The World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest & 3rd Annual Best Friends Hangout

Posted by:

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 4.46.49 PMIt all started three years ago.  Old Air Force buddies getting together and going to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo or better yet The World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest at the HLS&R.  What is The World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest?…..well, it’s three days of cooking, competition, eating and dancing.  We usually attend two nights and take a day off to enjoy each other’s company a little more without the distraction of the events.


Image 10


For the last three years it’s been myself (Christopher “Patches” Norton), Kevin Lenning (a.k.a. Virgil Cruise) and Steve Seeley.  We all served together in the 18th Military Airlift Squadron at McGuire AFB, New Jersey in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  For the most part we tried to stay in touch but it was tough.  Life happened!  But then three years ago and idea was formed around the Rodeo Cook Off…..lets hang out for a few days.

It’s been so therapeutic for all of us.  You know it’s very hard to give advice and not listen to yourself.  This is not all bad though because sometimes we need to take our own advice….right?


Image 12

Left to Right….Kevin, Steve, Chris


This year even my roommate and best friend Brady joined us

Image 13

Left to Right….Eddie, Kevin, Steve, Chris
Eddie Gant…AWESOME dude!!

Eddie Gant is the reason we make it into the Rodeo Cook Off each year.  You basically need to know “someone” to get tickets to a bad-ass tent like The Holy Cow Cookers.  There isn’t a guy better to know than Eddie!!!

That down day ended up being pretty nice and since I live on a golf course….why not?  So off we went and another good time was had by all.

P1110729 copy

Steve, Chris, “Viiiiirgil Cruise”


Not sure but I think Kevin was tipping his hat to a squirrel. 🙂


This slick move by Steve changed his outcome on that hole by exactly 0%….it looks good on camera though!!! lol


A nice shot of the actual golfers of the day….Kevin and Steve


The course was just a little wet as Steve found out….a little mud on face!!!

Lets not forget big country breakfast every morning enjoying the scenery outside my breakfast nook.


If this guys doesn’t back off he’s not going to be able to eat sitting in the tree-chair…lol


This little guy was going for broke!!




Back yard and pool of the home Eddie Gant helped me find and purchase.

Between the 2013 Rodeo and 2014 Rodeo Eddie helped me find a new house.  So yeah, not only is Eddie a good friend but a BAD-ASS Real Estate Agent.



Here’s the point of today’s post.  It had been almost 21 years since I had seen Steve and we picked things up right were we left them.  There’s a special bond between Brothers and Sisters in Arms that time itself cannot tarnish.  These bonds, most of the time, are forged when we are young and for many of us during our first years away from home.  These “friends” we make are more like family.  And yes at times we even argue and fought like family.  But we love each other just the same and still have each others backs twenty-something years later.

Get back in touch with your past.  Perhaps it will be as therapeutic for you as it has been for us. If I’ve learned one thing it’s that no matter how much time passes we can always pick up where we left off.


Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 12.17.32 PMIf you don’t know where to start check out FEST 300 North America!  There a great list of Festivals and Links and there might just be something that works for your crew.


About the Author:

Add a Comment