Marines, Marines, Marines
news - BBQ News 2005

This was huge! Food by the tons (7.5 to be exact). We are going to feed some 14,000 marines and their families at a celebration planned for them at the 29 Palms Marine Base as a salute and thanks to our heroes service and dedication to this country.

Feed 14, 000 Marines-No problem. The logistics of this was a "Nightmare on Elm Street". I do not know if you can fathom the behind the scenes organization that had to go on, let alone getting all of the people to cook, serve , bring their equipment, prepare, donate time, food, money and then clean it all up! My friend, this was like herding cats!

I was convinced the event was so important that it would happen no matter what obstacles we faced. These things always seem to work when there is the will, we always find a way.

Again Del King and Grant & Jeni Ford were at the helm of this Brahma bull and they were in for the ride of their lives. But this was not their first rodeo!

All of the cookers began arriving Friday to start cooking for Saturday's big feed. All sizes and types of cookers were here. Gene Goycochea with his huge trailer and Old Hickory, Dan Cannon and family with Rick and Karen Streiff with DanĂŤs Big Red and Klose Pit. A demo pit from Old Hickory was there along with Bentley and Kristen Meredith with Treagers, Randy Gille with his new custom pit, Pete and Pam Gram with their WSM Bullets, Walt Norwood & family from Palm Springs, Tom Chilton & son with the Fast Eddies, Don Grissom and his Good One Cooker and the Breakfast King, Jim Sheridan with his amazing set-up ready to cook breakfast for all after being up all night cooking. Thanks, Jim. QN4U, Brent & Kim Walton and Kent (old Marine) was there to help with their Western Rebel cooker.

Food prepping began, cooking assignments handed out and everyone went to work for the next 30 hours, non-stop. Jeni handled the chaos, while Grant managed the pandemonium and Del rode herd on the rest of us cats. We had many volunteers that came from near and (mostly) far to participate in thanking our heroes and quietly worked themselves to death, non-stop around the clock to make this happen.

I think everyone was so tired and covered in BBQ debris that it was almost comical, but we were too tired to laugh. To look back, I just remember everyone having jobs to get done and it seemed like a beehive of activity. This was no small feat. The CBBQA should be very proud of what we did here. I know the marines were thankful and each of us had one or more of them come tell us just that. That made it all worthwhile.

P.S. Final count of plates served was 22,000 plates—unbelievable!