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Hog Wild

So, I made it to beautiful Mobile Alabama and am so fortunate to have the most amazing hosts in Carl and Carol. Carl had been organizing the Hog Wild Festival in Mobile for the last ELEVEN years. He has won awards and been on the food network and he knows EVERYTHING about setting up BBQ. He has a wonderful team making sure everything is going smoothly and that is good because only this past Sunday (today is Thursday) he had a stint put in his heart! But that is not slowing him down. He is so dedicated to making sure this is first class event.

The first day here Carl and Carol drove me around the area showing me some beautiful spots. This is really an amazing city and so much history in the area. Lucky for me Carl is a history buff!!! We went to Gulf Shore (I think that’s what it’s called) to the beaches… Wow the sand here is perhaps the best I have ever sunk my toes into! We went to Floramaba  which is a bar, yep you guessed it, that sits on the border of Florida and Alabama and it was when there were restrictions on alcohol in Alabama people could just step over the line into Florida and order drinks. It’s an icon! We also went to Florida to meet Wayne and Maria and Bill and Debby at Flounders and had a great time with them. When they say people in the south are friendly, they are telling the truth!

So now, back to BBQ… yesterday I watched the team do all the preliminary set up… plotting the spots on the grounds where the teams go. I got to spray paint numbers!!! I think that makes me pretty important… however I did feel a bit foolish when I kept wanting to print 9′s instead of p’s… damn dyslexic brain! But I got it figured out and they forgave me! They work so hard at accommodating each of the teams… trying to give them their favourite spots and get them next to the people they want to be close to and away from the teams they want to be away from (I don’t think there was much of that but if there was.. this team would make it happen)

A couple of teams showed up. I got to meet Butt Rub… yep that’s his name.. well his name is Byron but his company name is Butt Rub! And in case you didn’t know a little butt rub makes everything better! He is a one man team with a huge trailer and the back opens up as storage for his BBQ. Apparently he is a top notch bbq champ… competing, some years, in up to  40 events… he is a mad man!!! He also has his own Butt Rub… rub! He was generous enough to give me a jar of it AND a butt rub apron… I am serious… these people are so nice! He is even entertaining the thought of coming to our event to compete… his calendar is clear and he will be back from Holland (yes they have a competition there too) and back from England (that one is in June)… so with a little luck our little ol’ city of Nanaimo may get some Butt Rub of it’s own!!!

Then we went out for dinner and met former presidential candidate Herman Cain and judicial candidate Eaton Barnard and a bunch of Carl and Carol’s friends. It was a really nice evening… even if  Dan the surgeon doesn’t like our health care system!! We agreed to disagree!!!

The agenda for today… I am going to get to go to the Mardi Gras Museum (did you know that Mardi Gras began in Mobile Alabama?) and then return to the grounds to help where ever I can and the tonite is the big meet and greet, silent auction, seafood dinner and music party… I am looking forward to meeting so many people although how I am going to keep names straight is beyond me!!! I am willing to give it a go though!

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