Governor Robert Bentley Pardons 65th Turkey And Honors Bill Bates

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By Amanda Wade

Governor Robert Bentley pardoned the 65th turkey named Clyde from Bates Turkey Farm in Greenville, and the missing piece of this year's ceremony was Bill Bates.


Clyde and his turkey girlfriend Henrietta were looking particularly patriotic at the Governor's Mansion as they gobbled for the Governor to pardon them for Thanksgiving.


"This is a fine looking couple that we have here today. They're well behaved in fact," says Governor Bentley.


The Governor pardoned the two birds and then gave a commendation to the Bates Family for their father's role in helping the state celebrate every Thanksgiving since 1949.


Governor Bentley says Bates was a man, "Who also loved God, he loved his family, and he loved his country. Mr. Bates is a source of pride to the state of Alabama."


Two of Mr. Bates' children carried the Thanksgiving tradition on for their father. They both say this first Thanksgiving without their dad will be a tough one.


"We're so blessed to have had him and we're going to continue. And we know he's looking down on us and smiling," says Becky Sloane, daughter of Bates.


The Bates family says they will be eating turkey with their mother this Thanksgiving and reflecting on a lifetime of wonderful memories.


Bates was 89-years old when he passed away in August. Governor Bentley says Bates was a World War II Veteran who loved his country, and he says they both shared a love for Thanksgiving.


The commissioner of Agriculture says Clyde and Henrietta will be on display at the State Farmer's Market.


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