Melrose Archives - StoryCorps

“Brighten the Corner Where You Are”: Finding a New Way To Be Thankful in a Pandemic

Back in 1985, when Scott Macaulay’s parents were going through an acrimonious divorce, he found himself alone on Thanksgiving. So he decided to start cooking dinner for other people who had nowhere else to go. We first heard his story in an interview from 2010. 

 Scott Macaulay looking through one of his photo albums commemorating his Thanksgiving dinners.

For the last 35 years, he’s advertised his dinners in his local newspaper, and in what began as a dinner for a dozen people, he now typically serves upwards of 100 guests at his Thanksgiving table. But in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to find new ways of connecting with strangers on this holiday. Instead he has partnered with a local restaurant to offer free meals and is handing out groceries from the window of his vacuum repair shop, Macaulay’s House of Vacuums.

Loretta Saint-Louis has been attending Scott’s dinners since 2017. Over StoryCorps Connect, Loretta and Scott talked about how they first met and what she’ll miss about not gathering this year.

Top Photo: Scott Macaulay and Loretta Saint-Louis after their StoryCorps interview in Melrose, MA on November 6th, 2020. By Alanna Kouri and Loretta Saint-Louis for StoryCorps.

Originally aired November 13th 2020, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Scott Macaulay

Every Thanksgiving Scott Macaulay cooks dinner for strangers in his hometown of Melrose, Massachusetts. At StoryCorps, Scott explains how he invites people to his holiday dinner and how a tradition that began with him feeding a dozen people back in 1985 became a meal for close to a hundred diners.