Tom Morgan and Billy Hunt are my favorite people today because yesterday they fed me Lexington, N.C., barbecue and there’s even a little left over in the fridge.
There’s a Thomas Harris quote that goes like this: “The world will not be this way within the reach of my arm.” I think of Tom and Billy when I hear that. As much of the world forgets that Nashville is still very much in crisis mode, Tom and Billy are working tirelessly to bring mattresses and furniture to victims who lost everything in the raging May flood.
A few months ago, I had never heard of Tom Morgan or Billy Hunt. The Community Foundation led them to us. Tom and Billy are in the furniture business in North Carolina. And they have a lot of friends in the furniture business. Friends with quality stuff who also want to help flood victims. Tom and Billy came to Nashville a few weeks ago to see the devastation for themselves. Then they got to work. We will have a truckload of mattresses coming soon. We will have beautiful sheet sets to go with them. And furniture and lamps and whatever else these guys can get their hands on.
Knowing my love of barbecue and that I’d lived in North Carolina for 12 years, they also brought me lunch on this trip. There’s a thing or two you need to know about Lexington barbecue. It is chopped. It comes with a vinegar-based thin sauce. And it comes with Lexington style coleslaw, which is also chopped and has a vinegar-based sauce. There is only one way to eat a Lexington barbecue sandwich and that is to start with a plain hamburger bun, top it with the barbecue, then a good dose of the sauce and a large mound of the coleslaw. Heaven on a bun.
Billy picked up the barbecue at Speedy’s, which proclaims itself the “Best Barbecue Anywhere” and that was about right. People argue all day and night about who has the best barbecue, but Lexington stands alone in pure clean flavors. The sauce doesn’t mask the meat, but enhances it as does the coleslaw.
So we sit in the furniture warehouse – Tom, Billy, Kim and me – eating Lexington barbecue sandwiches on a dining room table that will soon be in a flood victim’s home. We would not have dined better in the best five-star restaurant. I eat two of them. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty.