Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rest in Peace James Heaton Texas BBQ Pit Master

Taos has recently lost a truly great human being, James Heaton. I was fortunate to get to know James when his Texas Barbecue Restaurant was here in the St. Francis Plaza. His was one of my Dad's favorite local restaurants, and for a short while James named a sandwich after him "The Big Al". He was about my age, which of course gives me pause to think, but that's not the only reason I've decided to write something here, and not to get all poignant and weepy about this BUT. For weeks on end now I've driven by the BBQ restaurant meaning to stop by and say hello to James & Debbie his partner and baker extraordinaire. When they moved to their latest location they were so busy they'd asked me to come to work for them, they knew I could use the extra income, never having waited tables before I'd turned them down.

There's always something to do and you think you'll catch them another time, but now there is no "another time", and that's a problem we all face.

PLEASE, remember to call, visit, email, facebook, tweeter, send smoke signals if you have to, or just communicate with your friends and family, somehow TRY to do it on a regular basis.

For years my Dad would call me up every now and then and say to me, "How did you manage to break both your hands, they must be broken because you haven't called your Mother in a few weeks now". I'd have to explain how busy I'd been, excuses, excuses, BUT I did learn to call my Mom every week, and if I miss a week, it's because either I really am busy or she didn't pick up the phone when I did call. Sometimes I call just to ask her about a recipe. When I can make my Mom laugh whenever I speak to her is the best feeling in the world.

Here in Taos I am truly blessed that people do stop by for a visit. The best time to visit is in the Winter, when the shop is usually quiet and I can make you a hot cup of coffee and maybe even serve you a few homemade cookies.


  1. speaking of making us coffee or cocoa, did your espresso machine die? I have one for u if... yes...

  2. so true....those i SHOULD HAVES in life. don't wait, for sure.
    and i didn't wait to roast a chicken, two graces style, adding some organic carrots....absolutely the best chicken i've ever done. and we had some more of it tonight, the PLUS part. take care, right there.