Many of you who read the forum may recognize Rub’s name because he maintains a great website with photos of so many teams’ banners, but this week’s profile gives a little more info on Rob Bagby, who also works with students and kicks some butt on the circuit down in Florida and elsewhere.

Name?
Rob “Rub” Bagby

Where From and/or where do you currently live?
Born and raised in central Florida, currently live in Winter Haven for the past 27 years except for 4 years at UF.

Married, kids, etc…?
I’ve been happily married for 9 years, and have a 15 year old (step) daughter who I’ve been with since she was 2, and a 6 year old daughter.

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc please
mention)?
I am in my 17th year as a special education teacher, working with 6th – 12th grade mentally, emotionally, and physically handicapped kids. I also cater on occasion, and vend most every chance I get at contests and local festivals. I do the vending in order to be able to pay for the competitions. My barbecue hobby has to be self-sustaining. If I don’t make the money vending, I don’t compete.

# of pits and what are they?
I have a WSM, which was my first pit, a reverse flow 24×50 stick burner, and a Stump’s Smoker CB 234. All three get a lot of use.

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles?
I have made 2 reverse flow stick burners. The first was a 10’x39″ giant that we built at my school to use for bbq fundraisers. I raised the money to build it by taking orders for pulled pork and smoked chickens from the staff once a week. I’d cook it up on my WSM, and all of the money earned would go towards materials for the pit. I liked that big one so much that I built a second, smaller one to use myself for competing. There are pictures of each in the Image Gallery.

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved?
I didn’t start barbecuing until I was 17. We would get a bunch of pork butts, season them up with salt, pepper, and whatever else was in the cabinet, wrap them in foil, and cook them over a bed of oak coals in a brick pit. Thinking back, I guess they didn’t get much smoke, but they did cook slowly. We’d also roast a box of corn, tap a keg, and invite over a bunch of friends. These became known as “Rob’s Backyard BBQs”, and we’d do about 2 a year.

Favorite thing about bbqing?
There’s a lot I like about barbecuing. I love being outside. I love the smell of the smoke, especially after about 5 hours when the juices start to sizzle. I love the camaraderie, friendships and atmosphere that you get at cookoffs. I part I love the best is the feedback I get. Having someone come back and compliment my food or getting my name called at a contest is a great feeling.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)?
A friend of mine from a cigar bulletin board told me about this forum, and I started checking it out in December of ’02. Back then I would not post often, and when I did it was under the name “UFreak”.

What was your first pit?
My first pit as an adult was a WSM.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)?
My mom taught me a lot about cooking growing up, but the first thing I remember cooking on my own was little freshwater clams. We’d go down to the lake, dig up a bucketful, boil them to open, scoop out the meat and pan fry in some butter. We thought we were living like kings.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc?
I like to use pecan and oak for my wood, and I use Kingsford mostly because it’s easy to get and it’s cheap. As far as rubs and sauces go, when I’m cooking for the public I mostly use Byron’s Butt Rub and KC Masterpiece sauce.

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name,
etc….)?
That would have to be the first time I competed on my own. I had been a part of The Dixie Boys BBQ Team for about a year helping out where I could, and picking their collective barbecue brains. I had gathered a bunch of great information and was anxious to see what I could do on my own. The Lakeland Pig Fest had a Backyard category, so I decided to give it a try on my own as the “Swamp Boys”. I cooked on my homemade stick burner and ended up getting a 1st, two 5ths, and a 12th, which was good enough to win GC out of 42 teams. It was my first and last time I would enter the backyard division. I’m still working on winning my first GC as a “pro”.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when why?
No.

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, etc…whatever you
want to include.
Music – southern rock, some bluegrass, some Zydeco.
Books – I liked all of the books by John D. MacDonald, and more recently I enjoyed reading Angels and Demons, and The DaVinci Code.
I’m not much in to movies. About the only thing I watch on TV is college and pro football.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often
when not eating bbq)?
Everything seafood, especially raw oysters, clams, crabs, and lobster. It’s hard to beat a good homemade fresh grouper sandwich too.

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food?
Budweiser Select

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)?
I used to get a real kick out of the replies written by Stumpbaby, who “comes from a long line of circus folk”. Don’t see much from him any more.

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)?
No specific one, but for a while there were a ton of judging threads that seemed to over-analyze and argue the obvious to death. Those became tiring.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?
Yes, www.SwampBoys.com is my website. I started it probably around January of ’04 as a way to try to drum up some business, and also to chronicle the contests I’ve entered. I also collect bbq team banner pictures from people who post on the various bbq bulletin boards, and I’ve devoted some space to displaying them with their team’s information. I get a kick out of some of the names and artwork that they use.