At the time, I had no idea what the American Legion was, nor what the organization was for, and I never really anticipated returning when I grew much older.
But the other week, I stopped by the Legion, located off Shelbyville Road next to Urban Active, for a summer activity almost everyone loves (no, not Bingo this time).
Each Friday at 6 p.m., Sons of the American Legion (SAL) and member George Fitzsimmons host a cookout that is open to the public. Earlier in the day, Fitzsimmons fires up his grill, which he built himself, and prepares smoked ribs, chicken and juicy bratwurst, while a few fellow members make stuffed zucchini, corn on the cob, baked beans and baked potatoes.
Coworker Chris Humphreys and I stopped by the Legion and were surprised to find that just $16.50 bought us a plump bratwurst, a third of a rib rack, a quarter chicken, two baked potatoes and two helpings of green beans.
With the generous portion of meat and Southern-cooked sides filling our plates, $16.50 was an unbelievable deal. Youâ€™d be hard pressed to find a better price than that at any restaurant in town.
Due to the upper 90-degree weather that day, Chris and I opted for a seat at the cool lounge inside the Legion, where drinks were as low as 75 cents! If youâ€™re hoping to catch some sun while dining, however, you can also hang outside underneath the shade of the small tent in the front lawn.
With the deliciously satisfying meal along with a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere, my return to the Legion was definitely enjoyable. A great way to start off the weekend, it also gave me an excuse to visit the batting cage across the street and see if I still had my old swing in me (I could use some practice).
If youâ€™re craving a cookout without all the hassle of firing up the grill yourself, the American Legion will offer dinner from 6 to around 8 p.m. every Friday through the end of August. Not only will you walk away with a full stomach, but youâ€™ll have the chance to get to know the men and women who have served our country and the community. Maybe next time, Iâ€™ll bring my Mammaw and Pappaw to repay them for those Bingo games I played as a kid.