David and I don’t have a regular date night. We enjoy each other’s company enough that watching a movie on our 47” television with a bag of microwaved popcorn seems like a date. But thanks to David’s growing reputation as a chili cook-off judge, we had a special date night last Friday in Quitman, another small East Texas town about 25 miles from Emory.
A couple of weeks ago, David got an urgent call from a friend in Quitman. They went to school together in Jonesboro, Louisiana, and the tale of how they reconnected after all these years is a tribute to coincidence, but that’s another story. For now, she was in a bind and needed help. She was coordinating a chili cook-off to benefit the Special Olympics, and one of her judges had pulled out for medical reasons. She needed someone from a county other than hers and preferably someone with a little bit of experience. Lured by the chance to expand his resume and by all the free chili he could eat, David said yes, and I went along to watch the show. I didn’t take my camera, and my phone didn’t have enough of a charge to take a lot of pictures, but I took enough to show you that people in Quitman know how to have fun. (more…)