Barbequing: St. Louis Style

Okay, I usually distance myself from politics.  Everyone has an opinion and that can be good.  I try to voice my thoughts in my writing.

That is what I’m doing now.

Just who in the h e double l does the EPA think it is wanting to regulate backyard Q’s in St. Louis, Missouri?

Car exhaust is one thing but a barbeque fire is totally another.

pork steaks barbequeCooking a pork steak over a slow fire of briquettes can be close to a religious experience.

Picture this:  It’s a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  It’s a cool, sunny day…maybe a few wispy clouds floating gently past.  The coals in the pit are white but the grill is cool.  Ever so slowly the meat cooks as the smoke exits through the chimney.

Budweiser BeerYou sit in a lounge chair, sipping a beer while listening to your favorite baseball team.

Your neighbor asks, “What’s the score?”

You toss him a cold, frosty Bud and say, “Six to three in the bottom of the seventh, us.”

Getting out of your chair, you slide the lid back and check everything.  The coals look good and it is time to turn the meat and open another beer, when you realize they just pulled the starter for a new “Lefty Reliever.”

Maull's Barbeque SauceYour wife, boyfriend, or whoever, brings you a pan full of “Maull’s” Bar-B-Que sauce.


Coca ColaTaking a can of Coke from the cooler, you pour the contents into the sauce and place it on the grill to heat up.

Twenty minutes later, the pork steaks are ready to simmer in the sauce while all the neighbors wished that they were friendlier to you.  They know they could just light their grill but the food never is as good.

By the time the game is over (and the Cardinals win) you and your partner sit at the patio having a dinner that cannot be bought at any Bar-B-Que joint.

Pork Steaks with Maull's Barbeque Sauce

Hey, EPA, are you hungry yet??

If not I can keep going.

Anheuser Busch St. Louis MissouriSt. Louis is heaped in heritage and backyard BBQ’s are one of them, along with baseball and beer.

You guys at the EPA need to get into your backyard, and get a life.  Have a couple of cold frosty ones, talk to your neighbors over the fence and eat a pork steak, or a burger and hot dogs.

Above all, RELAX.  That is what eating BBQ is all about.

I rest my case…


The Library

Rachel Reading a Book

Kindergarten graduation

Years ago when my son was moving from kindergarten to the first grade there was a summer reading program.  The program covered all students in St. Louis, Missouri.  If a student read five books over the summer, the reader received a certificate for an ice cream cone from the St. Louis Public Library.  The fast food chain, McDonald’s, sponsored the program.

That summer my son, Pat, was six years of age.  Even at six his bright mind was quick and always looking to find the things that would benefit him.  Simply reading five books to acquire an ice cream cone was easy.  Pat had been in tow with me for years going to the local branch library.  That year on summer vacation my son attained his first library card.

My daughter, Rachel, was two years old and she, too, wanted free ice cream cones.  So while Pat was looking for books, I told Rachel she could get books on my card.  She had also learned to count.  Five books was a number for her to count.

Once, sometimes twice per week, the three of us were at the library returning books and getting another certificate.

Rachel would sit on my lap and we read each book together.  She learned her alphabet and was sounding out words over that summer.

While at the library returning books, Rachel asked in her soft, sweet voice, “Daddy, when can I get my own “libraby” card?”

The ladies working at the library heard her question and told her she had to sign her name.  That was all that was needed.

Those two bright, brown eyes looked to me for the answer.  I asked the younger of the two ladies for a sheet of paper, then we sat at a table.  Starting with large block letters, we reduced the size each time until she wrote the letters.  Pat stopped looking for new books to read and was cheering Rachel on.  Soon I noticed the crowd of adults and other children watching.

Finally Rachel signed her name twice, the same size, to go on the back of the “libraby” card.

It was time.

I filled out the card, the one that told the librarians where the book that was not returned was located.

Rachel took the pen from the librarian and signed her name in the block letters.  When she finished, it seemed Rachel had drawn a crowd –  everyone applauded her!

My daughter was not just happy but proud of herself.

Now she was able to earn her ice cream cones on her own and Pat was every bit as proud of her.

A few decades later, Pat is Director of Informational Technology for a school district.  He is currently working on his PhD and Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree as a Geological Engineer.  All from reading at a local branch library.

One other thing, I have always been proud of both!

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved.