11 Years Ago 2 of My Favorites Left Us (Part 2 Johnny Cash)

david carroll BeaverDamUSA.comFlashing back to that sad morning of September 12, 2003, NBC’s “Today Show” and the other network programs had to scramble their lineups, and in a hurry.  John Ritter had died the night before, and then came word that Johnny Cash had passed away in the wee hours of the morning.

Most major news operations have an “obit piece” nearby when a famous person dies.  You can bet that NBC, USA Today, the New York Times and the other big media outlets have someone responsible for making sure they can react quickly when a celebrity passes away.  If that person is elderly, or has been ailing, those pieces are prepared with some urgency.  It might be needed at any moment.  I’d venture a guess that when Anna Nicole Smith, Farrah Fawcett, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson died, their obituary stories were ready to run.  All had either been ill, or known to have personal problems that could adversely affect their chances for a long life.  I’d say obit pieces for Billy Graham, Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali are within easy reach.  All have been in poor health for years.  There’s no reason for good journalists to be caught by surprise when that call comes.

Occasionally, you get a shocker:  Princess Diana.  James Gandolfini.  The young star of “Glee,” Cory Monteith.  Going back a few years, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and John Lennon.  The causes of death are various, but all left us too soon, and in some cases, surprisingly sudden.

Johnny Cash’s death was somewhat expected.  He had been in failing health for a number of years.   He hadn’t toured since 1997 due to complications from diabetes and a neurodegenerative disease that robbed him of his strong voice and sure hands.  His wife of 35 years, June Carter Cash had helped care for him, and according to family, watched over him like a mother hen.  While Johnny was recording his late career “American” albums, it was June who made sure that her ailing husband wasn’t overdoing it.  He needed something to do, but not more than he could physically handle.

That’s why the real shocker involving the Cash family occurred on May 15, 2003.  June was in the hospital for heart-valve replacement surgery.  With Johnny’s health problems getting so much attention, June’s condition had received little or no press.  There were complications, and June died following surgery.  Press reports say Johnny was in a wheelchair at his wife’s funeral, “looking somber and composed.”  It’s generally believed Johnny was fading quickly anyway, but June’s sudden death may have accelerated Johnny’s decline.  He died four months later.

I always felt that Johnny had a connection to the Chattanooga area.  He even recorded a song called “Chattanooga City Limit Sign.” He was famously arrested for drug possession in Walker County Georgia in November 1967, while reportedly in a drunken/drugged stupor, looking for Civil War relics, eventually knocking on strangers’ doors.  Sheriff Ralph Jones had a long talk with his prisoner, who later credited him for “turning my life around.”  Around the same time, he was said to have driven to Nickajack Cave in Marion County, Tennessee where he intended to commit suicide.  The incident was captured in song by Gary Allan in “Nickajack Cave.”

As much as I enjoyed Johnny Cash from his Sun Records days in the 1950s, to his Columbia hits of the early 1960s, his “Folsom Prison”/”Boy Named Sue” rebirth and TV show of the late 60s, and the Highwaymen supergroup of legends in the 1980s, the most lingering image will always be the song and video that capped his career: “Hurt,” written and recorded years earlier by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.  The Cash version isn’t easy to watch, even to this day, but is it ever powerful!

Considered by some to be among the best music videos ever made, it was filmed in Cash’s Hendersonville home in October 2002.  By this time, the Man In Black was unable to walk, and legally blind.  You see the once-strapping man in all his trembling frailty, contrasted with photos and videos from his hell-raising younger days.  When it was released in February 2003, the scene that choked me up was when June was looking at her sick husband, with a mixture of love and concern.  When she died in May of that year, the video took on added poignancy.  As is often the case in life, the caretaker did not survive the patient.  In September, Johnny’s heart gave out too.

Johnny’s exit from this life was somewhat gradual, even prolonged by some standards.  But the emotional jolt of this song, this video, and the sad series of events that followed seemed to happen quite rapidly.  It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since we saw the last of Johnny Cash.  According to interviews shortly before his death, he was proud of his final work.  I think he knew he left us something special to remember him by.

11 Years Ago: Two of My Favorites Left (Part 1, John Ritter)

david carroll BeaverDamUSA.comOn the morning of September 12, 2003, I got up to help get the boys off to school.  Chris was a junior, Vince an 8th grader.  Like every day, I went back and forth a few times trying to rouse them from that deep teenage-boy sleep, and during the moments in between, I sat down at the computer, signed on, and waited for five minutes of pre-broadband eternity for the home page to pop up on the screen.  On most days, the MSNBC site would feature whatever happened overnight in Washington or some foreign capital.  That unforgettable morning delivered a double whammy though:  not one celebrity death, but two.  Johnny Cash and John Ritter.  Cash’s death, while very sad, was not terribly unexpected.  He was in his 70s, and had been quite ill for a number of years. But John Ritter?  He wasn’t even 55.  He was still active and vibrant.  He was starring in the ABC sitcom “8 Simple Rules,” which seemed headed for a long run.  Then suddenly, shockingly,  he was gone.

He had been working on the second season’s fourth episode, and reportedly did not feel well that day.  He was taken to a nearby hospital and died of an aortic dissection, described as an abnormal separation of tissues within the walls of the aorta, the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The weakened blood vessel may burst, which usually results in death if not treated immediately.  Evidently that’s what happened.

Occasionally a TV star becomes ill, or is involved in an accident, which leads us to wonder, “What would happen to (name a hit show) if (name a big star) died suddenly?  It hasn’t happened often.  Freddie Prinze of “Chico and the Man” committed suicide in 1977, and the show couldn’t recover without its beloved title character.  In the original “Dallas,” the family patriarch “Jock Ewing,” (Jim Davis) died.  In the 2012 update, son “JR” Larry Hagman died.  In both cases, the show went on, with tributes and new plot lines about the deceased stars.  Same with Tony Soprano’s mother (played by Nancy Marchand), who was a major figure in the early years of HBO’s “The Sopranos.”  In the upcoming  season, “Glee” will deal with the recent death of young star Cory Monteith.  Other supporting cast members and soap stars have died during the production of their series, but few hit us as hard as the death of John Ritter.

It’s the ‘Principal’ of the Thing

david carroll BeaverDamUSA.comFor twenty years now, I’ve been the “School Patrol” guy on Channel 3.

In all honesty, I don’t remember the date I was assigned to that beat.  But believe me, it’s somewhere around 20 years.  The first few years I worked at the station, I covered a little of everything, mostly lighter stories, which was fine by me.  One day the boss called me in and said, “We want you to specialize in something, you know,  your own beat.”  I agreed, with one condition.  “Look,” I said. “I’m not a confrontational kind of guy.  Could you give me something with no politics, no controversy, no violence?”

They said, “How about schools?” Little did I know….

But to coin a phrase, it’s been educational.  Most of the time, I’ve loved it. I go into more schools than the milk delivery guy.  Twenty different counties and school districts, more than 100 schools every year.  The rich ones, the poor ones, the new ones, the crumbling ones.  I’ve attended the groundbreakings and dedication ceremonies for just about every new school that’s opened in the past 20 years, and that’s always fun.

While reminiscing about School Patrol, I thought about a lot of principals.  I’ve known hundreds of them.  Some of them like me, others not so much.

Most of them understand my role.   If their school has great test scores, or wins a big award, I should cover it.  But if their school is vandalized, or a teacher gets in trouble, I should cover that too.  Early on, a few principals hit me with this painful accusation: “You only come here when it’s something bad.”  Sadly, too often they were right.  I pledged to visit them when something good was going on too, to give them positive coverage.  It’s still my goal, yet try as I might, I fail far too often.

As you might expect, being a TV news guy, I get plenty of parental complaints.  They used to arrive by letter, a few still come by phone, and now they’re most often by e-mail or Facebook.  Many of the complaints are about bus drivers, quite a few are about teachers, and the majority are about principals.  I look into each one.  Most are the result of poor communication, and when the two sides actually talk, the problem resolves itself.  However, some of them are valid complaints which turn into news stories. If I do my job well, the problem either gets solved, or becomes a story in which the public is informed about an issue that could affect them.

