The story could’ve seemed a little sketchy. An Aussie named James West was cc’d on an American Tran family’s emails for three years (there is, in fact, an American “Jimmy” West related to the family). And though he generally trashed the emails as SPAM, this year, he got interested. He read through a thread as it built up to the Thanksgiving holiday–intrigued by talk of famous deviled eggs, “hoppy” beer and cheese broccoli casserole–and realized something: he wanted to attend the Tran family Thanksgiving. More importantly, he had to track down the Trans, and fast.
But he couldn’t just creepily stalk the family, he had to come clean first. If you’re going to pursue a strange family, you have to do it out in the open. So he took to YouTube:
In one of the most interesting social experiments of recent times, West documented his search for the family as he raced against the clock in order to hop on a plane to Florida in time for Turkey Day, if only to figure out what “Stove Top” was–all while building a supportive groundswell among the YouTube community.
Not only did he find them, but they welcomed him into their home for what seemed like a truly lovely Thanksgiving dinner. A happy ending indeed!
Some may not have liked the way that West “invaded” the Tran family’s goings-on, but we’re awfully glad he did. The unexpected spotlight could not have shone on a more adorable family. The Trans not only seem like an exceedingly cool, beachy, beautiful, warm-hearted and friendly bunch, but they easily welcomed their Aussie hunter in as if he was a long-lost relative. They weren’t cynics or skeptics or even famewhores, they were just… a family.
James West and the Trans succeeded in reminding us that sometimes, there might not be an “angle.” A good story is just that, a good family is just that, and a happy ending is, in fact, just that. We’re grateful for that.
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