CHICKASHA, OKLAHOMA -- There was a time when the fires in Roy Bryant's big barbecue pit hardly ever cooled.
On the busiest days a whole cow, at least the good parts, would disappear into the smoke.
He prefers green post-oak or blackjack.
The heat was always turned low at Roy's BBQ.
Roy learned to cook as one of 6 kids.
He had 8 of his own, drawn to the kitchen for the simplest of reasons.
He scraped and saved.
A friend of Roy and Clara got a bank loan on their behalf.
A one-room cafe got them started.
The Bryants built the rest on sweat and sweet sauce.
Their joint still fills up at noon every day.
Waitress Wanda Jones still barks out orders the same way she always has.
Roy slowed a bit in his mid-eighties.
After the rush ends he heads back to his favorite table to rest.
Roy's daughter moved back from Denver to help keep the family restaurant open.
The Bryants and longtime customers still talk about the people who've come through, and of how Coach Switzer used to bring the whole team here to eat after big games.
Roy's is one of those places people don't often find unless someone takes them.
After that, they usually find their way back.
Roy's BBQ is still open 10 to 7 Tuesday thru Saturday. The original restaurant is located on Missouri Avenue behind the Mazzios Pizza off Grand Avenue.