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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

Richard Hodge


Is it any wonder that barbecue is such a mythologized food? Creation stories abound, mystical sauce recipes are traded and kept forever secret, and stories of the magnitude of out-of-control pit fires are traded like big-fish tales.

Richard Hodge, from tiny Hornsby, Tennessee, grew up watching the men—the elders—in his area gather every Fourth of July to cook whole hogs in big holes in the ground, watching them smoke all night long. He has cooked shoulders for over twenty years at his third establishment, this eponymous pit-house in Bolivar. Richard’s slogan is pork as “Sweet and Tender as a Mother’s Love.”


Interviewer:
Rien T. Fertel

Photographer:
Rien T. Fertel

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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.

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