Tuesday, July 28, 2009

BBQ Adventure Wrap-Up

I hope you had as much fun reading about my BBQ adventures as I did living them and then writing about them. It was a remarkable experience for me and I count myself very fortunate that the array of circumstances necessary to produce such a wildly unexpected and enjoyable outcome manifested as they did. My seemingly-innocuous support of a favorite restaurant was rewarded with a trip that I’d wanted to take with my wife for years. Along the way, I got to meet some really great people including a few genuine celebrities. I even got to be a (very) minor celebrity myself once again, which as a certified, grade-A, USDA choice ham I’m not embarrassed to say I enjoy. I even hope to stay in touch with some folks from the GMA team, who I count among the friendliest people I’ve had the privilege to meet.

This also seems like a good opportunity to answer the one question that I’m repeatedly asked about this whole experience. No, the Dinosaur has not offered me a reserved table at the restaurant, or a lifetime of free ribs, or a VIP discount card, anything of the sort, nor did I ask for or expect anything like that. And no, I wouldn’t have turned it down if they’d offered. Remember, I never expected anything to come of my little essay, other than hopefully some recognition for a local institution that happened to also be a restaurant I enjoyed. Once things were underway, I thought perhaps the Dino crew would want to put me in one of their T-Shirts, if only because it would have made good marketing, but I wasn’t offended that they didn’t shower me with merchandise and meat. I wish owner John Stage, executive chef Cooter, and the rest of the Dinosaur crew all the best and I look forward to getting downtown again sometime soon for some of their fine fixins. Worst-case, I’ll certainly hit the Dinosaur/Gianelli tent when I’m at the Great New York State Fair.

Special thanks go out to Eric Noll and Ron Claiborne from GMA for selecting my essay in the first place. To Ameya Pendse for taking care of every last detail for our trip. To the entire GMA team for their hospitality. And to all of my friends, associates and relatives who came along in spirit – this sort of thing is vastly more enjoyable when you can share it with the people who are closest to you.

Stay tuned as I continue to flex and stretch my writing muscles. I’ll be writing about everything including entertainment reviews; the trials of being a dad helping to raise three kids; food and gardening challenges; books and writing; technology; recreation; and perhaps even some fiction from time-to-time. So stick around if you’d like, or just stop and visit once in a while if you prefer. By all means, click that little “Follow” button over there on the left so the place doesn’t look quite so deserted, and use the “Comment” field if you find that a particular entry makes you think, makes you mad, or makes you want to ask a question.

Lastly, I now own Virtualvellum.com, so expect to see this blog site migrate to its own website at some point. It’s not a priority project right now, but as I move closer to hopefully becoming Mike De Lucia, novelist, I’m going to use VirtualVellum.com as my professional homepage.

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