Portraits in Barbecue History #1 - Walter Stauffer McIlhenny: Salute !!

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Portraits in Barbecue History #1 - Walter Stauffer McIlhenny: Salute !!

Postby Boots » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:48 pm

Doing some practice experimentin' for a cook coming up April 30 (Big D Barbecue Battle). Decided to need a little practizing on the ribs recipe, went back to an old tangent of experimentation I had been working on sometime back, a glaze with some heat. Mopped them with a mixture of my favorite rub, some Ninja Squirrel Siracha sauce, some Suckle Busters Honey Barbecue sauce, and water. Then did a glaze of some spicy McIlhenny's Tabasco jelly, hope you like what you see. And if you were wonderin' why I got the sudden urge to deploy the liquid red hurricane, read on...

After several beers and much intensive internet scholarship, I decided to dedicate this cook to the honor and memory of Brig. Gen. Walter Stauffer McIlhenny, USMC, or "Ol' Ironhead" as I will call him, for contributing to the betterment of all of our lives by shepherding the McIlhenny Tabasco Company to higher heights of national acceptance after WWII as President of same, his contribution to the establishment of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas (for the improvement of young impressionable youth), AND MOST PARTICULARLY for his remarkably iron-headed service to his country on such nasty Pacific heck holes as Guadalcanal and Peleliu, where he won the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart (twice) in sometimes hand to hand combat with the enemy. Most specifically, while either leading an attack or slipping off to take a leak at Guadalcanal (internet stories and rumor vary on this point), he evidently surprised an Imperial Army officer who, in the midst of his shock and surprise, forgot to remove his samurai sword from its scabbard and just whacked Ol' Ironhead over the cabeza with it. Luckily for him, Ironhead has his steel service pot on at the time and had, as yet, not cooked too much field rations or roadkill in it so as to ruin the temper of the steel. With incredible speed, dexterity, and presence of mind (and perhaps a good left hand still holding up his BDU britches), Ironhead yanked out his 1911 Colt and before losing consciousness, perforated his opponent full of .45 inch holes in the true Marine tradition, even as Ironhead was going down. Sometime later he woke up on a stretcher with the samurai sword and his now dented pot next to him, just to prove this dream was not just a hangover. All this memorabilia can evidently still be seen on display in the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, I will definitely have to stop in on my next trip to the Crescent City(see attached photo):


"Walter Stauffer McIlhenny served as president of McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco brand pepper sauce, from 1949 until his death in 1985. He also distinguished himself as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve — receiving the Navy Cross for his actions during the Battle of Guadalcanal and retiring as a brigadier general. He was a co-founder, trustee, and president emeritus of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas.

Having joined the Virginia National Guard in 1931 and served on its rifle team, McIlhenny transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1935, attended Platoon Leaders Class, and served as captain of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve rifle team. Called to active duty at the beginning of World War II, McIlhennny spent thirty-one months in the western Pacific as a member of B Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. At Guadalcanal, he received the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart. He also saw action at New Britain and at Peleliu, where he received a Gold Star in lieu of a second Purple Heart. Upon retirement from the Marine Corps Reserve, McIlhenny received a promotion to brigadier general. McIlhenny's combat helmet, along with the captured Japanese samurai sword that dented it, are on display at the National World War II Museum (formerly the National D-Day Museum) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Despite his interest in military service, McIlhenny felt obliged to enter the family business around 1940, when he began executive training at McIlhenny Company, maker of world-famous Tabasco brand pepper sauce at Avery Island, Louisiana. McIlhenny's grandfather, Edmund McIlhenny, had invented the fiery condiment, and his father, John Avery McIlhenny, had presided over the company from 1890 to 1898. World War II interrupted McIlhenny's training at McIlhenny Company, but he returned to the organization in 1946, assumed its presidency in 1949, and retained that office until his own demise in 1985. During his tenure as head of the company, McIlhenny expanded and modernized the production and marketing of Tabasco brand pepper sauce, and helped to mold the brand into an international culinary icon.

A bon vivant and gourmet, McIlhenny was closely acquainted with many luminaries of the food world such as James Beard and Paul Prudhomme.
McIlhenny was an avid hunter, participated in many big game hunts in the U.S. and Canada, and went on several African safaris and Indian shikars. A lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, he also served on the committee that oversaw the U.S. Olympic rifle and pistol team. McIlhenny died June 22, 1985, in Lafayette, Louisiana, and was interred in a family cemetery at Avery Island, Louisiana. Unmarried, he left much of his estate to the Marine Military Academy."
McIlhenny Helmet.jpg
McIlhenny Helmet.jpg (19.07 KiB) Viewed 1334 times
Glazed Ribs 2 April 2016.jpg
Glazed Ribs April 2016.jpg
Last edited by Boots on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Portraits in Barbecue History #1 - Walter Stauffer McIlhenny: Salute !!

Postby OldUsedParts » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:05 pm

:salut: :salut: :salut: I'm sure that "Ol Ironhead" is saluting you also :tup:
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Re: Portraits in Barbecue History #1 - Walter Stauffer McIlhenny: Salute !!

Postby ChileFarmer » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:02 am

Ribs look mighty fine. All they need is some eating going on. Sure that has already happened. CF :D
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Re: Portraits in Barbecue History #1 - Walter Stauffer McIlhenny: Salute !!

Postby Okie Sawbones » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:26 pm

:salut: :texas: :salut:
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