Grilled: Pork, chicken over flames tonight

Annual Rotary auction, barbecue set for Tuesday

By Kevin Spradlin

MARSTON — The 59th annual Rockingham Rotary Barbecue and Auction is set for tomorrow, Tuesday, as it always is, on election day.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |

But the party started Monday evening — several miles up U.S. Route 1 in Marston. In Tommy Deese Sr.’s backyard, more than a dozen family members and friends gather shortly after lunch and begin the task of preparing 2,800 pounds of pork, along with chicken, sausage and more, for Tuesday’s lunch and dinner crowd.

And they’re ready for a crowd. Deese said Monday they’re planning to sell between 2,800 and 3,300 plates of pork — hams and shoulders — or chicken between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Deese said he and his fellow volunteers will serve nothing but quality food. They put in long hours to make it happen, starting around 4 p.m. Monday and not finishing up until a bit before sunrise Tuesday. Then the meat must be transported to the Army National Guard Armory on Rockingham Road in Rockingham.

Hams and shoulders, said the veteran drillmaster, “make better barbecue than anything I’ve ever cooked.”

“We pay a premium price for it, but we want the best,” Deese said.

This is the 45th year that Deese has been spearheading the barbecue effort for the Rotary’s annual fundraiser.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |

Along with Deese, several others join in the effort, which is a mix of work and fun. The volunteers include: Tommy Deese Sr., Tommy Deese Jr., Wiley Mabe, Cherie Deese, Linda King, Don Pratt, Larry Weatherly, Steve Baggett, Robbie “Dog” Yates, Rick Buckner, Joe Liles, David King Tracie Harris and Emily Tucker.


Filed in: Featured News, Hoffman, Latest Headlines, News, Rockingham

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