Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lynn and Dot Bruce

I've been to Charleston Mo. four times in my life. It's not a destination town or a place you pass through on the way to somewhere else.  Each trip was directly attributable to my friendship with Lynn and Dot Bruce. Dot was raised in small-town Charleston society, and was devoted to her Philanthropic causes . Lynn was a farm boy from east Tennessee and a former Airborne Ranger. Although it might appear to be an odd pairing, they sure seemed to make it work. When they decided to become KCBS BBQ judges , they didn't just slip quietly into the world of competition BBQ, they attacked it with passion! They traveled extensively to judge contests all over, and our paths  began to cross and great friendship began.

Soon Lynn and Dot were planning to have a KCBS contest in Charleston and everyone must come.That's right, they invited you again and a again, then they just told you that you were coming. It was very hard to say no to them. Their event would be a cookers and judges event. It wasn't about the community , the public, fundraising, music or arts and crafts. It was about having their friends come to their home and have a contest. It would be held at The Boom Town RV park, plenty of water and power, decent money, nice trophies, solid dependable Reps, great teams and  experienced judges ( most or which came from along way away) and outstanding hospitality. The contests were a reflection of the Bruce's personality, direct, to the point, no pretense no fluff, but a lot of fun. There would be three of them 2004, 05 and 06. I judged the first one, by 2005 we had started our team and cooked the second one, then Nancy, Trent and I judged the last one. The number of teams they had at each event was truly amazing, I believe it was 45 teams the first year, 50 something the second yeat and 68 the last year. Also, consider at least one event was on Easter weekend and that many of these teams came from 300 plus miles away. I don't have a lot of sympthy for organizers that complain that they can't get people to come to their event unless I think they worked as hard as Lynn and Dot did.

One of my most pleasant memories in BBQ will always be sitting on the back veranda of Lynn and Dot's beautiful victorian home on Sunday morning after the contest drinking coffe with Dot, Lynn and the Barron of BBQ, Paul Kirk. Good times....

1 comment:

Billy Carroll said...

Thanks for sharing your memories with us Ron.