So today at lunch (at the P&J ...of course) an older black man sitting with his daughter at the table next to me asks, “Young man, what do you do?” I say, “I’m an artist. He asks, “what kind of art do you do?” I say, “There’s one of my paintings hanging right behind you.” He gets up and turns around and takes a long look at the piece and he says, “That’s Fantastic!” I’m pretty susceptible to flattery and while he is paying out his tab, he picks up my lunch too.
He asks, “Where can I see some more of your work?” I give him a card and show him the painting of The Mansion Family on my iPhone. He asks, “Do you have any more work on there?” I pull up an album and he sits down and scrolls through all 145 pictures asking questions about many of them... He’s says. “You like women!” I laughed and said, “yeah, I like all kinds of things, especially women.”
Looking back at the painting of the P&J on the wall he says, “You really capture the spirit of the Black Man and I’ve never seen anything like this painting.” ...Again, I’m pretty susceptible to flattery and just tooting my own horn I say, “I can capture most anything on canvas.”
Afterwards while driving back to the house - that made me feel pretty good for him to say that about capturing the spirit of the Black people - sometimes I wonder if I am truly capturing the spirit of that which I am painting... I guess I am.
Thanks Mr. Robert Johnson - Owner/State Line Bar-B-Q - DeBerry, TX
They always save the big one for me
Most of my friends in Marshall know that I'm a regular at the P&J, a little soul food house that sits on a hill near City Hall. It's been about ten years since I started eating there and really liked the whole fried catfish they served every Friday.
So I began to go every Friday for the catfish, then every Tuesday for the beef tips and rice and of course the smothered pork chops on Wednesday and liver & onions on Thursday (if they had it).
I ate there so regular that I could walk in, sit down and food would start showing up... I ate there so regular on Fridays that they started saving the biggest catfish for me... I ate there so regular that I was no longer a regular but the regular.
One day on a busy Friday the girls in the kitchen sent out my tray with a tiny fried catfish and all I could hear was Shonda and Regina laughing as loud as they could - haha, real funny, so then a few minutes later they sent the big catfish... this catfish was so big - it was too big!
So I started eating this huge fried catfish along with cream potatoes & gravy, collard greens and cornbread muffins and from where I was sitting, looking at the front door, it opens... and in walks George Foreman with a couple of his ranch hands. I nodded hello to him and he was looking at my plate - sat down - Regina walks out to take his order and at a bit of attention (because he's George) ...she says, "What can I get for you Mr. Foreman?" ...and he says, "I'll have what that man is having right there (looking at my big catfish)
...and Regina says, "We always save the big one for Dennis but I'll bring you two.