Ray's Comments

The comments on this web page are how I feel about things.  Sometimes you might like what I have to say and sometime you might disagree with me.   The picture on the right is me and if you look close you might be able to see that I'm cooking outdoors and I have a glass of beer next to the cooker.  That was me six years ago.  I cooked out a lot and drank a lot of beer back then.

I will be submitting my comments here from time to time.  I have no real schedule planned at this this time. If you want to comment about what I have written please email me at ray@rbjb.com.  I will publish some of your comments on this web page.  So don't email me anything you don't want made public.  Your comments can include not only what I write here but anything you want to say about any of my web pages. Please give your name, city and state that you live in.

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No. 3, 2001 

This picture is of Anthony (Tony) Basso my Grandfather.  Unfortunately, I can't remember too much about him on a first hand basis.  My Grandfather Tony died when I was young.  He died of throat cancer.  I do remember going over to his house with my Mother and Father when he was sick.  The image I remember is, him setting in a blue stuffed chair and drinking beer.  The cancer prevented him, at that time, from eating much solid food and so he drank beer. 

I also remember the stories that my Father, Uncles and Grandmother told me about him. Everyone in the family loved him so he must have been quite a guy.

My cousin, Joe Basso, another good guy, sent me a picture of "Pop's," as my Father called him, in 1999.  Joe, said in the note that came with the picture: "as a kid, I remember him well.  He was a classy guy, a cookie salesman for Loose Wiles Biscuit Company (now called Sunshine Biscuit Co.)  My dad also worked for the Loose Wiles Co."  He went on to write "your Uncle Tony, my dads brother, was a neat man."  That's quite a tribute as far as I am concerned.  The older I get the more I realize that one of the most important things in life is what people think about you when your gone. 

Tony Basso lived a robust life.   One story that I remember my father telling about him makes this clear.  It seems that one night "Pops" came home late.  He owned a bar at the time and he drank a bit now and then.  Anyway he came in the door of the house and everyone saw his clothes were dirty and he had some cuts on his face.  Everyone asked him what had happened and he said "some damn truck ran over me."  Sure enough on further examination a tire track could be seen on his chest.  It was a good thing he had a few drinks and trucks back then didn't weigh too much.

I often think about my Father.  It really wasn't that long ago that he died.  Well, maybe it was a while ago but I was old enough to not forget anything.  I live with the values that he taught me just like he lived with the values his Father taught him.  There are also many things around the house that were his and I am constantly reminded about him. 

I don't have much to remember my Fathers dad, Grandfather Tony.  I have some pictures, some stories and his pocket watch.  The pocket watch set in a safety deposit box for years.  A little bit ago I brought it home and looked at it from time to time.  Something happened a few months ago and I suddenly decided I should have it repaired.  So I did and it runs fine.  Well, since I wear blue jeans about 95% of the time I decided to start carrying it with me.  After all that's why blue jeans have a watch pocket. 

Well I soon found out that if I didn't wind the watch three times a day it would stop.  So I have become accustomed to winding it three times a day.  I don't really know how to explain this, but there is something really nice about winding a watch three times a day to keep it going.  I don't even miss the watch with the battery in it. It's also nice to look at this old watch and know that it is part of my family history.  I'm sure Grandfather Tony was proud of it.  I sure am. 

I think this is one of the reasons we all like barbecue so much.  It's back to the basics.  You know building a fire and cooking the meat for our family and friends.  These things are real important and were all lucky were able to do them.  In BBQ we not only have good food but we are able to meet a lot of good people and help each other.  At the Raytown contest this weekend, the awards ceremony was a real eye opener.  I was stuck at the joy everyone exhibited when their competitors won awards.

Anyway, I guess Fathers Day pushed me to write this.  I have been wanting for an excuse to tell the world, about how nice it is, to have to wind a watch three times a day.  If you have a family watch like this you might think about repairing it and using it.  Don't just put it in a box  I think little things like winding a watch teach people that you have to exert effort to live the way you want.    I know winding the watch is a small deal to some people but to me these basic things build character.   Hell a lot of our youth don't even know how to wear a baseball cap.

 Ray Basso


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My BYC - Review on the Grand Barbecue book and companion video