There are a few red flags.  When I see a complaint about a “principle,” I sigh and keep on reading. In this era of spell check, I seem to sigh a lot.  And besides, I’ve had a few complaints about principals myself.  Some principals I’ve known were sure that I was out to get them. There have been a few cases in which my news coverage may have played a role in a principal being demoted, transferred, or even dismissed.  I can remember another situation or two when a stubborn superintendent would resist moving a sub-par principal, just to avoid admitting a mistake.  No doubt about it:  there are unqualified, poor performing principals, just as there are poor performers in every occupation you can name, even news reporters.  Still, I sympathize with principals, particularly those in public schools who feel like they’re wearing huge targets on their backs.

The best principals are the ones who understand what I believe to be the three most important parts of their job.  I tell them they should spend 40% of their time on academics, 40% on discipline and 40% on public/parent relations.  Yes, that adds up to 120%, but any principal will tell you they have to put in that extra time.  Especially the high school principals;  the money is good, absolutely.  But who among us wants to unlock the door at 6:00 a.m., be responsible for the safety of 1500 or more teenagers in this post-Columbine, Facebook-frenzied world, and attend every athletic event, PTA meeting, dance and fundraiser?  Folks, they earn their money.


I’ve known some duds.  There’s the guy who threw me out of a high school during my KZ-106 radio days.  Some cheerleaders invited me to give away prizes at a pep rally, and I was happy to do so.  I no sooner got on stage when the secretary tapped me on the shoulder and said “Mr So-and-So wants to see you.”  Assuming that he wanted to thank me for generously bringing a box of Journey albums, I strolled down to his office, expecting the red carpet treatment.  He promptly yelled, “What do you think you’re doing?  Are you trying to take over my school?”  As I started mumbling something about my cheerleader pals, his neck turned beet red and he bellowed, “You’d better get out of here!”  I thought that was good advice.  A few days later, one of the lovely cheerleaders called and said, “What happened to you?  You left before the pep rally even started!”  I guess the kindly old principal just let the matter drop.  I wish I could.  To this day, when I see his scowling face on the school’s wall of principal portraits, I growl at him.

Oh, I’ve been tossed out of schools since then, but you never forget your first.

I’m glad to say though, that most principals I’ve dealt with have been terrific.  Some, past and present are among my best friends.  Most of them know they’re the face of their school, and the good ones know how to set the right tone for their particular campus.  One of my favorites is at a rural high school.  Walking down the hall with him one day, he spotted a 9th grader out of dress code.  “Boy, you get that shirt tail in, or I’ll whup your ass,” he said in a stern tone of voice.  He could tell I was a bit startled by his colorful choice of words.  “Aw, that’s nothing,” he said.  “I grew up with that boy’s daddy.  That’s the only language he understands.  And he knows I’m not really gonna whup his ass.  I’d let his daddy handle that.”

Such is the life of a high school principal.  Middle school principals deal with raging hormones.  Elementary principals get a lot of hugs, but have to wave off clingy parents.  Above all, my School Patrol experience has taught me this:  I’d rather report on principals than be one.

There Really Was ‘A Boy Named Sue’

Well my daddy left home when I was three
And he didn’t leave much to Ma and me
Except this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze
Now I don’t blame him because he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Is before he left, he went and named me Sue.

Shel Silverstein wrote those words, and Johnny Cash sang them back in 1969.  You can still hear “A Boy Named Sue” on oldies stations forty-four years later.  When the song came out, Johnny was enjoying a career resurgence.  He’d had his ups and downs since he hit the music scene with fellow rockabilly singers Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley from Sun Records in Memphis.  Mixed in with hits like “Ring of Fire” and “I Walk the Line” were well-publicized run-ins with the law, including a few around Chattanooga.

Johnny Cash with Chattanooga City Commissioner Paul Clark in 1981

Johnny Cash with Chattanooga City Commissioner Paul Clark in 1981

The Man in Black enjoyed a kinship with folks behind bars.  He’d spent a little time in jail himself.  Although his misdeeds were never violent, he sure sounded authentic when he sang, “I shot a man in Reno…just to watch him die…” in “Folsom Prison Blues.”  He had written the song in the early 1950s, and released it in 1955.  Thirteen years later he performed it while recording a live album, where else but Folsom Prison in California.  The song, and the album, were very successful, so a year later he went back to jail (to perform), this time at San Quentin in California.  That’s where “Sue” comes in.

