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Morucci's, a Local Institution for a Reason

Morucci's, a Local Institution for a Reason

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Far off from the bustling food mecca that is San Francisco, past the hyper-organic lifestyles in Berkeley, hidden in the East Bay super-suburb of Walnut Creek, sits Morruci’s Si Mangia Bene. The shabby patio furniture out front is always occupied, and unless your trip is perfectly timed, there will probably be a line. So why does everyone seem to love tracking down this non-descript location? In a word: quality.

The sandwich shop is a locals-only secret (oops!) that is carefully passed down from generation to generation of high schoolers and given as a sacred right to people newly arriving into local offices. Each of these comes with the hushed whisper of a number, the knowledgeable veteran’s “sandwich to get”. The funny thing, though, is that each person passes down a different number. Whether it’s the number 1 piled high with Italian meats cut right in front of you or the legendary number 8 overflowing with pastrami, everyone seems to have their own favorites here, and no one seems to be in the wrong.

Beyond the obvious pull of the delicious sandwiches, Morruci’s friendly sandwich makers are another reason why the humble sandwich shop has seen such success. A smile is guaranteed as soon as you walk in the door, and within a few visits you will be welcomed in on a first-name basis, and if you’re lucky with a question of “One of the usual?” It may be a simple combination, but one can never underestimate the importance of serving great food at good prices with a friendly atmosphere. Move quickly, though; something this good can’t stay hidden forever.

Morucci's, a Local Institution for a Reason - Recipes

Although Main Street Pizzeria and Grille has been a local institution for the last 16 years, Jon Evearts took ownership of the business in 2007 while he was pursuing his degree in business at Temple University. He decided to put the skills he had learned to use in the real world. His education and previous restaurant experience have served him well. He understood the importance of establishing procedures. He immediately set about ensuring the restaurant was well managed and serviced by a courteous staff. His new business plan became a great success, leading to happy customers who always looked forward to returning for the great food.

Today Main Street Pizzeria and Grille offers an extensive menu of pizza, sandwiches, salads and Italian specialties from its Norristown location, while also providing delivery to numerous local businesses and private residences as well as catering special events. New frequently requested items have also been added to the menu. Costs have been lowered to help patrons amid these current economic conditions. A classically trained Italian chef with 17 years of experience working in a well-known New York City eatery has been hired. Some of his signature dishes included penne a la vodka, crab penne and seafood fra diablo.

Main Street Pizzeria and Grille has recently expanded its catering and menu services. &ldquoWe have catered events for A.I.G. in King of Prussia, a fundraiser at the Valley Forge Radisson and a black-tie corporate holiday party where we served filet tips and shrimp cocktail,&rdquo Evearts says. Though most of these events feature buffet or family-style portions of their signature salads, pasta and sandwiches, Main Street Pizzeria and Grille will also provide wait-staff service and accommodates special-menu requests. &ldquoWe can cater to suit any event. At a recent black-tie banquet [held for Gwynedd Dental Associates], we served lollipop lamb chops, chicken Marsala and bacon-wrapped scallops while dressed in tuxedos with white-glove service.&rdquo Other gourmet appetizers include antipasto, bruschetta, mini crab cakes and sautéed mussels or clams marinara. Main Street Pizzeria and Grille can also provide beer and wine for its catered events.

Among the most popular items served at corporate events, banquets and family parties are the pasta dishes such as lasagna, fettuccini alfredo, stuffed shells and macaroni and cheese. These are excellent accompaniments to favorite chicken or veal preparations such as Saltimbocca, Marsala and Oscar or stuffed tilapia. The corporate lunch accounts often request trays of Main Street Pizzeria and Grille&rsquos delicious paninis&mdashnamed for local bridges such as the Tacony and the Whitman&mdashalong with hoagies and fresh salads. The Buffalo chicken wings are also extremely popular, according to Evearts.

&ldquoSome of these accounts are from as far away as Chester and Media,&rdquo he says. &ldquoWe also cater many local festivals and fundraisers, including those for Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church and the Police Athletic League.&rdquo Evearts is grateful for the community&rsquos support of Main Street Pizzeria and Grille and invests back into the community through donations to local charities and neighborhood afterschool programs.

In the last year, he has been improving the restaurant, providing better amenities, lighting, fixtures and décor. There is even discussion of an expansion, which may include outdoor seating and additional locations. In addition to the ambition Evearts exhibits and the friendly service Main Street Pizzeria and Grille provides (where he knows most of his customers by first name), the primary reason customers choose this restaurant is the excellent quality of the food it serves. &ldquoFor now, though, quality and customer service remain my first priority,&rdquo he says.

&ldquoA lot of people love our salads,&rdquo Evearts adds. &ldquoOur produce comes from local vendors. Everything is prepared in house and is always fresh.&rdquo This includes the homemade sauces and pesto used in its dishes and the hand-breading of chicken or veal for its parmesan. The meats and breads used for Main Street Pizzeria and Grille&rsquos steaks and &ldquoFat Boy&rdquo burgers are always fresh&mdashnever frozen&mdashand also come from local suppliers. The steaks are served on seeded brioche rolls from a local Conshohocken bakery so they are always fresh and delivered daily. The burgers are stuffed with unique ingredients such as avocado and blue cheese crumbles and served on honey-glazed wheat rolls. Its pizzas have been known to be the best pizza in the area, using only homemade sauces.

