BOBBY HARRISON: Don’t keep a grill beyond its sizzle life



As I wandered into the back of the west Nashville home, and noticed the grill on the patio, I thought back to a time when I brought home a new grill.

A young, pre-teen Katherine, as she was and is prone to do, was in the middle of the action as I unloaded the grill from the back of our van and pushed it to our back porch. Her brothers, Joshua, Will and Drew, as was par for the course, showed no interest in my latest purchase.

Now I would be lying if I told you I remembered exactly what Katherine said. And truth be known, Katherine and her mother claim they do not remember the conversation. But other than having fodder for a column, I have no reason to lie about the conversation. It is safe to say that if I was going to make up a conversation for a column, it would be much more dramatic than any discussion surrounding a new grill.

At any rate, what I remember is Katherine studying the grill and in so many words proclaiming it the most beautiful grill she had ever seen.

But Katherine’s world of barbecue grills was limited.

The grill that was being replaced was one that even the most self-obsessed hoarder would have thought better of moving from Tupelo to Madison. But that is exactly what I did – had the movers pack up the rickety grill that was literally falling apart.

While I am not a hoarder I do pride myself for getting every iota of use out of each and every item I purchase just as my Granny White taught me to do years ago.

So, yes, I moved that grill, rusting out on the bottom, from Tupelo to Madison. And yes, I continued to use that item even though the rack where the meat was cooked was literally beginning to split in two.

Before I brought that bright new shiny item home, poor Katherine probably had never seen a grill that was not a fire hazard and a food safety hazard all in one device.

So the grill I brought home that day – nothing special, but clean, shiny and in one piece – could be classified as beautiful in the eyes of a young girl who was probably accustomed to picking pieces of metal out of the meat cooked on the deteriorating rack on that monstrosity.

Well, Katherine has her very own grill now. It is much nicer than any grill that we have ever purchased. It came with her new home.

The previous homeowners decided it would be easier to leave it than to transport it to their new home in South Dakota – just like I should have done all those years ago.

But instead of leaving our grill on the patio of the Tupelo home we were departing, I should have left it at the street with the garbage.

As I took a break from helping Katherine move on a July 4 day that was cooler and more pleasant than we ever could have hoped for, I looked back fondly on that day I brought the new grill home.

I thought I was proud of Katherine and her new home and grill, but I sure miss the old days when a new grill could brighten the day of a little girl.

When I got back home a couple of days later, I fired up our latest back porch grill, all relatively new with no holes nor rust, and I thought about those days.

Bobby Harrison is the Daily Journal’s Capitol Bureau Chief. Contact him at or call (601) 946-9931.

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