Who’s Behind Our Brunch Menu?

Neal and Bridget Johnson Paternal Grandparents
Neal and Bridget Johnson on their wedding day. The start of an adventure for many generations.

Many of you know that we are a family business.  Some of the items on our Brunch Menu are named after family members.  One is Neal’s Breakfast.

Neal is the family paternal grandfather.  He had a giant laugh and a bigger heart.  He was the one who would refer to our family Pomeranian Ginger as “Hounddog” with a growl and a chuckle as they competed for positioning for fireplace heat on a cold Thanksgiving Day.  His deep voice could carry every Johnny Cash or Charley Pride tune, or soothe a seemingly inconsolable child.  He could shoot, hunt, and fish with the best.  He bowled competitively (either tournaments or private wagers) well into his 60s.

Neal was born in Jacksonboro, South Carolina, a tiny dot on the state map west of the Edisto River and south of Charleston.  With an enlistment in the Navy during World War II, he served in the Pacific theater.  After the war, he bought a motorcycle and toured until he needed a job, leading to his enlistment in the Air Force and a 26 year career.  He met his Irish bride Bridget while serving in England and they managed to laugh, struggle and love for 54 years of marriage.  The small town South Carolinian lived in the corners of the earth, from Greenland to Okinawa and points in between including Maine, Florida, England, Texas, Nevada and South Carolina.  He taught applicants for the space program survival skills in the desert, put raw recruits through boot camp as a training instructor, and established the first NCO leadership school in the Air Force’s Pacific Command, where he served as the initial Commandant on Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa.  He retired from the Air Force in Charleston , South Carolina, returning to roots and family.

Neal was a gifted cook, with recipes that existed only in his head and on the plate, never on paper.  He loved a wide range of foods, reflecting his travels and his epicurean curiosity.  But his Sunday breakfast mainstay always included fried eggs, bacon and grits made with patience, care and seasoning.  We hope you enjoy Neal’s Breakfast as much as we enjoy sharing it with you. 

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