Johnny’s wife June had heard Silverstein perform his novelty song at a “guitar pull” in Nashville, defined as a gathering where songwriters would try out their latest tunes for each other.  Silverstein, best known for his children’s books and cartoons, reportedly had two inspirations for his song.  A friend who happened to be a fellow entertainer was a man named Jean, and Silverstein was familiar with Jean’s frustrations of having a female name.  But the song’s actual namesake is believed to be Tennessee’s own Sue Hicks, a well-known legal figure who had first made a name for himself in 1925 at the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee.  He was on the prosecution team, led by William Jennings Bryan.  Hicks later served as a Circuit Court Judge in Tennessee for 22 years. During his career, he tried over 800 murder cases and thousands of others, but admitted he was best known for his unusual first name.  Unlike the tortured “Sue” in the hit song, Judge Hicks said he had a good relationship with his father, who bestowed the name upon him in honor of his mother Susanna, who died shortly after Sue was born.  Judge Sue Hicks died in 1980 in Sweetwater, Tennessee at the age of 84.

Judge Sue Hicks

Judge Sue Hicks

Unlike most hit records of that era, “A Boy Named Sue” had a very loose, unrehearsed feel to it.  It certainly wasn’t overproduced.  If it sounds like the musicians were making it up as they went along, that isn’t too far from the truth.  On the live album version, you can hear Johnny ask guitarist Carl Perkins to hang around for another song or two (including “Sue.”) Sure enough Carl had been given the lyrics only a few hours before, and was asked to “put some chords to this.”  Johnny himself didn’t know the words.  He had never performed the song in front of a microphone.  As you’ll see in the video below, he’s reading the words off a sheet of paper on his music stand, and his eyes rarely leave that paper.  If his reactions, and those of the audience sound real and spontaneous, it’s because they’re all hearing Sue’s story for the very first time!  You’ll also notice the actual live recording is not quite what you’ve heard on the radio all these years.  That bleeped-out expletive was kept away from our innocent ears back in 1969, although now it’s hard to avoid on network TV.  Also, a talented tape editor managed to splice out the word “damn” from the song’s closing line.  All we heard was, “And if I ever have a son…I’m gonna name him…Bill, or George!  Anything but Sue!  I still hate that name!”  It turns out “any thing” wasn’t one word after all.

I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a’ gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer

This not-so-friendly father and son reunion, “in Gatlinburg, in mid-July” sure paints a picture, doesn’t it?  Shel Silverstein was awfully good at that, selling 14 million books and writing more hit songs, including “Cover of the Rolling Stone” and “Sylvia’s Mother” for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.  “Sue” was the big one though, winning Silverstein a Grammy for Best Country Song, and Cash for Best Male Vocal Performance (1969).  It peaked at #2 on the charts, kept out of the top position by “Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones.  (That song may have also included a naughty word or two, but I couldn’t understand what Mick Jagger was saying, then or now.)

What did Judge Sue Hicks get from all this additional notoriety?  Good ol’ Johnny sent him a couple of personally autographed photos: “To Sue, how do you do?”

Of course Judge Hicks is long gone, Silverstein died in 1999, and Johnny left us in 2003.  To borrow a line, I never met ‘em before they died, but if I could, I’d thank them for “the gravel in your guts and the spit in your eye,” and I’d thank June for talking Johnny into performing that song.  As usual, she steered him in the right direction.

Radio Hall of Famer Tommy Jett and the Healing Power of Rock & Roll

david fpBack in May, Chattanooga radio legend Tommy Jett was inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. The honor was a long time coming, but that’s not why the story is remarkable. His induction almost didn’t happen, at least not with Tommy alive to witness it.

When the organization’s first round of inductees was announced last year, Tommy was disappointed, though not surprised that he didn’t quite make the cut. Only six living radio legends were elected, including nationally known broadcasters like Ralph Emery, Wink Martindale and John Ward, and Chattanooga icon Luther Masingill. Maybe next year, Tommy thought. In the meantime, he gathered his memorabilia, including his bright red 1960s-era WFLI “Jet-FLI” blazer and planned a trip to the ceremony to reminisce and mingle.

