barbecue (n.): pork cooked slowly over real wood

You can spot a newcomer to North Carolina when they use the word “barbecue” as a verb. All Tar Heels know that barbecue is not something you do, it’s something you eat. See the caption below for an example of proper usage. The photo, from the Lee Wallace WPA photo album in the North Carolina Collection, was taken ca. 1936-1942 and shows a man hard at work at a pit in Ayden, N.C., home of the world-renowned Skylight Inn.



3 thoughts on “barbecue (n.): pork cooked slowly over real wood”

  1. I would love to have a copy of this photo. The man in this photo was my grandfathers uncle whom he worked for until opening our restaurant (Skylight Inn BBQ) in Ayden. I had it at one time before “Holy Smoke” was published. Mr. Reed sent it to me to find out who it was in the photo.
    If you could let me know how to obtain a copy I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. Mr. Jones:

    Thank you for your message. We’ll be happy to provide you with information on how to get a reproduction of this image. You can either email us at or call us at 919-962-3765. Just address the email or ask for Jason Tomberlin.

    Your barbecue restaurant is one that I haven’t tried yet, so you’ve inspired me to make a road trip!

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