Aint sure why I sent a blank message on this..but. You folks sure are waxing eloquent about Belly. I thought I just try to toss my two cents into the hat too.
First met Belly on Theads old list about 5 years ago or so. I was dying to get into comp cooking but didnt know the procedure so to speak. Saw Belly lived close and he knew how to cook comp so I said...hmmm if I offer to help mabye he can learn me something. So...off we went to Meridian to help him and Jack and Ms Suzy that first year. Well sir..I got drunker than Cooter Brown..stayed up all night ogling the fancy pits and nekked ladies...and didnt help no helluva lot..but did pack away a few facts into the memory banks. Needless to say I was hooked deeper than the proverbial 5 pound bass on the comp cooking hobby and some of the best friends I ever made in life originated from that trip. Belly..Ms Suzy and Jack were on the top of that list..and after Ms. Suzy pased Ms. Wanda kept the slate full. Over the next fews..up till the present..can proudly say we have sniffed the same smoke and Ive ate a lot of his groceries. Sure gonna miss that boy.
Jack and the rest of the List,
I am just sick at heart about this. What a way to start the day!! Belly was kind of the heart of this group. When I got on the List, thanks to Bill Martin, Belly was one of the first guys to welcome me onboard, then his BBQ competition teammate, Jack Hunter sent me some Jalapeno Jelly and I
subscribed to that BBQ tabloid that Belly wrote for. Even then I felt like I knew him, although his periodic threats with a hog knife had me a bit concerned.
I expected to finally meet him in Carlsbad at the 99 QFest. I thought I'd be cute, and after 12 hours of flying and parking my okole in LAX and the Albuquerque Airport, I walked into Danny's kitchen and up to three guys talking and introduced myself by saying "Howdy, I'm Belly". One of them turned around with a hard look and said "No you ain't, I'm Danny Gaulden, now how are you." I wasn't aware that an hour or 2 earlier Belly got a phone call and had to turn around and drive home due to the death of his wife.
Whew, talk about foot in mouth disease!
Again this year I was planning on finally meeting the guy and now this. Sorry if I sound more concern with my problem of meeting him but that is the case. I have no doubt Belly lived a great life with many friends and now he is in a better place, but there are only a limited number of people in this world who have the personal charisma to instantly be the main character in a place even a cyberspace place. Their location, age, size, sex nothing else matters just the force of their personality makes them someone other people want to meet and know.; you can't buy it or learn it; you either have it or you don't. Belly was like that and I'm sorry I never got to look him in the eye an shake his hand. He is a loss and we'll get over it, but he will leave a big empty space in a lot of hearts. Me ke aloha, Belly.
I agree with Billy Bob Martin in San Antonio that we should make the Qfest a happy memorial to "The Cute One".
While I freely admit that Belly and I could irritate the snot out of each other at times (and enjoy doing so, I might add), I'm regrettably feeling the loss of his passing. Odd, isn't it, how those who enter our lives, even in seemingly innocuous ways such as a mailing list, can affect our lives in such a way that when they're gone we notice not only their absence, but that a piece of ourselves, our very being, is gone as well? That's what I'm feeling today... Like a piece of me has died as well.
I'm truly thankful to have known Belly and for how he affected my life. Our lives will go on, yes, but, they'll never be the same... Something will be forever missing.
So, I'll mourn our loss and celebrate the life of Belly rejoicing in the knowledge that he has been finally healed of his pain, his sorrow and woe, and now sits at the feet of his self professed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I can just see him now trying to explain the cause and effect of the 'WABBA WABBA' principle to all who will listen... <G><
Blessing of joy, comfort and peace, to his many friends, family, and loved ones...
With a heavy heart,
Ladies and Gents, Qers all,
In 1997 I posted to the list that I was coming to Fredericksburg, Texas to visit my family for a week, and I asked if anyone knew a decent place to get BBQ in or around the F'burg area. Not only did Belly have a great recommendation, (how did he even know???), but he arranged to drive from Glenn Rose to Fredericksburg to have lunch with me. Jack, you'll remember that!! He also rounded up some "podners" to join us, and we made a party of it. Up to that point, living in Hawaii, I could only perceive people by what they wrote on the list, and respond or react to them based on that. I didn't realize then, that we had a list member that was truly larger than life.
Belly was a wit, raconteur, sage, mentor and FRIEND. His vast knowledge extended to cooking world-class brisket using only an old beat-up wash tub, up-ended over a low fire, as a smoker. He was mostly modest about his talents, knowledge, experience and accomplishments; but shared them unsparingly with anyone and everyone that asked.
His only vanity was about his overwhelming good looks. He often referred to himself as "the cute one".
Belly, if you can read this where you are, I want you to know: the world is a lonelier place, now that you're gone. Please teach them to do good Q up there. I know fires are not allowed where you've gone, but knowing you,you'll get a Variance.
I would like to suggest that this years Q-Fest, if we're still going to have one, be dedicated to the memory of Belly and his "good-times". I'd like to suggest further, that we officially name it The Belly Maynard Q-Fest 2001,
and that we make a note of this in the FAQ, if possible.
Aloha Bill Martin
It is truly a sad day for Texas, BBQ, the Porch and each and every life that was fortunate enough to intersect with Billy 'Belly' Maynards.
Ellen and my thoughts, condolences and prayers go out to the Maynard family and all of the many friends of Belly's.
I had spoken on the phone to Belly just last week and was looking forward to pulling up a pickle barrel and learning from one of the greats at Q-Fest, he will be sorely missed.
Smoking in Chicago,