Main Street Pizzeria and Grille offers signature sandwiches including local favorites such as the Rosa&mdashsautéed white-meat chicken breast smothered in barbeque sauce, topped with onions and Cheez Whiz&mdash&ldquoGoomba&rsquos&rdquo roast pork and the Norristown favorite known as the Zep, historically known as the &ldquoworking man&rsquos Italian hoagie,&rdquo featuring salami, provolone, tomato, onion and seasonings. Its pizzas too include both traditional favorite and unique combinations. &ldquoMost of these recipes are our own creations,&rdquo Evearts notes, and these creations have quickly become crowd favorites. Main Street Pizzeria and Grille&rsquos pizzas and steaks have been voted &ldquoBest&rdquo in several local contests.

Whether its customers are craving a local favorite, looking for a fresh lunch or are in need of a company to cater their next personal or corporate event, Main Street Pizzeria and Grille will always serve them with a smile. Main Street offers delivery between 11:00 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Evearts states, &ldquoWe know what gives our food that &lsquoOld World Italian flavor&rsquo with a New World twist it&rsquos our recipes. Our food is delicious, and I invite everyone to come and check out our food and restaurant. I&rsquom sure you will agree.&rdquo

Hardeman’s BBQ Is a Dallas Institution for a Reason

George “Slim” Miller didn’t like the welding job he’d taken right out of trade school. It was hot work running beads inside diesel tanks, so he quit. The lady at the unemployment office on Ledbetter in Dallas told him to walk across the street to a row of businesses and ask for a job. George Hardeman Sr. had him washing dishes just after the lunch rush, and Miller has worked for Hardeman’s BBQ ever since. That was in 1978.

Miller runs two hickory-fueled offset smokers parked behind the Hardeman’s BBQ at Kiest and Hampton in South Dallas. Siblings Gloria Hardeman and George Hardeman Jr. opened this spot in 2012, but the Hardeman’s name has been a force in the Dallas barbecue scene for decades. It’s one of three Hardeman’s locations still operating in town, and my favorite for the ribs and hot plate lunches.

Depending on the day, George might be cooking turkey necks, pig’s feet, or spaghetti. I try to time my visits around the braised oxtails or smothered pork chops. The oxtails come three to an order, and the rich, fatty meat easily falls away from the bone. The salty gravy spooned over a side of rice and a bowl of savory greens make it a meal. I’ve never had pork chops so tender as George’s. They’re doubled up on a platter, and if you pack one up to take home, you’ll likely nibble on it during the ride home.

Miller said he’s never tried smoking the oxtails. His specialty, or at least the most popular item on the menu, is pork ribs. I inquired about his rub, and he told me, “I don’t rub nothing. I shake it on there.” The seasoning isn’t complicated. “It’s just cayenne pepper and salt,” he said, and of course some hickory smoke.

He’s had to get used to the offset smokers because he learned on the massive brick cabinet-style pits built into the walls at the earlier Hardeman’s locations. I’d say he’s doing fine. These spares don’t have the heft or the heavy rub of some other local spots. There’s no secret ingredient or anything sweet to distract from the taste of good, clean barbecue. The pork flavor is forward, followed by salt and smoke. The heat from the cayenne is barely discernible. I prefer the full spares to the more expensive small-end ribs because I like the fatty rib tips. A rib sandwich will get you three whole ones, two slices of bread, pickles, onions, and sauce for $7.

I asked Miller what he’d learned about barbecue over the last forty years, and he gave me a surprising answer:

Nobody has probably told you this, but I’m gonna tell you. You can season your meat, you can build you a fire, and you can put that meat on that fire, but if that meat don’t feel you, and you don’t feel that meat, ain’t nobody gonna enjoy it. I feels my meat. I sing to my meat. I do. I have lots of love for what I do.


ST. LOUIS ''IALWAYS liked going to spring training - to soak up the atmosphere there, and to get out of the office,'' he was saying. ''Iɽ have two cameras around my neck because I'm a real photography bug. One day I asked Eddie Mathews, who was manager of the Braves then, if heɽ pose for a picture when he had time. He said he had more important things to do than pose for pictures.

''I was walking away when I overheard him ask someone, 'Who's that fat little guy with the glasses?' ''He was told, 'That's C.C. Johnson Spink, publisher of The Sporting News.' '𧻝ie said, 'Holy mackerel!' '' C.C. Johnson Spink, laughed and leaned back in his chair in his office. ''I enjoyed the prestige and recognition of being the publisher and editor of The Sporting News, and being around the people in the game,'' he said. ''That's the part I'm going to miss the most.''

This was Friday, and the last hours of a day that had dawned nearly 96 years before, on March 17, 1886, when Alfred Henry Spink, Johnson's grand-uncle, published the first edition of The Sporting News. It began as a local sports weekly and expanded into a national institution for hard-core sports fans, and has often been called ''The Bib le of Baseball'' from the first iss ue through to the current one, No.4,986, it had a Spink - four in all - at the top of the masthead. The next one will not.

Johnson Spink, who has no heir to pass the newspaper on to, sold The Sporting News five years ago - when he was 60 - to The Times Mirror Company for $18 million. For the last five years, as the contract stipulated, he had remained as chairman of the board. Now he will be a consultant. ''Whatever that means,'' he said.

