When Bill and I get a hankering for barbecue, we head to Leigh's. Their pork is smoky, tender and moist; the thin, vinegar-based sauce total perfection.
Leigh's is located about ten miles west of Paducah on old Hwy. 60. It is a family-owned business and got its start when Union Carbide came to town in the early fifties. Housed in a small, cinderblock building, it's nothing fancy, just a wraparound counter, stools, a small television set perched high on a shelf. The food is served in paper plates, drinks in styrofoam cups. But their barbecue is the best I've ever tasted.
Which is saying a lot; I was raised on the stuff. And I've sampled it in Kansas City, Texas and Memphis, all claiming the title of the world's best barbecue.
As we entered, the owner was perched on a stool behind the counter, watching his son hack up a huge steaming pork shoulder.
The waitress was wearing a Heath Pirates tee-shirt. And a cap. "Hi," she called, "What do y'all want?"
She and I were the only females in the room, reminding me of sitting down for dinner at my aunt's Detroit boarding house. The men were discussing UK basketball as they tore into thick barbecue sandwiches and guzzled Pepsis from big styrofoam cups. One chubby gent in bib overalls practically drooled as the waitress carried his food to him: a huge pile of steaming pork, potato salad, baked beans, two slices of white bread lying atop.
The menu is on the wall: whole pork shoulder, chicken, rib, pork and ham plates. Not that we ever look at it. We always have a barbecue pork sandwich (mine on a bun; Bill's on toast), slaw and a bag Ruffles potato chips. Sometimes we pile the slaw on top of the pork; other times we eat it alongside.
For dessert you have your choice of Twinkies, Honey Buns, Fruit Pies and Hostess Cupcakes.
But who needs a fancy dessert when you're stuffed to the gills with the best barbecue ever?
* * *
Note: They close early in the afternoon or whenever they run out of meat, which they often do. And they are closed on Wednesdays.
A hundred years from now, dear heart,
We'll neither know nor care
What came of all life's bitterness,
Or followed love's despair.
Then fill the glasses up again,
And kiss me through the rose-leaf rain;
We'll build one castle more in Spain,
And dream one more dream there.
I read Peter Evans's book, Nemesis, back in the late eighties. The story of the love affair of Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis, it was very interesting. But a couple of weeks ago, Mother recommended Evans's sequel, Nemesis: The True Story. He wrote it in 2005 (don't know how I missed it!) and includes many more details of Jackie's personal life.
"You won't believe it, Brenda," Mother said, "I've never seen anything like it!"
Mother was right. According to the book:
Jackie was money-hungry. Next to her children, money was the single most important thing in the world to her.
She had an affair with actor William Holden. When she became pregnant with the first child she lost, she didn't know if the baby was his or her husband's. President Kennedy believed the baby was Holden's until the day he died.
Her affair with Aristotle Onassis began before President Kennedy died and only six weeks after she lost her last child (a boy, Patrick Bouvier, who died a few days after he was born). She snatched Ari from the bed of her sister, Lee, who had planned to wed him herself.
Shortly after JFK's death, Jackie began a long-term affair with brother-in-law Bobby. But that didn't keep her from sleeping with Ari and other rich men, juggling several at a time.
And here's the kicker: Aristotle Onassis financed the killing of Bobby Kennedy. Sirhan Sirhan merely pulled the trigger.
This book is a real page-turner. If you, like me, are interested in anything and everything about the Kennedys, you will not be disappointed.