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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin Fall 2015

The Legendary Birmingham Bar Membership Picnic It all begins months in advance - planning meetings, assignments, recipe discussions, more planning. As the June date approaches, the members of the BBA Entertainment Committee begin their hard work to make one of the best-tasting, friend-making, great-eating, Dionysian-drinking events of the calender year for Birmingham attorneys. There are many secrets and off-the-record bits of information that I am not privy to, much less allowed to repeat for publication, but there are also some interesting background facts that I have been given permission to share with our legal community. Take, for example, the massive amount of food prepared: 500 pounds of Boston Butts 400 pounds of split chickens 200 boneless breasts of chicken 150 pounds of pork steak 120 pounds of smoked ham 170 pounds of fried turkeys Crawfish, shrimp and sausage for jambalaya and crawfish willow Gallons of homemade navy beans, jet beans and coleslaw Homemade desserts, including banana pudding, chocolate pudding, brownies, cookies, and pies; Although many recipes are repeated year after year - the jambalaya recipe is Nick Callahan, Jr.’s original recipe - new recipes are added to the rotation. This year saw the addition of homemade pickles. Word on the street is that lamb and mutton may be added to the menu next year! There was also a canned food drive with some incredible prizes, e.g., Starbucks gift certificates, an Apple TV, and more. The leader of our annual picnic expedition, Entertainment Committee Chair Nick Callahan, III, was even responsible for the construction of an awesome barbeque pit made especially on premises for this occasion, which produced what many agreed was the best smoked meat ever! Many of us have treasured memories of past membership picnics. Enjoy these recollections: Fifty years ago, not all law offices were air conditioned and the new AC in the courthouse was spotty at best. It was simply too hot to hold court (although lawyers wore coats and ties to the office anyway). The bar picnic marked the beginning of summer and the end of court until Labor Day. There was none of the “loosen your tie for 45 minutes, come eat lunch and go back to the office” because the picnic for many years was held at lawyer Membership Picnic Entertainment Committee Chair Nick Callahan, III Smyer’s lake, then far in the country in Shelby County. The predecessors of our entertainment committee would dig old fashioned pits in the ground and slow cook whole pigs. There were only 3 or 4 female lawyers in town and they rarely came. The fancy looking bartenders are of very recent vintage and the libations were primarily “serve yourself.” Believe me though, there was ample serving. In those days, there were no credit or debit cards and not everybody even had a checking account. Lawyers were frequently paid in cash so there were always at least 2 or 3 large dice tables packed with lawyers and covered with $100 bills. War stories were told, whiskey was drunk and many cases were settled. There were fewer than 500 of us, and we all knew each other. Old lawyers did not eat their young and young lawyers were appropriately respectful. More important, excepting a few pri- Continued on page 34 Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Fall 2015 23


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin Fall 2015
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