Memorial Day BBQ

suburbs family barbecue 1957

The Smell of Democracy in the Air

Making their season debut, white shoes and Weber grills come out of hibernation as Memorial Day kicks off the beginning of summer.

What better way to remember those brave men and women who died while serving our country, than with firing up a grill and charing some meat to a fare thee well,  a great American tradition beloved by family’s for generations.

Every Memorial Day when I was growing up, our split level development would be shrouded by the smoke of burning charcoal, the sizzling smell of democracy was in the air.

vintage photo man grilling

Besides a parade, nothing was more quintessentially American than the seasons  first back yard barbecue to commemorate  Memorial Day.  Like some sacred Old Testament tradition of sacrificing an animal to please the Lord, every  a burnt offering of seared flesh was offered up in homage to Uncle Sam.

And in that  confident mid-century soaring bull market, Democracy was as vital to our health as a Delmonico steak.

Dad  knew tossing a hunk of  meat on a sizzling grill, the ubiquitous package of Kingsford briquettes at the ready proclaimed to the world “I’m proud to be an American.”

The Smell of Capitalism  In The Air

vintage graphic wealth from waste

In fact nothing was more American than those Kingsford briquettes.

Invented by the quintessential American capitalist Henry Ford as a way of further lining his own pockets, Ford had a better idea. By charring the wood scraps left over from his Model T’s and mixing them with starch fillers and just the right amount of chemicals, industrious Mr. Ford created briquettes .

The smell of democracy was indeed in the air – nothing reeked of capitalism more than turning industrial waste into profit.

(©) 20015 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved

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One comment

  1. Maybe if Nixon had given Khruschev some good old fashion American bbq, the Cold War might have ended much sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

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