Luckett, Special Olympics male athlete of the year, chosen grand marshal of Natchez Christmas Parade

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2023

NATCHEZ — It’s been a lucky year for Thomas Luckett of Natchez.

In May, Luckett was selected Male Athlete of the Year for all of Special Olympics in Mississippi, as well as a won the Silver Medal in bowling.

In late October, the Natchez Special Olympics and Luckett won the gold medal for flag football at the annual competition in Jackson.

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To top things off for Luckett, he has been invited to be the grand marshal of the Natchez Christmas Parade on Dec. 2.

“I will be riding in a car and representing Natchez,” Luckett said with pride. “It’s going to be fun.”

Jim Anderson said he is proud of Luckett, who was his first customer and his first employee when he opened Uptown Grocery in 2004.

“Before we opened Uptown Grocery, we had the windows covered so people couldn’t see inside while we worked. There was a little hole in the paper covering the windows, and every single day, Thomas would come by and peek in that little crack and see what we were doing,” Anderson said.

When the store opened, Luckett was its first customer.

“He bought a cookie, which was $1. Well, Thomas only had a dollar, didn’t have the money for the sales tax, so Larry and I went in the hole on our first sale,” he said.

Luckett was also Anderson’s first employee hired at Uptown Grocery.

“He stayed with us the entire time, and when we sold the business, he continued to work for the new owners,” he said. “He is just a wonderful person. Thomas is so sweet. He’s just a big ol’ Teddy Bear. He loves his dog, loves his school and wrestling and his Special Olympics sports.

“Thomas is very responsible and dependable. Nothing slows him down. It could be raining or snowing, but nothing is going to stop him. You will see him walking to work,” Anderson said. “I am just so proud of him.”

Wayne Bryant Canon, who is chef and executive director at the Carriage House, agrees. Luckett works with Canon at the Carriage House.

“Thomas has worked for me since I first began Natchez Special Events and Catering back in 2003,” Canon said. “He is a dependable and conscientious hard worker. We couldn’t do it without T-bone. We love him.”

Luckett lives with his brother, Charles Luckett, in Natchez. He also has a sister, Leslie, who lives in Fayette, as well a nieces and nephews.