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The 1st Southern California BBQ-QFest
held at Follows Camp

After Potluck Group Picture Gary T., Steve C., Bill W., Dan C., & Rick S., Gary M. (lower left) After Potluck Group Picture
Group picture Melanie & Kids Rick Streiff Gary Tackett

A bit of So. California Q-Fest history

Since the first Q-Fest of 2003 is going to take place the weekend after next, and this is a slow time for BBQ news, I thought that I would update folks on the history of what earlier BBQ and the first  Southern California Q-Fest at Follows Camp in 1998 was like.

Increased BBQ interest

The internet was starting to provide BBQ email groups.   That allowed people all over the country to start interacting and get together with each other.  That then provided the communication medium necessary for one of the first large Q-Fest to happen.  Which was probably the Q-Fest promoted and managed by Danny Goulden out of his Diary Queen & BBQ restaurant in Carlsbad New Mexico.  That was June 14-17, 1997.  People attended from all over the country, such as Bill Wight and Di Wilson. (I did not).  
There were also five California BBQ KCBS type competitions occurring a year in 1998 and 1999
(that I am aware of) and drawing new people.  As a result of all mentioned above a lot of new BBQ teams and BBQ interest developed mostly in Southern California about that time.

In 1998 many of the current BBQ teams and people were very new to BBQ competitions,
events, and activities.  Of course the seasoned and established local BBQ people were already out there.  The Rib Doctor (Eva & Hayward H.), Pork Belly Bandits (George & Donna B.),  Tackett's Portable Cajon (Gary T.), Asleep at the Grill (Vic Sessions), Texas Road Kill (Mike M. & Mike G.), Sweet Time BBQ (Frank Boyer), Ranch Hands Inc. (Kathy Murphy), and Lakeside BBQ (Dean & Gina H., Bill B.) come to mind right away. 
The SCBBQA (Southern BBQ Association) did not exist
yet. However the CBBQA had been in existence for some time (don't know how long). The President was Frank Boyer and the Vice President of the Southern California chapter was Kathy Murphy.  Due to a lot of BBQ interest and new KCBS & CBBQA members during the 1997, 1998, and 1999 timeframe Southern California was becoming very active while Northern California was a bit less active and geographically further away.  There was a BBQ activity appetite that needed to be satiated!


Much of this local interest and enthusiasm was probably fueled by the two yearly contest occurring at Follows Camp. A new contest in the Spring that was called "Shake, Rattle, and Smoke" and in the Summer it was "Go for the Gold".  Actually "Go for the Gold" was quite a well established and attended contest by California standards. The first contest I attended to observe-only was in 1997 and had over 40 teams attending from all over the U.S. The first contest I cooked in was August of 1998 and had 38 teams.  In Northern California the "West Coast" BBQ Cook-Off was being held in October in Santa Cruz at the Pasa Tiempo Hotel. I first attended this contest in October of 1998 and went there yearly through 2000. These contests were put on entirely by Frank Boyer. He would obtain sponsors, promote them to the public, and manage the event. I always enjoyed and had a great time at each of these events.  


In June of 1999 Gene Goycochea and Melanie Jones promoted and put on the 1st "Surf & Turf" State Championship BBQ contest  held at Imperial Beach.  This was truly a GREAT BBQ event.  Well attended and enjoyed by all teams.  Gene continues to hold this event yearly, typically in July.

In September of 1999 Melanie Jones promoted and put on the 1st "Swine & Wine"  BBQ contest  held in Niles, Northern California.  This was also a GREAT BBQ event.  Well attended and enjoyed by all teams.  This was a one-time event.

Southern California BBQ folks get together for their first local Q-fest on 16-17-October-1998

Steve Clark was a very avid and active BBQ competitor and enthusiast. He attempted to organize the first Paul Kirk class that year in Southern California and also organized and put together the first Q-Fest at Follows Camp. Steve Clark and Gary Maines had competed that year in the "Go for the Gold" and obtained 2nd Place in Chicken and were doing quite well. I contacted Steve and arranged to attend this Q-fest. I just could not get enough BBQ!.   
Some of the folks in attendance at that first Q-Fest were:

Gary Tackett, Gene Goycochea, Melanie Jones and family, Steve Clark and family, Gary Maines, Bill Wight, Bob Pierce and work friends, Rick Streiff, and Dan and Barbara Cannon (me and my family).


Great meal, great times, great friendships, and great BBQ!

It was a fantastic time. Everybody contributed a specialty BBQ meat item and side to the potluck Saturday afternoon. Meat entries were mostly ribs and chicken. Bill Wight had introduced Lemon wood to some attendees and turned out a great Lemon Pepper / Lemon smoked moist rib that was the bomb.  Almost everybody arrived Friday and left Sunday (some arrived and left on Saturday). Gary Tackett rode his bike in for Saturday. There was a bit of a communal breakfast on Sunday before everybody packed up and left.


As an historical FYI

It was only 90 days later (16-January-1999) that most of the above mentioned Q-Fest attendees met again at Follows on a Saturday afternoon and created the SCBBQA (Southern California BBQ Association). <more - see a separate article on that history>


During the December 15, 2001 evening board meeting the SCBBQA board met and approved merging with the CBBQA.  This meeting was held at Dean and Gina Hayes' church where the SCBBQA had just prepared and served 125 needy families in Lakeside California.


Time marches on...

Well, time and BBQ marches on. Now we will be attending the first Q-Fest of 2003 (5 calendar years later). But, now you have a bit of a taste and feeling of what BBQ, some people,  and a Q-Fest was like in 1998. I have included several group and people pictures so you can all see how young we looked!


Dan Cannon

Since many of the members of the CBBQA and BBQ enthusiasts in general may not know a bit of the history of the SCBBQA (Southern California BBQ Association, now CBBQA), I will put an include page below detailing that history...




An Early history of the founding of the Southern California Barbecue Association (SCBBQA)


Originally written by Dan Cannon for the "From our Prez" column 

published in the February 2000 edition of the Smokin' Times Newsletter. 


At that time the logo of the SCBBQA was:




A History of the Association

Thought I would take a moment to introduce and THANK some of our original and current officers, and document a bit of the history of the SCBBQA.  I will start with the following people that have been a part of our organization since, or near the inception date, 16 January 1999, and how they helped create the SCBBQA.  After all, if it is not documented it might be forgotten or never known by newer members.

- Melanie Jones for spending so much of  her  time handling our books, new and current members (and all that involves), accounting and banking, new and current BBQ events all over California, advertising and sponsors, and the public affairs of the SCBBQA.  Without her enthusiasm and momentum in those areas we would not have had nearly the amount of good BBQ events, activities, comradery, and fun during the year.  Not to mention the amount of BBQ growth in California that I know we can directly attribute to Melanie.  You might be surprised at how many hours a day and how many days a week she lives and breaths SCBBQA and BBQ.  I bet her family knows!

- Gene Goycochea for registering and filing the SCBBQA internet name, permitting us to  have a guest web site on his personal computer equipment, having patience with our request for our website updates and changes, and overall making a very professional and informational web site for the SCBBQA.  Also, Gene took the time, many evenings on the phone with me, to coach and assist me, in learning about organizations, bylaws, and rules of order. 

- Tom Brohamer for spending all the time putting together a Newsletter  from scratch.  This had to be extra challenging and difficult due to the short period of time he was a member before he had the first issue on the streets.  And believe me those 30 day periods between issues come quickly when one has a publishing deadline to meet (I   hope I get this to Tom soon).  Tom joined the SCBBQA the first weekend of June, 1999, just after the Shake, Rattle 'n Smoke Cookoff at Follows Camp (he took 1st in Tri-Tip).    

- Steve Clark for having a kind, warm, and trusting nature along with a passion for  BBQ.  Steve personally conceived of and put in place the foundation and structure for our Q-Fests as  we know them.  Steve organized our first, of several, Q-Fests.  The first occurring on October 16,17 & 18, 1998, followed by our second, February 19, 20 & 21, 1999.  We were very lucky, always had nice weather.  Been having them since about every other month when we are not having BBQ Cook-Offs.  Now Steve can take a moment to relax and instead execute his new responsibilities and duties as Vice President.  Passing  the Q-Fest baton on to others that volunteer, or  are voted into a position, to keep the tradition going and help out in that key area. 

I also wanted to mention the original BBQ enthusiast that decided  to trek out and  meet January  16th, 1999, at Follows Camp, to have lunch, and create the concept and organization now known as the SCBBQA.  The rest is now history, as they say!

Gene Goycochea Out Of This World BBQ
George Baroody Pork Belly Bandits
Gary Tackett Tackett's Portable Cajun
Steve Clark Riverside Prime Cuts
Gary Maines Riverside Prime Cuts
Mike Moore (Texas Mike) Texas Mike's Roadkill
Mike Guinaugh (Little Mike) Texas Mike's Roadkill
Melanie Jones BBQ Event Coordinator
Kathy Murphy Ranch Hands Incorporated
Dan Cannon Coyote Road Kill
Hayward Harris Rare Breed
Eva Harris Rare Breed

I  felt  the  need  to talk about the evolution of the SCBBQA so that somewhere in  print the history of our organization might be documented allowing current and  future members an opportunity to understand a bit of how we originated.  All the members have played a part in growing our organization, so many that it is hard to mention  them all  in this  note.

During the first voting type meeting Melanie Jones was voted in as President. I was voted in as Secretary / Treasurer.  Due to other responsibilities and interest Melanie and I swapped positions on a temporary basis.  A few months later the membership confirmed those positions as permanent for the first year.  Tom Brohamer volunteered to take on the responsibilities of the Newsletter mid summer.  Then was seated by the board as Newsletter Editor during the month of August.

During the 2nd annual election, November 6th, 1999, the membership voted in myself as President, Melanie Jones as Secretary / Treasurer, Tom Brohamer as Newsletter Editor, Steve Clark as Vice President, and Smokin' Joe O'Connell as Vice President.

Dan Cannon, President, SCBBQA  (the day this was originally written).

Folks attending the first meetings

meeting.jpg (52207 bytes) group1.jpg (52639 bytes)
Gene Goycohea, Dan & Barbara Cannon, Melanie Jones, Steve Clark., Gary Tackett Dan & Barbara Cannon., Eva Harris, Kathy Murphy, Melanie Jones, Gary Tackett, Don Iverson's sister, Gene Goycohea, Steve Clark, Don Iverson, Hayward Harris







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