The guy on the right is my friend, Michael Schroeder, who lives three states away and who nine years ago suggested that I throw the party that became The Salute to Meat.
Mike and his wife, Janet, have been at every Salute since then but is unable to make today’s and so I thought this would be a good time to tell you, and remember myself, the source of the idea that has given me such extraordinary enjoyment for all these years.
“You enjoy cooking meat so much you should make a party around it,” he said one day. “Cook a course of everything you like to smoke.” It started out with just four or five courses for 20 people, and now it’s just about everything I can think of that will go on the smoker, for maybe 80 people today.
Just not Mike and Janet.
There are friends you see every day, and there are those you see only once or twice a year. But their physical absence doesn’t make them any less one’s friend, nor does it diminish the everlasting impact of their friendship.
Whoever comes to today’s party and enjoys himself can thank my wife, Janet, and me, but they should also thank my friend, Mike Schroeder.