I have always loved delicious home made Chili. Ever since the old days, when I lived in Western Kentucky before the time of Racial Integration came into being, I loved Chili. Yeah I know, you love it too! Some love it mild, and others love it spicy and hot.
A lot of people, White, Black, Hispanic, Latino, you name them and I guarantee that they love Chili. Some people can eat Chili in the morning, Chili in the afternoon and Chili at suppertime. Well, we don’t have a suppertime any more. We have dinner in the evening now. The point is, people love Chili.
At the Blue Derby Chitterlings or hog innards was one of the best sellers and fried chicken was too. Chili however was always high on the list. Summer, