Richard Worcester and J.D. Dean always know exactly where they’ll spend Thanksgiving, and it’s probably not where you think.
For a half dozen years, the die-hard duo have proudly claimed the spot at the front of the line outside Best Buy determined to get the retailer’s Black Friday specials. This year, that tradition started about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday sitting in a van in Best Buy’s parking lot, then moved to that prized spot on the sidewalk just by the retailer’s door about 6 a.m.
They’ll stay there until Best Buy opens for the busiest shopping day of the year at 12 a.m. Friday.
“This is our Thanksgiving tradition,” J.D. Dean of Myrtle Beach said.
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Forget gathering around the dinner table with family -- though loved ones will deliver turkey dinners to the pair Thursday -- or catching football or the traditional holiday parades on TV.
“You can keep the parades,” Worcester said. “This is it. We know what we are doing this week...Kids like Christmas. We like Black Friday.”
The prize this year will be Best Buy’s Black Friday deal of a 40-inch TV for $179. They also have their eyes on laptops.
The pair come prepared, bundled in coats and hats, with laptops and smart phones to kill time. Foldable chairs also are set up, and about lunchtime Wednesday Worcester was considering buying a tent to set up for the night.
And they have their share of fun, too, during the 40 hour-plus campout, reminiscing Wednesday about the year they created make-shift living quarters using a tarp.
“That was awesome,” Dean said.
Dean is so dedicated he even told his new employer eight months ago that he needed this week off. Relatives also know not to expect him at the dinner table for the Thanksgiving feast, and some have even cashed in on his Black Friday dedication by asking him to pick up some of those specially priced items.
“Everybody in my family knows I do this and like it,” Dean said.
Die-hard deal hunters in other parts of the country already have been camping out for days waiting for Black Friday. Some started lining up at a Best Buy in California a week ago.
The national retailer prepares for the Black Friday lines. By the time the Myrtle Beach store opens, the line will be wrapped around the building. On Wednesday, crews were putting up metal barricades for the line, and portable toilets and additional trash containers were ready. Police and extra security will be there as the Black Friday opening time ticks closer.
Most of those that end up at the front of the Best Buy line watch out to make sure folks don’t cut in line, Worcester said.
Dean is proud of his Thanksgiving spot.
“We like seeing people come up and say, ‘you guys are crazy,’” he said.