Greetings from Uncle Tom’s Corner.

Ya know, with any luck it won’t be long and we may not be able to meet on the corner…we’ll be up to our respective keisters (with apologies to Grail) in snow. I certainly don’t like the cold any more that most but apparently the water issue is either getting or has been critical and is just now coming to light. If an abundant snowfall will solve the issue I’m all for a little sacrifice.

As I mentioned in the last article the whole competitive barbecue season is rapidly drawing to a close. There’s Westminster (details in the last blog) and a Veteran’s Day contest in Millican and that’s it for 2018. In some ways it went too fast and in others just about right. Just when you think you can’t gag down another rib it’s over and some of the internal organs have time to re-adjust before the next siege.

On a similar note, here is a Public Service Announcement! Friday, October 5th, is unofficially Rocky Mountain Oyster Day as designated by one of the writers of the Denver Post. It’s too late to plan your vacation around these events this year but in the motto of the Boy Scouts of America “Be prepared”or, as we Cornhusker fans have learned to say “Maybe next year” but that’s another story for another time. Several states host “Testicle Festivals” often in conjunction with barbecue contests. The ones I’m aware of include Arizona, Kansas, Montana and probably a few more. Or, if you prefer something more local there’s the Buckhorn Exchange in Denver and a fan favorite…Bruce’s Bar in Severance. October 5th. Circle it on the calendar.

One of the reasons I’ve stuck with this whole judging thing is that somebody decided…and named…bbq to be a sport. I’m not kidding. BBQ is a sport. It ranks right up there with curling. Little chance of getting a concussion (repercussion, maybe…concussion, not so much) or pulling a hammie. Might strain a muscle trying to tighten the belt (literally…not economically) but incurring actual injury is a real stretch. And another reason is that I’ve been told I have the profile for it. I’m sure they meant ethically or psychologically.

The next big thing (to me) is the Air Force-Navy game at the Air Force Academy. The former brother-in-law of one of my close friends organizes a group to attend the inter-academy games at the Air Force Academy.  This year the group has grown to 60+. I called an old Navy buddy from Iowa and we’re going to the Springs. Whereas I might like to think a couple of old sea dogs might rock the stadium a more realistic view might be compared to a pair of whimpering puppies.

With the competitions drawing to an end I’ll be turning my attention to cooking. I cooked a whole hog a couple of years ago for a friend’s Christmas gathering. We put a hat and sunglasses on it, stuck a cigar in its mouth (I know smoking isn’t good for you but at that point it had been smoking for about 18 hours straight so I figured what can another 30 minutes hurt?), took it in the house so everyone could ooh and aah, pose with it and then retired it to the garage to prep it for consumption. The downside was that a mini-mob gathered around, adult beverages in hand, and began cannibalizing the carcass before we could get it In the house for the masses. When we finally left a few hours later the more hardy were still in the garage. The pig was pretty much gone by that time but adult beverages were still in abundance so…

Speaking of garages, my most recent judging experience was in Casper, Wy and it took place at the Yellowstone Garage. What was interesting was the owner purchased an old car dealership in Casper. I think he said they once sold Hudsons and Packards at this place. Anyway, he turned it into a sports bar/casual dining facility with all kinds of old automobile and oil company memorabilia. Fascinating for a car buff.

On that note, apparently that’s all I’ve got for this go-round. Ya’ll take care and I’ll see you at the Corner. There’s probably more we need to jaw about.

Uncle Tom