A Few Friday Favorites – 06.01.12

– Wright Thompson is one of my favorite sportswriters. He’s so good, in fact, that I can’t read too much of his stuff at once or I start to think that I have absolutely no business writing a blog or a book or anything that involves arranging words into sentences. Lately, though, I’ve read a couple of his pieces that are so beautifully written that they beg to be shared: a behind-the-scenes look at the family life of LSU head coach Les Miles and a profile of Bear Bryant’s driver, Billy Varner, and his struggles to remember a boss that he knew and loved.

– A few weeks ago my friend Elise pinned an illustration on Pinterest that I just loved. So I ordered it.

Isn’t that so fun? The artist, Molly Mattin, has illustrations available for lots of different states. It just dawned on me that I should’ve ordered prints for Louisiana and Alabama, too – a grouping of the states where we’ve lived would be a neat way to document our little family’s history, you know?

– The South’s preoccupation with the best barbecue fascinates me. When I was growing up in Mississippi, folks talked about fried catfish way more than they talked about barbecue, but in Alabama, people have some strong opinions about their BBQ preferences. In the June issue of Southern Living, they’ve compiled a list of the South’s 20 best barbecue sandwiches, and now I officially want to go on a barbecue-tasting road trip (there’s also a list of the South’s best pitmasters, so I guess that’ll provide the stops for a second road trip, OH MY GOODNESS).

– I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but just in case I haven’t: John Mayer’s new CD, Born and Raised, is phenomenal. We’ve listened to it like crazy for the last couple of weeks, and it’s going to wind up being one of those albums that I associate with the summer of 2012. Gorgeous music with thoughtful lyrics – tough to beat.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Edited to add one more: Think Hard, Stay Humble: The Life of the Mind and the Peril of Pride – an excellent sermon by Francis Chan. So convicting.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. Be sure to stop at Ridgewood BBQ in Piney Flats, TN on your bbq road trip. It’s the very best. The end.

  2. I live in Philadelphia, and we don’t have barbecue places up here. I didn’t even know that restaurants that specifically served barbecue even existed until I went to Atlanta for a business trip last year. Blew my mind! And now I know what I’m missing! :(

    • Laura – over here in Jersey on Rt 40 going towards Ocean City there is an outside BBQ place called Uncle Dewey’s. (I think it’s in Mizpah after Buena Vista but before Mays Landing.) It’s yummo. (How can something called Uncle Dewey’s not be yummo, right?!) Best I can find in the area.

      See Sophie? You’re bringing people together through BBQ. That’s love right there.

  3. Love love love John Mayer and I do believe I will break down and get this CD. I still think of the summer of ’87 with “Boys of Summer” and the fabulous Will Smith, “Summertime!” :) Its time to update.

  4. I saw this graphic a few months back and was amazed that my hometown of Wiggins is actually on it!!! I was born in Starkville, lived in Wiggins, graduated from Long Beach, and went to college in Clinton!!! I love the idea of grouping the states (I married a LA boy and now live in GA).

    BBQ-after moving to GA I quickly discovered that I like my BBQ dry, not steeped. I’ve also realized that there is something about ordering MS Blue Catfish off a food truck that never leaves a girl!!!! Thanks for taking me back to my beloved home state!!!

  5. That article about Les? Wow, just wow. Thank you for sharing. Ughhh I can’t believe we still have a summer to survive before football season!

  6. Saw’s in Homewood is the absolute best BBQ – love it! I also love the fact that it is located just a few doors down from Dreamcakes :)

  7. I always enjoy your Friday Favorites… you dig up the BEST stuff!
    Will definitely be ordering that illustration of Alabama and checking out John’s new tunes. Happy Weekend!

  8. I love that print, but it hurts my heart to see that Ocean Springs is not on it – I guess I could get one, and just add it!

  9. I LOVE the states illustration and must have three of them. Thank you!

  10. This is a totally relevant comment, but I just came across this and thought you might appreciate it. This is the only way I could think to get this to you quickly: the Commissioning of the USS Mississippi!! ;-)

  11. *NOT a totally relevant comment

  12. A couple of things tickled me pink about this post! The article by Bear Bryant’s driver was just… wow! Also, growing up near Fort Lauderdale, Georgia Pig was staple in our diet. I’ve turned my husband on to that BBQ to such a degree that he starts plotting and planning when we can get our Georgia Pig visit in every time we go down. Ha!

    Tuscaloosa used to have a BBQ joint (it truly was) that literally served just ribs and a loaf of white Wonder bread. Dreamland ribs. I still dream about them…

  13. 3 little factoids in response to your fabulous blog post:

    I’ve lived in 6 different cities in Mississippi and only one of them is listed on that map, but I really do love it!

    I now live in the Mid-South, and don’t tell anybody, but I don’t really love barbecue like I feel a true Memphian should.

    I can’t wait to listen to that sermon… Love me some Francis Chan!

  14. Thanks so much for the Molly Mattin link! I just bought 2 :)

  15. I just visited the Mid-South on vacation from Central Missouri. I love barbecue and was excited to visit Neely’s in Memphis. I mean they have a TV show so it has to be good, right? Well I was pretty disappointed. The food was ok, nothing great, and the place was dirty and the booths and seats were all covered with peeling duct tape. I’m no snob – my favorite local joint gets temporarily shut down by the health department on a pretty regular basis but dang his barbecue is good! But if the place is a total dive the food needs to be great. Wish I had read Southern Living article a week or two ago!

  16. Kristy says:

    I LOVED this post!! I am a Texan by birth but my husband has been stationed in Columbus for several years now with the Air Force. God truly blessed us by sending us to Columbus, where we have made life long friends and been able to serve Him through a wonderful church. (This is an appropriate time for me to say “Gig’em” because Texas ATM is headed to the SEC!!!)

    I also loved your reference to the article in Southern Living….the only thing I read more than that magazine is my Bible and my Paula Deen cookbook!!!!! BBQ is different all over the south and I love it everywhere! GREAT post today!

  17. I am TOTALLY ordering an Arkansas print! I love it!
    And everytime I read anything in Southern Living about best restaurants I want to hop in the car and hit everyone. My dream job would be someone paying me to travel the south trying out restaurants. Who wants to hire me? :-)