He was being moved from his large office - it is being converted into a confer ence room - into a much smaller one. He seemed t o take the switch this day, amid the moving men, with aplomb. Less so his devoted assistant of 30 years, Edith Olovitch. ''I just ca n't do my work with all the books in the big credenza inthe other off ice,'' she said. '⟭ith,'' he said gently, ''let's just use this credenza.'' He pointed to a smaller one in the new office. She looked at it and seemed to res ign herself.

''It's an emotional time,'' said Spink, after a moment. ''It's hard to close doors behind you. I know I don't usually show much emotion but I keep it inside me - which maybe is why I've got two ulcers. And why Iɽ wake up at 2:30 in the morning and wonder if I was doing the right thing.''

The fervent readers of The Sporting News will be watching closely. They always have. Whenever changes have been made they have invariably resulted in outcries from some readers - but not much backlash is expected now since Richard Waters, the new president and chief executive officer, has been on the scene for eight months. ''The transition,'' said Spink, ''has been smooth.'' Shortly after his father Taylor's death in 1962, one of Johnson's most controversial acts upon assuming the top job was to removed from the masthead the eagle with the streamer in its beak reading '➺seball.''

''People wrote and said I had desecrated an American institution,'' said Spink. 'ɺnd I remember after the Second World War when we began to add coverage of other sports besides baseball - we were deluged with complaints.''

But readership has risen steadily, and is at an all-time high of 475,000. A Shriner in Iowa was buried, according to his will, with a copy of The Sporting News. A nun who was not allowed to read anything but the Bible in the convent once wrote Spink that she used to smuggle in copies of The Sporting News under her habit. ''Of course the letter was unsigned,'' he said. And Richard Nixon, when he was Vice President, requested to write an article about his views of sport. 'ɻut for some reason President Eisenhower squelched it - I never learned why,'' said Spink.

Nowhere else can fans get such a weekly glut of statistics, records, news, features and potpourri of facts about the major sports, primarily baseball, football, basketball and hockey.

Unintentionally, The Sporting News provides even broader information. It was, for example, one of the few papers the hostages in Iran were allowed to get, their captors figuring that sports reading is a harmless pastime. It turned out to be an important link to the outside world.

''The hostages found out that the Shah had died, that there was a gas shortage and that there was a recession in the United States,'' said Spink. 'ɺll of this came strictly through coverage of sports. Like, attendance at ball games was down because of the gas shortage. One of the hostages, Bruce German, was a subscriber and his wife asked if we could send his copy to Iran. We did, but none of us was sure they got through.

''When the hostages were released, German said in his first interview, 'Thank God for The Sporting News.' He said they read every word and passed the paper around until it was tattered.

''Shortly after, a reporter for Public Radio asked me if I worked for the C.I.A. I said, 'What do you mean?' She said, 'The hostages couldn't have gleaned all that information without you putting it in on purpose?'

''I said, 'Yes, they could.' I don't work for the C.I.A., of course, but the point she missed was that sports is not a fantasyland. It's part of the real world, and it's affected by the things that go on around it.''

Sometimes, though, The Sporting News has been charged with burying its head in the sand, and was more of an advocate for sports than an impartial journal. It stayed clear of controversial issue - or took the establishment line. In player-owner disputes, for example, it had generally sided with the owners against the players, who, The Sporting News editorialized, were spoiled and greedy.

'ɻut we've gotten more balanced,'' said Spink. During the baseball strike last summer, he said, Marvin Miller, the executive director of the players association, and Bowie Kuhn, commissioner of organized baseball, each complained about biased rep ort ing in The Sporting News.

''That was good,'' he said. ''That tells me we were doing something right.'' When, last year, The Sporting News discovered an error in a 1910 box score that would have changed the American League batting champion from Ty Cobb to Napoleon Lajoie, the commissioner's office was unhappy.

'ɺ vote by a committee was taken to decide whether a new batting champion should be crowned, and th e vote was virtually unanimous thathe shouldn't be,'' said Spink. ''They said we were trying to rewrite history. But if history was wrong - and there is no question about that box scor e - then it should be righted.''

Such matters, particularly when pertaining to baseball, are still taken seriously if not solemnly by The Sporting News. It is part of the tradition. Never was it was more grim than when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. '➯ter looking at the 70 years of Japanese baseball in retrospect,'' editorialized J.G. Taylor Spink, ''this treacherous Asiatic land was never really converted to baseball. Through our great game runs an inherent decency, fair dealing, love of the game and respect for one's opponents. No nation which has had as intimate contact with baseball as the Japanese could have committed the vicious, infamous deed of the early morning of Dec. 7, 1941.

Taylor Spink was when the spirit struck - and it struck often - a volatile man with a salty vocabulary. He was an exceedingly demanding boss and believed his employees should work seven long days a week throughout the year. As Cal Fussman wrote in Inside Sports magazine, ''There was only one word in the English language that he considered unspeakable: vacation.''

And Taylor's father before him, Charles Spink - Johnson's grandfather - was a chip off the old block. Ring Lardner became The Sporting News editor in 1910, and recalled one particular day in his rocky relationship with the boss. ''I fought all day to overcome a mad longing to spit in Mr. Spink's eye,'' wrote Lardner. He quit after three months.

