Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday "Shotgun Shorty"!

Jack S. Rife, Jr. celebrated his 90th birthday on July 14th, 2008. Jack (AKA Shotgun Shorty) is my Grandfather and who taught me how to BBQ. Grampo gets his nickname from the old days when he carried several wepons including a shotgun hanging on the gun rack in his pickup truck. He is an avid hunter and expert marksman who is always ready to squeeze one off! While only 5'6" he was a giant to me. He reminds me of John Wayne or Audie Murphy. A honest hard working Texan who served in WWII. While serving in Germany Jack was awarded several medals & awards. A subject I will cover in a future post.

I have been asked "why I love to BBQ so much"? the answer is simple. Some of my fondest memories of Texas & growing up were on any given Friday or Saturday when Grampo would fire the pit up and cook something. Most times it was brisket or cabrito. Sometimes it was a Havelena or deer he shot while hunting. Everyone seemed to congrigate at "Uncle Jack's". Friends, family, hell even people we didn't know would stop by. Grampo always had a cold beer to share. Later her would bitch about the moochers but I know he enjoyed them stopping by. My job was to keep to wood burning, place coals in the pit, check the meat, and get him a cold Budweiser! So my answer to "why I love to BBQ so much" is everytime I fire up the pit I get to re-live those memories. If you don't understand that you never will understand BBQ. You see it's not the rub, injection, or cut of meat. Its not what kind of pit you have or wood you use. Its the concept of family, friends, & tradition that makes good BBQ. I have been fortunate to learn from one of the best. No, Shotgun has never won a BBQ competition but he has won my love & repect and many many others.

So when you see me at competitions having a few beers and listening to old country music, don't think that I dont take the competition seriously. I'm just carring on the family tradition. I can't wait to hand over our first GC trophy to Shotgun Shorty. I love you Grampo.

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