Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: McClard’s Ribs

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: McClard’s Ribs


WORDS OF WISDOM. I was exhausted from pushing the vacuum cleaner all over my place Saturday morning when I got the call from the Navigator who said five of the absolute best words: “Let’s have lunch at McLard’s.”

I hadn’t been thinking about barbeque or tamales to that point, but those words certainly got me to thinking. And drooling.

We had little trouble getting a seat because of the monsoon which obviously had something to do with scant early crowds at Hot Springs’s most famous eatery.

I am not a fan of McClard’s — love our local BBQ purveyors. What I hate about McClard’s is that you have to race people to get a table. I always feel so guilty when I push some old lady on a walker out of the way, or trip a disabled veteran on crutches. But, I always say, if you gotta make a trip to McClard’s somebody needs to pay for the inconvenience.

I went in the door thinking tamales.

But when the Navigator told our waiter she wanted the rib dinner, some familiar words rushed out of my mouth: “Me, too.”

The ribs and trimmings were swell, and I couldn’t eat all. So, I got a doggie box for my leftover ribs, a scoop of baked beans and some of that spicy slaw. The Navigator got a box, too, but it was for those rib bones which she would take back to her doggies. I graciously donated the bones which I had gnawed clean.

I dropped her off and she rushed in to take the bones to her doggies. I went home and placed my doggie bag in the refrig. That evening, I got them out for my supper. I opened the styro box and there were five or six stripped bones. When I called, she protested she hadn’t noticed that she’d gotten the wrong box and, at any rate, the doggies had already disposed of those bones …. and now that you mention it, they did seem pretty meaty.

It’s worth mentioning that we drove through several hurricanes coming home. I’ve never driven in such heavy rains. And I am quite frankly tired of all of the rain.

Can you believe that it’s late August and lawns are lush?

By my count, by Monday we’d had 12 consecutive days with measurable rainfall.


THAT TRIP TO McClard’s reminded me of a Scrapper football road trip that JR Schirmer, Ken Bissell and I took waaaaaay back before the players wore faceguards.

Someone once asked me which was the longest and hardest road trip I had made following the Scrappers. They were surprised when I said “Murfreesboro.”

But, but, but …. Murfreesboro is only 13 miles away, my questioner sputtered.

Oh yes, but we had to keep accurate records for the IRS since we’d write off the trip as a business one.

And, we had a craving for McClard’s ribs, so we left early; drove through Murfreesboro to Hot Springs; gnawed ribs; and drove back to Pike County in time for the kickoff.

The only problem with this is that we knew the IRS investigators would look carefully at our mileage claim, so I suggested to my companions that we should drive back to Nashville via Hot Springs, thereby exactly matching the mileage of the first half of the trip.

The second serving of ribs was good, but not near as good as the first.

This is a true story. Ask JR if you don’t believe me. The IRS did not audit us.

Oh, yeah, The Rattlers upset the Scrappers that night. I honestly believe there are still some Rattler fans who honk their pickup truck horns every time they cross the Little Missouri River just to rub salt — or McClard’s BBQ sauce — into our wounds.


DEDICATED. Kim Howard of Mineral Springs and Howard Memorial Hospital is a dedicated runner. Proof of his insanity, some people would uncharitably say.

He’s currently in a project to run at least one mile a day EVERY day no matter the weather. As of Monday, his running streak was at 1,000 days, and he’s covered 5,741 miles. He runs early in the morning, then puts in a full day of work.

Me? I’m sane enough to go back to bed when the weather’s bad.


NICE VISIT. Just had a nice visit with the twins — Thick and Thin.


I KNOW I mentioned this before, but out of 113 million-plus Americans, are Hillary and Donald the best candidates the political parties can come up with?



THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time.


HE SAID: “Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying to denigrate them.” Johannes Brahms, composer


SHE SAID: “We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.” Phyllis Diller, commedian



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