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Close call-McCall's (Clayton,NC) after BBQ tour

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Spent the last 3 or 4 days doing a mini-BBQ tour of central NC, including Stamey's (Greensboro), Short Sugars (Reidsville), Bum's and Skylight Inn (Ayden), Bill Ellis (Wilson) and King's (Kinston). This morning I left Kinston at 8:40 for an all-day drive back to the Cincinnati area. My original plan was to leave later (closer to lunch), maybe stop at Ken's Grill for some carry-out, then stop at McCall's in Goldsboro when they opened at 11. But since I left early, I just got an egg McMuffin and coffee and kept driving, passing through Goldsboro a little after 9, and intending to munch on the Skylight Inn leftovers later in the day. I saw a sign just before Clayton that advertised McCall's and I remember thinking "that can't be--they're located way back in Goldsboro"--then I looked at the McCalls menu that I had printed out last night and it mentioned a second location much further up Rt. 70 in Clayton. That was about 9:50 AM, just before I got to I-40. At noon, driving on I-40, I had the radio on and on the national news I heard where a private plane had crashed into "a BBQ restaurant" in Clayton, NC several hours earlier (10AM). My first thought was "how many BBQ places ARE there in a small town like Clayton?" and McCall's was obviously the first one to come to mind. So essentially, I had driven right by the place 10 minutes before the crash, and the only time I had been through there in 3 years. Weird coincidence that raised the hair on the back of my head. Only employees were inside an hour before opening, and none were injured, although one person in the plane was killed and the plane was reportedly inside the restaurant. Wouldn't even have known about McCall's except for recent reccs here and downhill alerts for Stamey's and Wilber's. Guess somebody's watching over me.

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  1. You were lucky and can you imagine how many would have been hurt if it happened 2 hours later???Theres a Mcalls in Morehead also..You must have enjoyed your trip,,any preferences?

    2 Replies
    1. re: orzobino

      I have to tell ya in all honesty--I got about the only thing they have at Skylight Inn--a medium tray to go--that's BBQ in a paper tray on the bottom, a piece of flat corn bread and slaw in a paper tray on top--took it back and put it in the fridge until I left yesterday AM for eating in the car later--even then and without any sauce or anything on it--it was the best Q meat I have had in a long time.And perfectly seasoned, even tho it was probably just a little natural salt or maybe nothing at all.. I even took a pix in there of that guy behind the counter hacking away with 2 cleavers at that huge mound of meat--I guess when you do it right, they will keep coming back.

      1. re: KyMikey

        Wasn't the cracklin' soggy by then?

    2. Really glad you weren't hurt, and glad there weren't more hurt, but let's just call it luck, otherwise that "somebody watching over you" is kind of random for not "watching over the poor guy killed in the plane."

      1 Reply
      1. re: suse

        I have always enjoyed McCalls BBQ in Golsboro. Buffet style w/ plenty of good items on the menu.

      2. My friend - to say someone was watching over you is the "underestatment" of the year. There where so many lives that "could have" been changed that day, in far worse a way than then have been. - To know the circumstances as they unfolded on a minute to minute basis that kept people from being killed - to know the close calls - one can only come to the conclusion that a power much greater than ourselves perfected the events to play out just as "it would be" . The circumstances of that day could not have been more perfectly orchestrated for no one other than the pilot to be hurt. I only wish that the pilot of that plane, Garry Reid, my ex-husband, could be included in those that were spared, he was not. A phenominal man died that day - A humble man who took every opportunity he was afforded to help those he who needed it. He was not about ego - he was about doing things for others for the simple reason that they needed help. No strings attached, no expectations, no sense of entitlement - he was a rare hunam being, and those who knew and loved him are deviststed. He always told me that he could put that plane down anywhere if the need arise, and no one would be hurt. He was right - but it cost him his life, and I for one am having a real hard time wraping my mind around the relaity that he is gone. It was Garry's time to leave, and BOY did he make an exit, but no one else was to die that day - and they did not. It could have not been more perfectly scripted. No woulda'. coulda- or what ifs that day - In spite of all the devistaion, and the carnage - there are many blessings, and I hope over time they can come to be fully realized. Only then will there be any "sense" made of this uncomprehensable event. Love ya always Garry - Lisa

        2 Replies
        1. re: RagMtDogs

          My condolences, Lisa. That was quite moving and did not expect to read something like this before my morning coffee.

          1. re: RagMtDogs

            Lisa--
            I, too, was very moved by your tribute to Garry. How you managed to find the lone posting of this on an obscure BB is another strange ironic twist that, along with some other things, convinces me that there was an invisible hand in all this to make us aware of what had happened. Garry was indeed a hero that should be recognized for it--his last earthly act was an attempt to spare others from the same untimely fate that awaited him. That this happened on a busy Federal route in a populated area without anyone else seriously injured or killed is miraculous. After re-reading my original post, I realized that I failed to mention several things that I found out 2 days hence--found the McDonald's receipt and it reads "Clayton, NC" and the time stamp is.......9:57 AM--which means I was just 4500 feet down the road and probably didn't pull out of their lot until 10:04 or later. Altho seeing or hearing nothing amiss at that point, it was a minute or so away by car and only a few seconds by air. I will always save that receipt as a chilling reminder of how perilously close we can be to disaster and still be blissfully unaware of either what has happened or what is about to happen.
            I hope that everyone who reads about this will do some random acts of kindness to honor Garry's memory.
            And thank, you again, Lisa for allowing us to put a name and a story on a true hero.