By, Jim Knepper
As flattered as I was to have even a small mention in the ‘Texas Monthly’ weekly update about my post yesterday regarding competition among BBQ people here in Central PA, I thought I should toss out there that Blogging is not really my ‘thing’! I don’t, by any means, consider myself a professional blogger, nor even really competent at it. This is most evident in the fact that last year, I had less than 40 posts here. Apparently, it is also evident by my usage of all caps and quotation marks!
I say this not just because the brief mention I got from TM for praising the way Texas (specifically Austin) has methodically grown and supported the market for awesome BBQ also pointed out my use of said grammar and emphasis…but because during my brief and tortuous experience on ‘Reddit’, I got hammered for it. In addition to the fact that when I really want to emphasize something, I tend to use three exclamation points following it.
It was kind of a New Year’s commitment from me to spend a bit more time typing down my thoughts here for all to read and consider and to perhaps spark some dialogue that helps to make me a better Pitmaster, Business Owner and proponent of all things BBQ. That said, it means that I’ve already had more Blog entries this month than during all of January last year and hopefully they are at least entertaining to my readers.
I appreciate that anyone would take a few moments out of their day to read my words here and perhaps even share them with others and apologize if my editorial style doesn’t conform to the norms of the Blogging world. I hope that you can forgive me for my journalistic inadequacies and want you to know that as this year progresses…just like when I am in front of my Pits, I’ll do my best to get better every time.
I am pleased to see that there was much interest in the subject of my Post yesterday which was how the local BBQ marketplace might re-consider its current path and improve the marketplace for all of us who try hard to make great ‘Que. I also got to thinking that the successful model of building a market and filling it with incredible product isn’t limited to just Texas. All across this country there are pockets of folks who are working together to build and promote a ‘BBQ Culture’ and while doing so are prospering from their efforts. Another great example are the fine folks in the Illinois BBQ Alliance who not only do much for BBQ in their region, but are an incredibly responsible group of folks! Additionally, because of the great work that they are doing, they’ve been able to support local, regional and national charities such as Operation BBQ Relief, of which we are proud to be Founding Members that have been ‘on board’ since that parking lot in Joplin.
In wrapping up this post, I again promise to do my best to limit my use of caps, quotes and exclamation points! (I should know better…I grew up in a ‘Newspaper Family’) I will continue to advocate for cooperation and mutual respect over vicious attacks on the ‘competition’ because I truly believe it to be a better path. Finally, I would encourage all of my fellow BBQ enthusiasts, purveyors and competitors to get involved with some charity that benefits others. Operation BBQ Relief, No Kid Hungry, the Salvation Army or your local Food Bank…no matter the cause, BBQ is not just about great food…it’s about Community!
Thanks again for reading along…I appreciate you all! Thanks too TM…I get it and appreciate the constructive critique! 😀 – jak