It took a one-ton diesel truck and one tenacious David Berry to drag Leroi from Conroe to College Station, Texas, where the professors of the Texas A&M Meat Sciences Department gave Jack’s new beloved 13,500-pound steel off-set smoker their official brisket blessing.

“It was so great that you came down and took Beef 101 and you came to our Barbecue Summer Camp,” said Dr. Jeff Savell to Jack, who was grinning from ear-to-ear for bringing his new love to his alma mater, like bringing a fiancee home to meet Mom and Dad for the first time.It’s so great that you’re taking something so special from Texas to the Pacific NW. You have this passion – not just to feed yourself – but to feed people out there. It’s like spreadin’ the word of a missionary.”

“Thanks! Thanks!” Jack effused.

“It’s so great that you brought by today this new wonderful apparatus. It will do good – but it will do good because it’s in your hands and that’s what will make it magic. If it was just even cooking in a trash can, you’d be able to make it work,” continued Savell. “It’s so fun that you’ll be feeding people in the Seattle area and they’ll come to know the work of the Texas Barbecue.”

“Thank you guys. Barbecue Summer Camp changed my life, literally,” said Jack. “I can’t thank you enough.”  

I mean, people were tearing up over a beautiful, beastly drum of steel. I was too. You couldn’t not.

“On behalf of Texas A&M University and the barbecue geniuses here – Ray Reilly and Davey Griffin and me and all the students and grad students … we wish you nothing but the best and we hope every brisket turns out and that you’ll always have wonderful weather and it never rains on you.”

Jack’s BBQ a success? I’m a believer.

Never raining on him? Not gonna hold my breath.

Pictured above: Ray Reilly, Davey Griffin, Jack, Jeff Savell, pictures 1 and 4 by Robert J. Lerma, pictures 2 and 3 by Mike Klozar.

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