Thursday, July 30, 1959   Vol. C735



East Farewell – The sun is hot, the wind is calm and the summer is in full swing. It must be time for the seventh annual Bar-b-Que Cookoff on the Lakefront Plaza. The Cookoff has been a very popular event and has brought in some renowned bar-b-que chefs from all over the region and lately from down south, the real home of bar-b-que. This year the weather was perfect for the smoky, hot and at times flaming grills. The morning was clear and warm but by 10:00 the Plaza was filled with smoke and people. This year there was an added “big” griller, one of the professional grillers that had either signed up or been invited. Along with all of last year’s “big” grillers Tom and Bonnie Sextan from Dunlap, Georgia where they run a very popular “Pit” as Bar-B-que restaurants are called down there. They were invited up by their cousin Tom’s older brother, James, who lives in town. The planning committee had to limit the “small grillers to 25, like last year, due to space limitations but those spaces were quickly snapped up by locals and some would be chefs from the area. While there is no strict definition for “big” grillers or “small” grillers the generally accepted definition goes something like a “big” griller has an entire setup that includes a very large grill or smoker or both all the associated equipment needed for the grill, a wood cart for stoking the fire that includes the chefs preferred wood and usually tables and chairs for the people that tend to hang around the chef during the cooking in hopes of snagging some tasty morsels. The “small” griller is usually a local resident, most likely a weekend griller that may even use charcoal. They may or may not have tables and generally do not have the following of the “big” griller.

            This year the Travelers baseball team stayed in town this year and many of them came to the Cookoff. Slugger Johnny Cloos, perfect game pitcher, Joe Nagy and second baseman, Artie Archibald were judges this year also on the judging stand was local chef and last year’s winner, Missy Waller. “ I was hoping to defend my crown but I found out I was pregnant and with all the work at the restaurant, taking care of my husband and looking after the pets I just couldn’t enter the Cookoff but I was very flattered that the committee asked me to judge,” she said with a big smile on her face.

            Out of town favorites, Big Davey from Fayetteville, North Carolina and Chuckie O from Hendersonville, Tennessee were greeted like family when the rolled onto the Plaza with their trailers. Folks in town helped them set up and were more than happy to help the grillers with whatever was needed. “For the last two years these guys have come all the up here and really joined in and became part of the whole town. They brought us some great food and were always laughing and just having fun with us. We love ‘em,” said Natalie Mallard, longtime resident and bar-b-que lover.

            Since the Travelers had to play in the evening, the game was scheduled to start at 7:05; the judging was pushed up to 5:00. This year many of the “small grillers tried some new dishes not normally associated with bar-b-que like duck and even venison. There were lots of ribs, brisket, chicken and both pork and beef chops. Some threw on burgers for the few that had no imagination. Big Davey did not cook a whole pig like last year he stuck with ribs and brisket. He said the whole pig was fun but it took too long for this short competition. “I was thinking about a pig again this year but it was just too much for me. I wanted to have fun with my friends up here, they are just great.”

            Johnny Cloos led off the judging and was followed by Joe Nagy and Artie Archibald. Missy Waller took the last seat but was the only judge that had any real experience in the cook-off. It didn’t take experience to enjoy the wonderful food presented by the grillers. All the judges ate heartily and savored each plate. In between each plate they were able to clean off their fingers and their palates with some fresh water. After all the contestants presented their plates the judges conferred and made their awards. Big Davey won first place for the “big” grillers with his famous fall off the bone ribs that are well known in Fayetteville and now well known here. The Sextans came in second with a very fine brisket. The “small” grillers saw local Jimmy Drake walk away with first place with his now locally famous ribs with his own special sauce. Interestingly, new entrant, Joey O’Shea, surprised everyone with very tasty bar-b-que venison. “Who would have thought you could even do that,” said Cloos afterwards, “I would have never thought of that but it was really quite good.”

            The Travelers left shortly after the judging but many people hung around well into the evening talking and eating. Big Davey did leave with the Travelers to go to the game. He left his crew in charge of breaking down and cleaning up. Being the boss has its perks.

Big Davey minds his grill



East Farewell – The well fed Travelers bounced back from last week’s loss to hand the Youngstown Steelers a sound thrashing, 9-3 on Saturday night. Perhaps it was the wonderful bar-b-que that several Travelers had earlier in the day or maybe it was the trouble Steelers pitcher, Josh Farrell had with his curveball, which didn’t. On the other hand Travelers pitcher, Joe Nagy was very sharp. His fastball was close to perfect and his curve looked like he had some bar-b-que sauce on it. He was able to get through the first six innings without letting up a hit. The Travelers started fast with three runs in the first. Francis led off with a single, Dunham moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt, Watson walked and Johnny Cloos came up still licking his fingers from the bar-b-que. He must have had a very good time because on Farrell’s second pitch he slammed a long fly to center that cleared the wall by ten feet. The Travelers went on to score one run in the next six innings. The Steelers were finally able to get two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth but that was too little too late. The Travelers also showed the defensive sharpness that had been lacking in the last few games. They were able to turn two double plays and joey Brown threw out two runners trying to steal.

            After the game Johnny Cloos was talking in the locker room and made a suggestion that they should have some of Big Davey’s ribs before each game. Manager Sam Fowler just smiled and shook his head. The Travelers stay at home next week and take on the Erie Eagles beginning at 1:30PM.



President Eisenhower announced that he and Soviet Premier Khrushchev will exchange official visits this fall with Khrushchev coming to the United States first. Vice President Nixon returned to Moscow after three days in Siberia and made a television speech to the Russian people. In an address to the Russian people over Soviet radio and TV, he challenged communism to stay within its own boundaries and to rid itself of the iron curtain and communicate freely over the rest of the world. NBC took steps to offer Soviet Premier Khrushchev equal time on its network after Vice President Nixon’s speech. He can record it in Moscow.

A quarter-million people turned out to cheer Vice President Richard Nixon in Warsaw. It’s the greatest reception he has ever received in visits to 60 nations during his career. He arrived there from a Moscow flight.

The Senate rackets committee charged in a stinging report that Teamster president James R. Hoffa will destroy the U.S. labor movement unless his power is checked.

Many, many thanks to www.mrpopculture.com for contributing to this section of The News.

Published by JD Carroll