I was struck by a recent string posted on the BBQ Forum started by Odis or “The Pork Jesters”.  In summary he found his wife’s Smoky Angel Pin in her purse.  But in one of life’s harsh realities, she had fallen victim to cancer 17 months prior.  Odis’ account of finding this precious memento struck a cord in many, including myself.   I’ve never met Odis, but by sharing this moment in his life with us, we couldn’t help but draw a little close to him, our friends, and our own families.

Got me to thinking about BBQ again and why we do this.  The question comes up often.  I’ll go to my grave believing in deepest of my heart that it’s about sharing.  Sharing our talents and our passion for this truly American Cuisine.  Whether its cooking for a bunch of soldiers returning from their duty and their families or if its raising money for a cause, whatever that cause may be, to feeding hungry volunteers of clean up efforts, to pitching in to feed refugees, a word that’s not supposed to be used when referring to our fellow American citizens, from a string of nasty hurricanes.  Across to board, we’re a generous folk.  With our time, our advice, our opinions, our monies, our talents.  We share.

The BBQ crowd is a diverse one.  We are urban dwellers, farmers, wealthy folks, folks barely making ends meet, outgoing charismatic types to quiet introverts, polished to burly, but we all have that common bond…a passion for BBQ…which ultimately translates to a desire to share.  Maybe that’s why we feel so comfortable with each other at competitions.  But its not just at competitions, it’s where ever the smokers are out, its where ever people have gathered for some Q.  We BBQers haven’t cornered the market on generosity, other folks who have never cooked anything resembling BBQ have demonstrated unbelievable generosity, but there is definitely a common bond between us.  A bond of understanding of how to go about being “good people”. 

So many of us silently step out to help others, not for recognition, not for accolades, not for anything other than we know what’s right.  How many times have you given a slab of ribs or a plate of pork to a neighbor who was have a rough go of it?  Sure it’s kind of a Mayberry type gesture, but what’s wrong with a little of that wholesomeness?  We like helping folks, we live to share, and the only thing we really crave in the end is to be able to do it again, and maybe a simple little “thanks”.  Nobody is craving awards, we don’t seek out toasts and glasses raised in our honor.  We’re a proud folk, we like to boast…about our BBQ…not our actions.  They speak for themselves. 

So Odis, Thanks.  I think, no I know, you understand how much goes into that one little word! 

Joey Mac