Research a famous and historic food “joint” in your hometown …
… and, stretch your ancestral research outside of your immediate family. If you are like me, it will be a delicious journey because my reach led back to my family.
Growing up in Omaha, Nebr., I loved the wonderful taste of Metoyer’s Bar-B-Cue. I also knew that it was not and easy route to become a black business owner in any North American city during the 1950s. That could have been where my story ended. Yet, the lingering great taste of the “cue” kept my genealogy quest alive.
After interviewing my mother and father, I learned that the Metoyer owners were Civil Rights Movement pals of my family. Together our families protested several injustices that today are either long forgotten or trying to emerge. Whether lunch counter and retail dress stores’ boycott or marching in favor of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Metoyers and Weads heped to bring positive change in our Midwestern community.
The home cooked story gets better: Ray Metoyer, an award-wining journalist, and I are longtime friends largely based on our same chosen profession. We refer to ourselves as “homies” and we share ‘what we can remember stories that include my family’s treat of buying the best bar-b-cue from his parents’ restaurant. Ray and I also separately landed in the metropolitan Atlanta area. He was the TV anchorman; I was financial journalist for the largest metro newspaper and later, financial weekly paper. As such, Ray and I eptitomize the phrase “small world.”
My challenge to budding or skilled genealogists
Try it: Explore just one aspect of your hometown involving a popular food restaurant or store in your neighborhood. Once you are satisfied with your findings, look up one of the descendants and share your fondest for their families’ establishment. Next, record it. Tell it. Do something to keep the circle unbroken by sharing little known history.