Johnson Spink says there are two sides to the story. ''Ring was an alcoholic, you know,'' says Spink. 'ɺnd in those days the paper was having financial problems. The employees were paid in scrip. I figure that Ring was mad probably because the saloons wouldn't accept his scrip.''

The Sporting News survived nearly a century of problems inside and outside of the newspaper, and its longevity is celebrated on the walls of the newsroom, which are papered with reproductions of the first issue.

''My contribution,'' said Johnson Spink, ''was to bring the newspaper into the modern age. Before my father died 19 years ago, it was pretty gray. I put in a lot of white space, particularly in ads. We got bigger photographs -we used to concentrate on the thumbnail head shots. And in our mailing we made sure that the paper got to your house before the weekend.

'ɺnd maybe most important, we tried to get the best writers we could afford.'' The Sporting News has always used a fairly small editorial staff and the writers have been correspondents for major dailies. 'ɺnd we've tried to make their lives a little easier than when Papa was here,'' he said, with a smile. ''He was a great journalist, and an enthusiastic one. But heɽ call wrtiers up at all hours of the night with ideas. And heɽ get mad when theyɽ get mad, and heɽ fire them on the spot. When he died, Dan Daniel, one of the writers, said he came to the funeral because he had to. 'If I hadn't shown up,' said Daniel, 'Taylor would've fired me for the 17th time.' ''

No Spink will be hiring or firing anyone at The Sporting News anymore. ''I'll be on hand to use my contacts for the new folks, and to consult if they need me,'' he said. Otherwise, he and his wife, Edith, the mayor of Ladue, a St. Louis suburb, will tool around in their second-hand Rolls-Royce and take part in functions of the Botanical Gardens and St. Louis Opera, of which they are active members. And, an avowed sports fan, he plans to follow sports in the manner to which he was born.

''I'll continue reading The Sporting News,'' he said. ''My God, it was in my crib. I couldn't imagine life without it.''

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

Duff Goldman makes a guest appearance at Michael Symon's favorite Baton Rouge, La. smokehouse that boasts a pork belly hoagie so outrageous it has to be shared. Next up in St. Louis, a big fat Greek burger ignites Michael's cultural soul, and in Austin, he indulges in pit-roasted meats and spicy salsa atop the freshest tortillas this side of the border.

Sweet and Savory

Scott Conant shows Michael Symon his favorite burger and brew bar in an out-of-the-way corner of New Orleans, and then in Kansas City, Kan., Michael learns how two brothers have stormed the classic barbecue scene with their award-winning smoked meat techniques. Finally, he dives into a lively joint in Austin where they match their artisanal sausages with brew-infused cocktails.

Hot, Charred and Crispy

Cooking Channel's Haylie Duff joins Michael Symon at one of his most treasured New Orleans spots, where they use the city's Cajun flavors in new and unique ways in crunchy po' boys and spicy barbecue shrimp. Next, he heads to a husband- and wife-owned pizza place in Brooklyn where the chef whips up a burger so delicious, he put it on the menu and named it after his bride. Finally, in Kansas City, Mo., Michael meets a team that smokes some of the best burnt ends around!

Spiced, Salty and Succulent

Food Network Star winner, Eddie Jackson, meets Michael Symon in Austin for a barbecue sandwich that has the entire town lined up. Then, Michael heads to Jersey City, where a chef who was tired of driving into Manhattan for a great burger concocted his own sweet and spicy creation. Finally, in Louisville, Ky. he washes down a pastrami spiced sandwich and dessert with a refreshing local brew.

Meat, Meat and More Meat

New Orleans' favorite son, John Besh, shows Michael Symon his most treasured spot for an incredible burger and sides that play on the region's staples. Next, Michael hops over to Hoboken, N.J. for a juicy, authentic Eastern European pot roast that takes five days to make! Lastly, he builds a super-sized smoked meat sandwich along with a candied praline pie in St. Louis.

Tastes of the Tropics

Pastry chef phenom, Ron Ben-Israel, hangs with Michael Symon in Baton Rouge, La. to feast on a mile-high key lime pie and a Caribbean-inspired brisket melt. Then, Michael heads to Louisville, Ky. for a burger topped with chorizo and a downright dangerous dessert aptly named the bacon cinna-bomb. Finally, in Lexington, Ky., he devours a fried chicken sandwich so spicy, he quenches things with a soothing local craft beer.

Decadent Regional Dishes

Baton Rouge, La. native and Food Network Star finalist, Jay Ducote, joins Michael Symon for a French and Cajun-inspired burger with a twist. Next, Michael heads to St. Louis, where they're taking the local tradition of toasted ravioli and stuffing them with burnt ends. Lastly, he hits an Austin institution for a gigantic peach-glazed pork chop and piled-high peanut butter mousse pie.

Super Chefs' Favorite Foods

Football legend, Earl Campbell, and Michael Symon dig into juicy brisket and warm peach cobbler at one of Texas' most famous barbecue restaurants. Then, in Cincinnati, Michael savors a bacon and blue cheese burger. Finally, in Kansas City, Mo., he hops into the kitchen with a chef buddy to whip up a creamy, inside-out shepherd's pie and beer-infused doughnuts.

