My ultimate conclusion was there was no one manipulating me to this decision. I was my own man making my own choice.
So I celebrated this conclusion by gobbling down three very greasy hamburgers I quickly purchased from three different fast food restaurants.
I remember the animal fat flooding my stomach. I actually began to get a "meat buzz." I felt like I was floating on a cloud. It was an amazing feeling.
So, to make a short story long, this was how I kind of felt when sampling ribs, chili, chicken and brisket during the recent "Smoking For H.O.P.E." barbecue cooking competition.
This audience-pleasing event, held Oct. 19, stuffed tummies and raised money for a very good cause. Nearly $3,000 went to benefit the Raymond & Eloise Teague Center of H.O.P.E., 595 S. Ragsdale.
(H.O.P.E., incidentally, serves as a clearing house for churches and charitable agencies in Cherokee County.)
District 2 City Councilman Jeff Smith – founder and creator of this event – walked away the Grand Champion of the entire affair, winning first place in brisket, chili and dessert, second place in dessert and third in ribs.
Amber Haynes was the Reserve Grand Champion, having won first place in beans, second in chili, third in chicken, and second in brisket.
Participants paid either an advance entry fee of $65 ($75 at the gate) and had the option of cooking brisket, chicken, ribs, chili, beans or dessert. There also was a $15 charge to stay at the Lake Jacksonville Campgrounds during the competition.
I was invited to judge the event along with Tim Campbell, city code enforcement officer, Diana K. Smith, a Twin Oaks Nursing Home employee, truck driver David Walley, and Blake Belyeu. a Luminant power plant employee.
I always enjoy the company of Tim Campbell, who you'll recall is the brother of Earl "The Tyler Rose" Campbell. Tim is also a former football player and I get a kick out of watching passersby slowly start to recognize him as the day goes on.