and playing dominoes.
"This is what we do," Pete said with a smile. "Serving up food and hospitality one person at a time."