Fate intervened just days before the banquet one April afternoon. Tommy, a longtime diabetic, apparently lost consciousness while driving along a rural north Georgia road. His car went airborne, flipping a half-dozen times before landing in a ditch out of the view of most drivers. Fortunately, another motorist was nearby and saw it happen. Emergency workers were called to the scene, and spent the next four hours carefully removing Tommy from the wreckage, using the tools known as the “Jaws of Life.” Walker County Deputy Bruce Coker, who had worked alongside the deejay during numerous “Stocking Full of Love” Christmas charity events, led the rescue effort. “I thought there was no way we could get him out alive,” Coker said later.

Tommy Jett David Carroll beaverdamusa.com

Chattanooga radio legend Tommy Jett.

Yet within days, Tommy Jett was holding court in his hospital room, recovering from neck surgery and other procedures. He was determined to make his annual commitments to the Corn Bread Festival in South Pittsburg and his own Entertainers Reunion, both scheduled during the next month. Plus he’d been asked to introduce oldies acts like the Turtles and Gary Puckett at the Riverbend Festival in June. For Tommy, if he was breathing, the show must go on. He made every date, looking more gaunt and gray by the day. He was losing weight at an alarming rate. The once robust, rosy-cheeked rock-and-roller just didn’t have much of an appetite, and he didn’t know why.

It all came to a head in late June. His wife Charlene, who had tried mightily to get him to eat more, called 911. He had lapsed into a coma, and she didn’t know what to do. He was rushed to a Chattanooga hospital on that Friday afternoon, and friends and neighbors started spreading the word: this didn’t look good.

On Sunday, July 1st, the phone calls and e-mails went out. “If you want to see Tommy Jett one more time, you’d better hurry over to the hospital.” He was being kept alive on a respirator, and doctors told Charlene the bad news: he was totally unresponsive. “He will never get better,” they said. Some grave decisions had to be made. That afternoon, she told friends she was beginning to accept the inevitable. By the next morning, his family members should all be in town. Those closest to Tommy could say goodbye. Funeral arrangements were made, a church was chosen, pallbearers were notified.

What happened next has yet to be explained, scientifically anyway. Some longtime radio friends, led by Chip Chapman and Ben Cagle hatched an idea. Yes, Tommy is lying in a hospital bed. He doesn’t seem to hear us, he shows no signs of life, he probably doesn’t even know we’re here telling him how much we love him. But what did Tommy enjoy more than anything else in the world? Being on the radio, playing the hits of course. So the radio guys rounded up a boombox, loaded in some CD recordings of Tommy’s classic WFLI “Night Train” call-in request shows from the 1960s, and cranked it up near the head of Tommy’s bed. All day, all night. When one disc ran out, a new one was put in. Elvis, the Supremes, the Four Seasons, all introduced by Tommy’s familiar “Hey Now” greeting. Budweiser commercials, 1963 news flashes and hit songs, just as they aired on AM transistor radios fifty years earlier.

Monday morning arrived, and to everyone’s surprise and relief, they did not “pull the plug.” Doctors told the family that Tommy had shown slight signs of improvement. Those were visible only to doctors. To the rest of us, Tommy was still in a deep sleep, with no movement. The music played on. “Come on and be my little…good luck charm,” Elvis crooned. Tommy Jett’s lively voice would interrupt between songs: “Nineteen minutes after midnight, you’re movin’ and grooving, with Super-Jett, your ever-lovin’ leader!” ending on a high note few men over thirty could ever hope to reach.

The next day, Tommy began to move his fingers just a bit. By Wednesday, he was blinking his eyes as James Brown yelped in the background. Later that day his eyes began following the movements of his wife and grandkids in the hospital room. Message received: Tommy wasn’t ready to “check out” just yet. He still had some living to do.

By Friday, five days after his old deejay pals came by to say goodbye, they returned to witness what can only be described as a miracle. There was Tommy Jett, still listening to his old radio shows, but now able to speak, laugh, and express his thanks. Was he able to hear the music while doctors and family were discussing his planned exit from this life? No one, not even Tommy can be sure about that. One thing is for sure: it didn’t hurt. And if anyone wants to attach a little healing power to the sounds of rock and roll, so be it.

By the spring, he was driving again, appearing at Corn Bread Festivals and Entertainers Reunions, and putting together an eye-catching outfit for his induction into the 2013 class of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame on Saturday May 4. He was determined to make it this time, and deliver the acceptance speech his friends thought would never take place. Yes, his appearance would be accompanied by sound clips and music from his old radio shows. After all, it’s his lifeblood.