Juicy, Crunchy and Tangy

Michael Symon starts in Lexington, Ky. for a plump pork burger and ingenious smoked chicken wings smothered in a blackberry jalapeno sauce. Next, he whips up spicy fried chicken and waffles that are making the Cincinnati food scene soar, before hitting the French Quarter in New Orleans for Caribbean-inspired creations like crispy, tender rum-soaked ribs.

Deep-Fried Comfort Creations

In Brooklyn, Michael Symon digs into an incredible, one-of-a-kind creation: a deep-fried burger. Next, he cruises through the New Orleans French Quarter for classic Cajun creations like crawfish and grits and jambalaya, washed down with an adult sundae steeped in local stout beer. Lastly, he lands in Lexington, Ky. for a smoked and savory fried steak bacon biscuit.

Ooey, Gooey and Cheesy

Michael Symon gets messy in New Orleans with a bacon-onion jam, brie and brioche brunch burger alongside creamy crabmeat mac and cheese. Then, he devours a massive meatloaf sandwich in San Antonio, wrapped in crispy bacon and drenched with an egg. Finally, he heads to Brooklyn for a smoked lamb belly sandwich and Chinese-style sticky ribs.

Brisket for Breakfast

Michael Symon visits an old San Antonio institution given new life by their phenomenal bacon and blue cheese burger. Then, he sinks his teeth into a spicy Cincinnati sausage that's a staple of his home state. He finishes in Austin with a meaty eggs Benedict, combining mouthwatering brisket smothered in smoked tomato hollandaise sauce.

Meat Fix Four Ways

Michael Symon begins his meat-seeking journey in Lockhart, Texas, where one family remains at the forefront of America's greatest barbecue after four generations. Next, he swings over to a British-style joint in Brooklyn where they use lobster meat and pork belly to amp up the traditional BLT. Finally, he hits Louisville, Ky. to sink his teeth into a juicy venison burger ignited by unique sauces and seasonings.

Separated From Brother, Left to Toil Far From Home

NEWBERRY, S.C. — A shabby bunkhouse sits just beyond the shadows of this small city’s colossal Kraft meatpacking plant. Inside live a few older men with nowhere else to go, and several younger men who pay to throw down a mattress.

Mr. Jones, 64, has an intellectual disability and a swollen right hand that aches from 40 years of hanging live turkeys on shackles that swing them to their slaughter. His wallet contains no photos or identification, as if, officially, he does not exist.

And yet he is more than just another anonymous grunt in a meat factory. Mr. Jones may be the last working member of the so-called Henry’s Boys — men recruited from Texas institutions decades ago to eviscerate turkeys, only to wind up living in virtual servitude, without many basic rights.

This may sound familiar. In 2009, a sister of one of the men complained to The Des Moines Register about exploitation in a bunkhouse in Iowa, prompting investigations, reforms and a momentous court verdict concerning the workplace abuse of people with disabilities. This year, The New York Times published an examination of the case and its aftermath.

That seemed to be the end to an outrageous but isolated Iowa story: men abused, rescued and reintegrated into the community. But a few lingering clues suggested that at least one other Henry’s “boy” was out there: a Leon Jones, living beside a South Carolina turkey plant.

So, on a recent autumn morning, I knocked on the door of this bunkhouse, sitting beside a mobile home with its door open in abandonment, not welcome.

Tall and with an easy smile, Mr. Jones has been working turkey ever since he left a state institution in 1969. For decades, he hung live birds from shackles now he works an evening shift, sweeping up and disposing of turkeys that arrive by truck already dead. D.O.A.s., they are called.

He led me to the slapdash dormitory he shares with men who come and go. His small bed was in a corner, a few feet from a young man wearing a black-knit “Jesus” cap and watching Spanish-language television at a loud volume, and not far from a bathroom with open stalls and a wet floor.

Mr. Jones’s locker contained clothes, cowboy boots and a plastic envelope of old cards and letters, the last one from 1992. He also nodded to a small radio on a night stand.

“I got a radio and everything,” he said.

Mr. Jones may have his radio, but what he does not have are most amenities, any connection to government services for people with disabilities — and the company of another Henry’s “boy,” his older brother, Carl Wayne.

Carl Wayne Jones, 65, lives now in a suburban Iowa home with three other men and 24-hour staff supervision. Leon Jones has not seen him in decades because their Texas bosses decided long ago that Carl Wayne would work for a client in Iowa, while Leon would work for one here in South Carolina.

“He was nice to me,” Leon Jones said of his brother.

Here is how Mr. Jones came to live in a beaten-down bunkhouse many hundreds of miles from his brother and from his home state. Working turkey, still.


The Jones brothers were the sons of a Texas oil worker and his wife, whose name Leon Jones could not recall. “A long time ago,” he said. As boys, they were sent to the Abilene State School, an institution for people with developmental disabilities.

Did he like the state school?

When he was 18, Mr. Jones was selected to live and learn basic skills at a ranch in Texas’ Hill Country. The operation, Henry’s Turkey Service, trained Mr. Jones and dozens of other young men like him — including his brother — in the artificial insemination of turkeys: namely, to catch and milk the toms, and rush the semen to the henhouse.

The men became proficient in this dirty job, and a demand developed for their services. Gradually, the company dispatched crews to work at turkey plants in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and South Carolina, moving employees around like chess pawns to meet the needs of clients.

Most of the operations eventually closed, leaving only a bunkhouse in Atalissa, Iowa, where Carl Wayne Jones wound up, and one here in Newberry, where Leon Jones landed.

