You never know what crazy things you’ll see at the Goat Cook-Off

Every year thousands of people flock to Brady for the World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-Off. Some have been here and can’t wait to come back, others come out of pure curiosity. When I heard of this year’s theme and the Mystery Meat Challenge my curiosity got the best of me. I had asked several people if they had any ideas and I got some interesting responses. My favorite being, “well you know there have been a lot less stray animals around town.” The show Fear Factor suddenly popped in my mind since they serve the contestants nothing that isn’t a delicacy in some other far away, remote, isolated village. I’m sure spiders and sheep eyes are very tasty, but no thank you! I have personally been involved in the Goat Cook- off from the ground up and I can say that there have been some interesting occurrences and sights that most never see. If you are one of the lucky ones who get to the park about 5 a.m. then you know what I am talking about. One Saturday morning I arrived at the park at 5 a.m. sharp to begin arts and crafts set up. As I was walking toward the show barn, I witnessed one man and two women walking in front of me. All of the sudden one of the women just collapsed (too many refreshing beverages) and her companions tried to wake her, to no avail. Then as if it were his primal instinct, the man picked her up and threw her over his shoulder and began walking away. I watched them head off into the cloud of smoke, and then I turned to head back to my vehicle. It was then that I saw a man lying on the tailgate of a white Ford truck, sound asleep. Another man approached him and lifted his arm, which fell lifelessly. “Dude get off my truck!’ After several tries the sleeping man raised his head and said, “No man, this is my truck.” Back and forth they went until finally the sleeper stood up behind the truck and said, “That ain’t my truck!” I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. Then he turned to me and asked me if I knew where his truck was. “I don’t even know you and I sure don’t know what kind of truck you drive.” I replied. Off he went into the fog of smoke. Later that day I passed him again and I asked him if he ever found his truck. I have medicated cuts that folks received from cutting up their goats. (Thank God for the EMT training I took and a handy emergency kit). I have been asked to sign trucks as a former Goat Queen (Miss Heart of Texas). I’m sure I wasn’t the only one ever to be called that, nor the last. I’ve been nterviewed by Australian radio shows and TV shows in New York City and asked a million questions about goat. As many have probably been told, the “northerners” refer to the GCO as the “Goat Fest.” I know there are some bizarre festivals out there, but I have Googled this term, and though they do exist, none are close to Brady. At one festival they even toss a goat from a church bell tower or at least they used too until PETA got involved. I actually received a phone call once from PETA, and they said they would be holding a rally in protest of the Goat Cook-off. I had to laugh….not only do they want to stay as far away from Brady on Labor Day weekend, they don’t want to mess with all the cowboys in this neck of the woods, especially after they’ve consumed some refreshing beverages. On a sad note, my friend, Gilbert Currie, passed away this week. He came in the chamber shortly after I was hired and offered his assistance, in whatever capacity he could with the Goat Cook-Off. Always kind with words of encouragement, he would answer any questions I had regarding the Cook-Off, and after he was no longer able to cook, he would work at the apparel booth where he could sit and work the register. A couple of years later I had asked Gilbert if he would be interested in being a judge, he graciously accepted. “As long as I am able to get up on stage, I will judge,’ he replied. “Good enough,” and he did until he was physically unable to do it anymore. He had come into the newspaper a few months ago looking for some old issues that showed him passing the cooking rights over to Jim Ross after 25 years at the helm of the pits. We found them finally and he went to the library to print them. He was making a scrapbook for his family, a gift I’m sure they will forever treasure. So in closing, whether you are a first time cook-off rookie or one of the so-called experts, you are sure to have a wonderful time in Brady this weekend. Many will try to replicate this unique event but none will ever come close. Goat posers beware!’DC

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