Tommy is quick to credit his faith and his doctors for bringing him back from the brink of death’s door. Charlene says, “We give much credit to the doctors, like David Denman. And Tommy and I know the real reason he is here is God.” But the man who loves his fans like no other radio personality can’t hide a smile when it’s suggested that maybe rock and roll had something to do with it. “There’s nothing like music,” he says. “It’s been a big part of my whole life.”

As for me, I’m instructing my family to keep some Tommy Jett CDs handy, just in case I’m ever the subject of those serious hospital conversations. Crank up “TJ the DJ” for me. That might make me want to stick around a while longer too.

Sugar’s Ribs – Chattanooga, TN

By Coach Billy Jack Hoover

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A view of Lookout Mountain from the Sugar’s Ribs location just off I-24 in Chattanooga.

I went up to Chattanooga a couple of days ago to make a friendly visit to a couple of football players’ families there. I’ve only got about 10 or 12 linebackers coming back in the fall, and I don’t like to be thin at that position. Chely Sizemore got wind I was going, and she said she wanted to see where Moon Pies were made. So she tagged along. We filled up the oil and checked the gas in the old Ford truck, jumped in and headed up the road to what people there call the Scenic City.

After we took care of our business, Chely and I got hungry for barbecue. We asked a couple of good ol’ boys where the best meat in town was, and they headed us to Sugar’s Ribs off of I-24 halfway up Missionary Ridge. The experience started before we even got out of the truck. Chely went on and on (and on, and on, and on) about the view of the city. You can see everything, including Lookout Mountain and some of the other mountains that surround town. And get this: those guys even sells T-shirts that say “Q with a view.” Now that’s funny. Sugar’s has a covered deck where you can enjoy the view while you eat outside, but it was a little cold so we ate inside. The walls are all glass, though. So we still got to take it all in while we ate.

Follow the Beaver Dam Roadside Tavern on twitter

sugar's ribs beaverdamusa.comI got the pork butt and Texas Pintos. Now here’s a little lesson for all you Yankees and slackers out there: “Butt” refers to the shoulder of the hog. It’s called a Boston Butt cut, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the hog’s hind end, so quit snickering. Anyway, Chely got the BBQ chicken sandwich and smoked jalapenos.

My pork was a touchdown. It was served chopped. I prefer pulled, but when it’s this tender, you can just finish the job with your fork. Ol’ Coach has gobbled lots of barbeque in his day, and this rates among the best. There are 5 or so sauces on the table, and I tried them all. They included mustard, traditional, sweet, Carolina, and habanero pepper to describe a few. The good folks at Sugar’s put a bunch of little cups on the table so you can squirt a little in each. You’ve gotta try them all. My pork was served with a couple of southwest cornbread muffins that really stick to your ribs. The Texas pintos were a great side dish. They come with fresh onions, a fresh pepper and parsley on top. I mixed some of the habanero sauce in there with them.

Now, we all know that Chely has rung a few chickens’ necks in her day. She’s a real country girl who knows her yardbird. (That’s what we call chickens in Catfish County.) I think she would’ve gotten the pork like me, except when we walked in, the first thing we saw was the chicken rotisserie right there in the kitchen. Those birds were golden brown. I think that’s what hooked her. She was hypnotized.

Like all good women, Chely’s a talker. But the chicken sandwich hushed her up good. I don’t think she said a word the whole time she was eating it. It was fall-off-the-bone tender and tasty, according to her. She said the smoked jalapeno papers were a treat also. But slackers beware: they’re blazing hot. I’ve never seen a girl eat hot food like she does. But even she left the spine and seeds (that’s where the unbearable heat is, she says). She loved them, though.

sugar's ribs beaverdamusa.com

Mouth-watering sauces on the tables at Sugar’s Ribs.

Sugar’s also has ribs (it would be a slacker name if they didn’t), brisket, and lots of interesting side dishes. For all you back-sliding Baptists out there, they have a limited selection of beer and wine. You can check out the menu here. And, follow Sugar’s Ribs on twitter.

Me and Chely highly recommend if you ever go over to Chattanooga that you visit Sugar’s Ribs. They also have a location downtown.

Until next time, enjoy some Q with a view, and Give Me 20, Slackers!

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