Branding. I used to write a column for a trade paper and the title of the column was Around the Section. I’m originally from rural Western Nebraska (some would suggest that is a redundancy…and it is). As such it was quite common to drive the country roads and find a couple of pickups parked at the corner of a section and the farmers leaning against them solving the problems of the village, county, state, country or world. None of those problems ever got resolved because of these conversations but it gave the guys something to do between chores…planting, harvesting, feeding or caring for the livestock or whatever else they needed to do to get out of the house and away from the missus.
So when Michelle presented me with the opportunity to write a column I sorta leaped at it but Around the Section had already been used so I needed to come up with a new one. A guy I used to compete against in the title business came up with the name Tidal (or Title) Wave Dave and that became his tag line. In a vain attempt to counter it I came up with Tsunami Tommy. I thought it was kinda catchy but it never caught on and Dave was pretty much the only one that called me that.
Recently I was driving to another bbq contest and kicking this recently-proposed idea of writing a new column around in my head and, although Around the Section has been used, the concept is the same…standing on the corner shooting the breeze about whatever comes to mind. Out of nowhere (actually it was somewhere on the road between Walsenburg and Alamosa) I came up with the name Uncle Tom’s Corner. If we manage to resolve anything that would be a plus but just eking out a laugh or two…that would be just fine as well. Plus I can add “Published Journalist” to my resume. A word of warning…I AM the greatest fan of my own wit and firmly believe I have come up with some original and hysterically funny stuff. Gratefully I won’t be able to see the occasional eye roll.
To bring this full circle I wrote a tailgating and all-purpose cookbook (that has yet to be published and made available for sale) and if it ever does actually go to print it’ll be Uncle Tom’s All-Purpose and Tailgating Cookbook. It’s funny and, believe it or don’t, contains some pretty darned good recipes. I do some cooking for back yard parties or whatever function someone would like and bill that out as Uncle
Tom’s. I’ve cooked for up to 400 people…and have yet to make any of ’em sick so I consider that a bonus. And I make an “all-purpose seasoning and barbecue meat rub” that is pretty darned good if I dare say so myself…and I do…and so do quite a few other people. The name of the rub, not coincidentally, is “Uncle Tom’s”. So there ya go…Uncle Tom’s. The brand. I hope never to have my own line of underwear, lingerie, cookware or fragrances. The rub, maybe the cookbook and cooking. That’s plenty.
On that note I hope to see you back at “the corner” in the near future so we can continue this conversation.

Tom Sandquist