Georgiana, Alabama—Kendall’s Barbecue joint is not just a barbecue joint. Inside this tin-roofed place is God’s own kitchen. The pulled pork here is nothing short of Biblical.
And today I need a little pork. I’m on my way to a memorial service.
I pull over for lunch. Large pulled pork. Extra pickles. I’m eating in my truck with windows down.
It’s hot outside.
A young couple in a Taurus pulls in. Dirt on the fenders. The boy is tall and skinny. His pants are too big. She’s pregnant.
There are three kids with them—all redheads. God help those children.
The young man is covered in sweat and dust.
They get their bag of food and head toward the car. He helps kids into carseats. He kisses each on the forehead.
The woman says to him, “Hurry, come quick! Feel him kick!”
He comes to her. He presses an ear to her swollen belly. His face lights up. He kisses her.
Then, they share a look.
After they leave, an older man orders at the counter. He has white hair, overalls, sweat spots on his shirt.
When he gets his paper bag, he takes it and walks to his truck. There is a dog in his vehicle.
While the man eats in his driver’s seat, I see him through his window. His mouth is moving, and he’s smiling.
I’ll be dog if he isn’t talking to that pup.
When he finishes, he stuffs a tobacco pipe with his thumb, cracks the window, and lights it. The dog gives the man a lick on the cheek. This makes the man smile.
Which makes me smile.
Next: a heavyset man orders food. He has broad shoulders and thick arms. He is with an elderly woman who uses a cane.
He orders. She sits in the shade.
“Mama,” he says to her. “You want tea?”
He helps her to a…