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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!