The owners of Henry’s Turkey Service maintained that they had taken in men whom no one else wanted. They paid them a subminimum wage under a federal law — one they abused — that permits lower wages for people with disabilities, based on productivity. They deducted most of the men’s earnings to cover room, board and other expenses. And they allowed their Atalissa bunkhouse to descend into squalor, neglect and abuse.

When the situation in Atalissa was exposed in early 2009, leading to the men’s rescue and a sizable judgment against the company in a case brought by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, few knew of its South Carolina ties. The reason: The company had long since sold its Newberry operation — and, effectively, Leon Jones and a few other men — to a former employee.

But Kim Cronkleton and Natalie Neel-McLaughlin, two social workers for the Iowa Department of Human Services, were nagged by loose ends. They saw Leon Jones’s name on an old company list and remembered that Carl Wayne Jones, one of the men just rescued, had talked of a brother.

“It was always on my mind that this was still going on,” Ms. Cronkleton said. “But nobody ever laid eyes on Leon.”

Now here was Leon Jones, as well as three other former Henry’s Boys: Claude Wren, 75, who left the Mexia State School in 1969 Johnny Hickman, 71, who left Mexia in 1970 and Carlos Morris, 60, who left the Austin State School in 1973.

But Mr. Jones is the last one still working turkey.

His boss is Paul Byrd, who owns both the bunkhouse and a company that supplies workers to the Kraft plant. He lives in Texas, but when he visits his business here, he stays in a large furnished apartment, behind a door just steps from Mr. Jones’s bed.

Mr. Byrd said the men’s Social Security payments are all deposited directly into an “association” account, from which the costs of their room and board are deducted. None have personal bank accounts, he said, because “I don’t have birth certificates or anything on them to get ID.”

When it was pointed out that they must have had identification if they were receiving federal benefits, Mr. Byrd, who has owned the company since 1985, said: “I don’t know how all this got started. I have absolutely no paperwork on them.”

Mr. Byrd also said Mr. Jones would be retired soon, but for now was working part time. “He washes the floor down on the ramps,” he said. “The dead birds that come out of the trucks, he chucks them.”

Mr. Byrd said Mr. Jones uses his $8-an-hour earnings and his Social Security benefits to pay for his bed and food, about $800 a month. The company gives Mr. Jones $50 for his weekly trips to Walmart, Mr. Byrd said, although he might spend $1,000 or so on clothes and a mattress come Christmastime. The rest of his money is kept locked away, in an envelope.

“I haven’t counted what he’s got in the envelope,” Mr. Byrd said. “It’s about $6,000” — the life savings from 40 years’ hard labor.

He said Mr. Jones loves to eat and never goes on vacation. “I’d love to take him to the beach or something,” Mr. Byrd said. “But, man, it’s hard for one person to keep everything going.”

The boss paused, and then said: “I know it’s a long way from a perfect situation.”

Mr. Jones spends his free time watching sports on television in the worn rec room. He follows three football teams, each a reflection of where he has ties: the Dallas Cowboys of Texas, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and the Clemson Tigers of South Carolina.

When I asked him what he’d like to say to his brother, Carl Wayne, he said: “Say, ‘How ya doing?’ ”

A few days later, Mr. Jones received a visit from Robert A. Canino, the Dallas-based lawyer for the E.E.O.C. who won a decisive verdict against Henry’s Turkey Service last year. Seeing a connection to the Iowa case, he traveled to Newberry to meet Mr. Jones and to discuss his troubling circumstances with state officials.

One day, Mr. Canino drove Mr. Jones to the public library for a surprise. A computer monitor flickered, and then, through Skype, there appeared a man wearing a Dallas Cowboys cap: his older brother, Carl Wayne, whom he had not seen for so very long.

The elder Mr. Jones explained that he lived in a house in Waterloo, Iowa, with a couple of the Henry’s men, and that he had a girlfriend. He also passed on the news that their mother had died a long time ago.

The two brothers caught up as best they could. They talked about favorite foods, about their Cowboys and about maybe, just maybe, getting together sometime.

What to do if your house floods

Here are the things I wish I’d known – and what to do if you were exposed and have some of the symptoms above. I hope you never need this list.

