Imagine a BBQ shack

Close your eyes. Imagine a barbeque shack.

Faded red paint on hand-hewn timbers. Mesquite smoke curled in pine boughs.

A man is chopping wood. Flames blaze next to him from a charred iron vessel, it once belonged on a submarine.

A bell rings and woman comes out the door of the shack.

She grasps a jar, she dips her finger into it. When she pulls it out, it’s orange, dripping dark and rusted liquid, like a puddle of autumn.

The man walks over to her, she extends her finger and he licks it.

“Good enough to dip a donkey in!”, he exclaims.

A 1929 Model A pickup truck parks in front. Leroy steps out and gives the man a handshake.

“Got some bad news, Johnny. The pigs came down with a fever, they ain’t fit for consumption.”

Johnny’s brow became furrowed. “We open tomorrow Leroy.”

“I know. I have been asking around, and I think we found you something else you can barbeque. Ned is growing it in abundance this year.”

“Ned grows vegetables.”

“Yup. He’s got some gourds for you. I bet if you smoke em up and slather them with Henrietta’s sauce they will taste better than any old pork rib.”

“Barbeque Gourds?”

And that is how it all started over ninety years ago. It is hard to believe since now there are over eight hundred thousand Donkey Gourd restaurants nationwide.