Excerpt from a Sam Venable column:
Donna Heffner recalls her moment of indignation that led to inspiration:
“I was looking through Facebook one day and saw something about Tays General Store in Wilder (that’s in Fentress County). It said Tays served the best fried baloney sandwich in Tennessee.
“I said to myself, ‘No way! We’ve got the best one over here!’ ”
That would be, Heffner contends, the fried baloney sandwiches created and served, in all their cholesterolic glory, at R.M. Brooks General Store in Rugby, Tenn.
Thus was born the “No-Baloney Best Baloney Sandwich Shootout.”
…“With all the shootings, killings and drugs in the news these days, we need something lighter,” she said. “Besides, fried baloney sandwiches are the food of the people. You won’t find them on menus in fancy restaurants. They need to be recognized as the official sandwich of Tennessee.”
…Together, they came up with a plan. To wit:
1. Nominations for “The No-Baloney Best Baloney Sandwich Shootout” will accepted through August.
2. Nominations can be made three ways: (a) on the newly created Facebook page by that name, (b) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or (c) by telephone to the Spirit of Red Hill store in Rugby at (423) 628-5562.
3. After all the nominations are in, Heffner, Patterson and Bowman will create an online ballot where votes may be cast the first two weeks in September.
4. The winner will be announced in mid-September, and the Tennessee General Assembly will be petitioned to name that particular one the Official Best Baloney Sandwich of Tennessee.
In the spirit of inclusion, any sandwich combinations will be considered — “as long as baloney is the main ingredient,” Heffner said. “It can be plain, fried, smoked, mixed in a spread, whatever. Just as long as it’s baloney.”
Note: Legislators, typically in the last days of a session, often have a “baloney sandwich day” where the makings of the proposed official state sandwich are piled on a table outside the House chamber, allowing legislators to get something to eat while engaged in marathon debating. Sometimes this is also known as b.s., for baloney spreading, of course.