Things to keep in mind if your home suffers water damage

  • Some things aren’t worth your health or your life to save.
  • Mold can enter from your skin (tricothecene) or mostly from breathing.
  • It’s the poison from the mold and the immune reaction to the mold that cause the damage. It’s not usually a direct fungal infection (but that can happen).
  • If you feel crazy tired, super emotional, get unusual headaches, or have a profound need for sleep or sugar after entering a moldy house, it’s your body responding to the toxins. Recover (see next section) and upgrade your Tyvek suit and respirator before you go back.
  • You must wear a Tyvek suit and a suitable respirator to go into a water damaged building that has been sitting for more than two days, sometimes even less if it’s hot.
  • You want a full-faced silicone respirator like this or a Moldex if you can get one, or good goggles with a half-face respirator like this one or this one that takes screw-on cartridges. Those paper masks don’t work.
  • Only use cartridge filters that are HEPA rated with either P100 or N100 ratings which mean that 99.7% of particles 0.3 microns or larger get blocked. Cheaper HEPA filters need replacing often. For the best results, get one with activated charcoal to block organic compounds that can also make you sick, like the 3M 2097 or go for the very best filters, Moldex 7600. Those filters last a very long time without replacing.
  • You must never bring moldy items from your water damaged home into your clean living space until they have been thoroughly decontaminated.
  • Porous items (bedding, furniture, wood, papers, books, clothing, etc.) can not be decontaminated. You have to throw them away. (To this day, I have a sealed box of normal-looking but moldy papers from my parent’s house. If I open the box and handle the papers, I wake up the next day feeling hungover and with sore joints. The papers are ruined, and if I opened them in my bedroom where the toxins and spores could spread, I would feel like crap for a few weeks.)
  • Dry cleaning clothing that is moderately contaminated (or curtains) works.
  • You may be able to recover some items by exposing them to strong ozone gas for long enough to break down the toxins and the mold, but it usually doesn’t work well.
  • There is a company called Homebiotic that makes a beneficial environmental probiotic bacteria that eats toxic mold as a fuel source. I use it as a preventative in my home and anywhere I have a water leak. You may want to use it on damp items. (Full disclosure: I funded the company to help it get started when I discovered this was possible but do not draw any compensation from it.)
  • Non-porous items like glass, metal, ceramics, and plastics can be safely decontaminated with scrubbing and bleach or peroxide.
  • Bleach on porous items (including your walls) does not fix mold – it makes it worse because bleach is mostly water, and the mold comes back stronger.
  • If you have family photos that were stored in a moldy home, either laminate them or take photos of the photos and re-print them. Never hang moldy pictures from your old home in your new living space.
  • If you wear your cleanup suit in your car, your car will be contaminated. Take it off before you drive.
  • Consider buying an ozone generator to treat your new living space once or twice a week (remove pets and plants first) if you are moving out of a water damaged home and into a clean home.
  • When you believe you’ve completed cleanup work on your flooded home, before you begin repairs and remodeling, you MUST get an ERMI test from a qualified mold inspector. This test measures the level of toxic spores in your home compared to the outside. You don’t want to waste your time remodeling on top of existing toxic mold.

Why Central Michigan 'Chippewas' nickname is OK with local tribe, NCAA

Detroit Free Press sports intern George Stoia asked the players at MAC media day in Detroit if they wanted a piece of the defending champion Alabama. Detroit Free Press

Central Michigan president Bob Davies has seen the ugly.

As the vice president for university relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania from 2006-09, he encountered a problem: the school's use of the nickname "Indians" coupled with a non-existent relationship with indigenous people.

"That particular university saw it as a transaction," he said Monday. "It was an athletic mascot, not a partnership. It was not done out of full respect."

He views the offensive nickname debate in a different light since becoming CMU's president in September 2018. The Chippewas' scenario, much different than IUP's, is based on respect for Native Americans and the local Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

That's why the university has been able to keep the "Chippewas" nickname for nearly 80 years.

"The tribe is the one that determines how we use it," Davies said. "At any point in time, that can change. That's the tribe's decision, not necessarily our decision."

Central Michigan Chippewas receiver Kalil Pimpleton runs for a first down during the first half of the MAC championship game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Ford Field in Detroit. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

In May 2006, three months into Davies' tenure at IUP, the NCAA ruled the school would be prohibited from hosting postseason championship games and using the "Indians" nickname in those contests. This came 15 years after the university dropped the Indian mascot, but not the nickname.

One year prior, the NCAA issued an 18-team list &mdash including IUP and CMU &mdash of mascots and nicknames deemed offensive because of their names and images. Five of the schools were granted waivers: the Catawba Indians, Central Michigan Chippewas, Florida State Seminoles, Mississippi College Choctaws and Utah Utes.

In December 2006, with Davies at the forefront of the task force, the IUP retired the "Indians" nickname and transitioned to the "Crimson Hawks" by the 2007 football season. A hawk named "Norm" became the new mascot.

Within the state of Michigan, Eastern Michigan decided in 1991 the "Hurons" nickname was offensive, so it switched to the "Eagles." Since then, many organizations have found themselves in a similar scenario, like the Washington NFL team, which retired the "Redskins" nickname last week after sponsorship pressure.

Detailed view of Washington's Redskins logo on a helmet Dec. 4, 2016. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

But the Chippewas haven't been forced to change, and the university doesn't believe the nickname is racist. Neither does the Mount Pleasant-based Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. Rather, the nickname is used as a sign of pride and honor toward local indigenous people.

"The partnership goes back many decades, and I see the value in the education and outreach opportunities in sharing of the nickname," Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe chief Timothy Davis said in a statement Wednesday. "I support open dialogue and appreciate the leadership from President Davies and CMU as we continue to find new and innovative ways to expand our partnership."

A 2002 proclamation between the university and the tribe pledged support for the nickname and took further steps to eliminate actions and imagery that could be considered offensive and misrepresenting of Native American culture.

Here's why the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe didn't ask for the nickname's disbandment: A zero-tolerance policy would leave no room for education.

"I think that's a key point," Davies said. "The tribe is the one that makes the decision of how we use the identifier. We do not have a mascot. We handle the name with a great deal of respect. When we refer to a graduate from CMU, we don't call them a Chippewa. We say they are a CMU Chippewa."

