arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Cheryl Lay


For years, Roger “Rabbit” Smith worked for Pullman Standard, putting brakes on boxcars. On weekends and holidays he cooked barbecue for his family at home. When the company he worked for went out of business, Roger looked to barbecue to earn his living. His in-laws offered him the vacant side of their store on Warrior River Road, and Roger jumped at the opportunity. In 1980 Rabbit’s Bar-B-Q was born. Roger designed the pit after the one at Leo & Susie Famous Green Top in Dora, Alabama, but the barbecue was all his own. His wife Linda developed their sauce, as well as their sides. Their daughters, Cheryl and Lisa, worked with customers and developed barbecue skills of their own. Today, Cheryl runs their new location across the street from where it all began. Roger still starts the fires and checks the pits from time to time.

Date of interview:
2006-10-05 00:00

Interviewer:
Amy Evans

Photographer:

Download Transcript

Other Project Interviews

WORKING TOGETHER

WE CAN CULTIVATE PROGRESS.

The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.

BECOME A MEMBER TODAY

Bill Smith Crooks Corner

Let’s Stay in Touch


Sign up for the SFA newsletter to have the latest content
delivered directly to your inbox.