Sunday, July 13, 2008

KCBS Judging School

I think I lost about a year after my first Demopolis contest. I kept getting the BBQ News paper, cooking at home, we went to the Decatur contest, the Jack, and Demopolis again, getting to know all of the a fore mentioned characters better. I had signed up for a KCBS judging school to be held in Huntsville Al. and taught by Ronnie Harwell.

What a great experience it was. Dr. Harwell does an excellent job of teaching the class and is an outstanding ambassador for KCBS. He told me about the BBQ Forum and I have been a regular ever since. As I remember Bobbie and Lee McWright, Blindog, Mark Delashaw,and Randy and Carol Bigler were involved. Mickey Williams, Bill Boggs were fellow students. I knew these were my kind of folks. As of March 16, 2002 I was a KCBS member and Certified Judge . Mickey and I were in a race to see who could make master judge first. He would beat me by a considerable amount, none the less, By July 30, 2004 at Lebanon I would get my Master Judge certificate. My 30th contest would actually be Winchester 2004 which was also my first contest to judge in 2002.

Now I was a rookie KCBS judge in search of a contest and Winchester was in my sights.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Demopolis Al

This was back when Demopolis was an MIM event. Demopolis in December is generally wet, cold or both. Here I continued my visit with Joe and Carlene of The National BBQ news. I subscribed to the paper and bought a book by Ric Browne. I also met BBQ luminaries Ron Harwell, David Roper and Rocky Danner. Great guys that greatly accelerated my BBQ education. For years, I thought it was a law that at least two of them had to be at any contest held.

More of how going to the Jack & meeting the Phelps changed my life.

Joe and Carlene were so nice to me. They told me about how they had ran a community news paper for many years, retired, got into competition BBQ, realized the need for a BBQ news paper and started the National BBQ News. Joe told me this great story about how they had bought an expensive off-set smoker, had a nice motor home, were set up at this contest, feeling smug and confident when this poor little guy showed up in a rusted out Pinto station wagon, drug out three Weber's and proceeded to kick their ass. This story would resonate with me in our future endeavors. They told me about an MIM competition in Demopolis coming up in December that I should go to. They also told me I should become a BBQ judge as a good way to get involved. Great advise to anyone wanting to get started.

Also at the Jack that year I met Robert Worsley and Bad Byron Chism of the world famous ButtRub Team. We bought some rub and stuff they were selling. Robert was very nice and Byron probably said something like "go away kid , you bother me". Seriously, both of those guys have gone on to become great friends.

Now I had been a backyard terror for many years, wearing out several ECBs, but I knew I had stepped into another dimension and couldn't wait for the next step.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Jack!

The first contest I ever attended was the Jack. I was completely blown away. The smokers, the rigs, the teams were too much to absorb. I boldly went up to various teams and began asking questions. Little did I realize I was interfering with with the most important event in the world for these teams. It is truly a wonder that no one punched me out. Actually everyone was pretty decent to me. Then I spotted the BBQ News motor home. I went over and picked up a complimentary copy of the BBQ News. This is so cool I thought, BBQ has it's own newspaper. Soon I would meet the proprietors of the paper, Joe and Carlene Phelps, two of the nicest people in the world. They could could see how fired up I was and invited me into their motor home. There they told me all bout the world of competitive BBQ.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

In the Beginning.....

Several years ago, maybe eight or nine, my brother-in-law invited us to go to the Jack Daniels invitational world championship BBQ contest. I quickly thought this involves BBQ and whiskey, sure I'll go. This decision would forever alter my life in a very positive manner. In this blog I will attempt to tell our story of how the crazy world of competition BBQ has became our hobby, passion and community.