More than 2,200 freshman and new students participating in Leadership Safari, an orientation program, visited Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Aug. 26, 2015, in Mt. Pleasant to learn about the university's traditions. (Photo: Steve Jessmore, CMU via AP)

When CMU athletes arrive as freshmen, they are required to learn from local tribal leaders about the past and present of indigenous people, said former athletic director Michael Alford, who held the position for three years until recently becoming the CEO of the Seminole Boosters at Florida State.

"It's just a really special relationship," Alford said Tuesday. "And one that's based on respect from not only the institution but the tribe and with each other. It's something I'll always take with me, about how special it is."

The university partners with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe for the Michigan Indian Family Olympics, CMU Pow Wow, Native American Heritage Month Celebration, speakers and workshops specializing in Native American cultures.

There are opportunities for students to partake in Native American Programs: The North American Indigenous Student Organization, North American Indigenous Summer Enrichment Camp and The Three Fires American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

Within athletics, the local tribe does a traditional dance at halftime of a basketball game each year. During the football season, there's a drum ceremony. And student-athletes volunteer at the tribe's student center.

"Nobody leaves because it's so powerful," Davies said.

Performers from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation sing at Leila Arboretum as apart of Battle Creek's Fantasy Forest in 2015. (Photo: Kenny Read/For The Enquirer)

Now that the Washington NFL team, along with two Michigan high schools, has dropped the "Redskins" nickname, there's a growing amount of pressure on others to change nicknames that use Native American imagery. However, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe spokesperson Erik Rodriguez doesn't see a reason to compare "Redskins" and "Chippewas", and therefore won't support a nickname change.

"There's that big difference when you're using something like that, that is blatantly disrespectful to a group of individuals or a group of people," Rodriguez said Monday.

But there's always an ongoing dialogue between the entities about the nickname.

And that's why the "Chippewas" moniker is here to stay.

"We address this every time it becomes an issue or somebody brings it up," Rodriguez said. "We even address this in years where it's not being talked about. We want to make sure both sides are comfortable with it, that they're seeing the positive that comes along with it.

"We don't want it to become an issue that it doesn't have to be."

Finding Cake

Whether you call it devil’s food cake, lava cake or anything containing the word “decadent,” there’s no doubt that when chocolate cake is on your plate, it’s going to be indulgent. Spoil your taste buds January 27th on National Chocolate Cake Day and delight in a little slice of heaven. Here are some joints dishing up the best in delicious, decadent and dark desserts!

At Osetra Seafood & Steaks, you have not one, but two divine chocolate cakes to choose from. Their Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake is covered in a silky chocolate glaze and fresh seasonal berries. We’ll bet you won’t even notice that it’s missing the gluten! Wanting something a bit more molten? The Melting Hot Chocolate Lava Cake with vanilla gelato will ooze its way into your heart. Pick your poison, or better yet, get both!

If you’re looking for a boozy addition to your chocolate adventures, look no further than The Whiskey House’s Pecan-Bourbon Brownie. It’s a house specialty for a reason, and the Angels Envy bourbon included will make your dessert plate the envy of your whole table – be sure to guard your dessert accordingly!

With their focus on developing innovative and locally sourced dishes, it’s no surprise that Wood Ranch is redefining a classic with their Warm Chocolate Cake, made in-house daily. The carefully crafted flourless Guittard chocolate cake is accompanied by candied pecans, vanilla bean ice cream and is topped with a dreamy dollop of whipped cream for good measure. It’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill is a Southern California institution for a reason, and their 30 years of culinary experience extends much further than just slinging pizzas. Sammy’s Flourless Chocolate Cake is the perfect finale to your meal after the woodfired pie has been gobbled down and the inevitable post-dinner sweet tooth sets in.

National Chocolate Cake Day is the perfect reason to take a second look at the dessert menu on January 27 th – not that anyone should need an excuse to indulge in some cocoa-y goodness. Have your cake and eat it too!

Attachment A: Initial Considerations for Single IRB Review: Points to Consider

Given the increase in the number of sponsors who now require the use of a single institutional review board (IRB) review, many institutions are now challenged with serving as a single IRB for multisite research or relying on another IRB to review its research. The purpose of this document is to provide points to consider relating to the arrangement that is entered into where an institution cedes IRB review of research conducted at that institution to another IRB. The other IRB could be one at a similar institution (hospital, academic medical center, for-profit or non-profit institution) or an independent institutional review board that reviews, but does not conduct, research. The issues raised in this document are not intended to serve as a decision tool, but rather as a set of points to consider in making the decision whether to serve as a reviewing IRB or a relying institution. IRB administrators, institutional officials and investigators may find the information in this document a helpful resource in establishing and/or implementing this arrangement. As in any relationship, cooperation, collaboration and communication are critical to the success of the arrangement.

The premise of any of these reliance arrangements is that the reviewing institutional review boards will be subject to Federalwide Assurances and will follow the regulatory criteria for IRB review of research. Responsibilities of the relying institution will be based on the agreement and may vary from site to site. Both the reviewing IRBs and relying institutions have the responsibility of keeping track of the different obligations and responsibilities set forth in each IRB authorization agreement.

This document was developed with a focus on multi-site research conducted within the United States. However, many of the considerations for institutions and IRBs engaged in multisite research in the United States are applicable in the international context.


For the purpose of this document the following are definitions for certain frequently used terms:

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