Thanks for coming back to Uncle Tom’s Corner.
The intent is to entertain by telling of my travels…mostly on the competitive bbq circuit.
Last time I told you about branding. In this episode I’d like to offer an explanation…not an excuse or apology…just an explanation whether one is needed or not. Whereas I can certainly understand where and why some circles consider the phrase “Uncle Tom” to be demeaning or an outright insult that certainly is not my intention, nor is it meant to trivialize the writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe. I recently cooked the meat for a large group and sometime during the serving the process the manager of the kitchen approached me and asked if I had any business cards…that one of the guests wanted to talk to me about cooking for her family reunion. I told her I didn’t have any on me but I had some in my pickup. When things slowed down I left the kitchen to get some business cards and as I neared the entrance to the building I was approached by an African-American woman. She said “I want to talk to you about cooking for my family reunion this summer. As I handed her the card I told her “Let’s talk about the card. My name is Tom and I’m an uncle. There is no back story…there is no hidden agenda.” We sat down in the reception area of the facility and talked about her upcoming picnic. As it turns out I had an out-of-town commitment on the weekend of her gathering and, unfortunately, had to decline. I would have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity. So, in short and to reiterate, my name is Tom and I have been an uncle for over 60 years beginning with the birth of my oldest nephew. I have been referred to as Uncle Tom by a wide variety of people including but not limited to my many nieces and nephews. And I have always considered it a term of endearment…not derision. Now that I have offered that explanation I would hope that any issues, should they exist, surrounding the title have been resolved and that you’ll come back to the Corner in a couple of days to see what the title entails.