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      Residents start the New Year off with a meal

      Carol Green has worked at the Elmwood Street Lizard's Thicket for 15 years. She was serving diners on New Year's.

      Carol Greene has been a waitress at Lizard TMs Thicket for nearly 15 years, and working on New Year TMs has become a tradition.

      Oh, it TMs just another day of the week, says Carol Greene. You get a lot of people that come in for their collard greens, black-eyed peas and their pork chops.

      And that mean is another tradition deeply rooted in Southern culture.

      I guess I TMve been eating it all of my life, because I was born and raised here, said Dot Kievlan.

      The staple menu for New Year TMs Day comes with a few superstitions. Pork is said to be a good luck meal because the pig is considered to symbolize progress.

      I just hope to live to see next year, said Denise Oxendine.

      The idea behind black-eyed peas and collard greens is similar.

      To get some more money, said Shirley Lopton.

      Lizard TMs Thicket on Elmwood Street will go through more than 400 pork chops, 480 pounds of black-eyed peas, and 380 pounds of collard greens on New Year TMs Day -- It TMs a lot of food and it comes with big hopes.

      To see the economy in good shape and people get jobs, said Melvin Harson.

      As for Carol, her New Year TMs Day tradition always ends the same, with a big plate of food.