My mother told me that once. She was a big believer in phrasing everything in a one liner. She loved using quotes. I think I might have inherited that trait from her, I like the ease and economy of it. So here I sit on a thin line between love and hate, and I go back and forth like a damn seesaw. But I am going to follow the yellow brick road down to my memory bank and share that story I promised you.
The Second Annual World Tamale Eating Championship was still organized by myself and working in conjunction with the OTBA on the scheduling and the fine details. But having worked with this fine group of individuals for several years now, they knew they could count on me showing up and doing what I promised I'd do. We were a good mix, a stellar group of small business people and the OTBA was finally getting some notice up at City Hall and in the community. We had a bit of star dust on our coat tails.
Looking back, I am still impressed that we put on Western Days all by our lonesome. Hell, the City has a staff of about 8-9 plus a hired outfit with a huge staff, plus contractors that costs the tax payers Hundreds of Thousands of dollars and we still ran circles around them. It's true, we did. And probably still could, if we could assemble that dream team.
The WTEC was held on the Community Stage that year. It sat caddy-corner at Main and Church St. Even though it was only our second year doing the championship, I got a call from the IFOCE that Eater X, a top ranked world class eater was interested in flying down. Then I got a call from Tim myself here at the shop. He told me that he was coming in and could he come to my shop to meet me. I called the husband and told him the great news!
WOW..the big time at last. I was so happy, just bursting with pride and called my dad. He was a bit skeptical, but as he said "If it helps your business in Lewisville, I am all for it." He liked the idea of it, but did not see how it helped us overall as a company, since the focus is on the eaters and how much they could eat.
The big day came and as promised, Tim comes to my shop at about 9:30 well before the contest. I could tell my husband had a touch of the green monster, as Tim turned out to be quite the looker. We were both impressed with how sweet and humble this world class eater was and how impossible thin he was! He sat and watched the parade with us and visited with us for a bit. Then when he took his leave, he told me something I won't soon forget. "When I looked at your website and read your family history, I just had to come. Then I saw all your photos. I came down mostly because of you." I was real glad my hubby had left the premises!
The Mayor wanted to be a part of the action, so we invited him to come up and announce the event this year. The IFOCE brought all their great music and awesome MC and the show began. This year I added jeans to our look and two new "Hot Tamale Girls" for a total of four of us. Raquel, Tyler, Jessica and myself. One of my customers had asked to be a part of the action, so we had him up there on the stage with us! The crowd was there and into it. Cameras were everywhere, masa was covering the stage. We were slipping and sliding in it! And then it was suddenly so clear that this was no longer a contest but a domination! Eater X was clobbering the tamales and the other competitors! Some of the lightweights were using their slop buckets but I kept my eyes on Tim and his plate.
Suddenly it was over! Drenched in sweat, and beaming from ear to ear, I talked to the press in English and Spanish. This time it was about us, Dad! We had a world class eater eating our tamales, but we stole the show. Dallas Tortilla and Tamale Factory made the local news that night, not City Hall.
And I think that's when the jealousy began. It is amazing how petty people can be, how they don't want to give credit where credit is due, but that's the way of the world. It seems clear to me now, that some in that Taj Mahal began to get a bad case of the big green monster.
I worked my butt off to make that event a success, and I accomplished it with my awesome family, loyal customers and the fab folks at the OTBA and the IFOCE. The glory was mine and I will wear my crown proudly!
The next year was still good, but bittersweet....stay tuned.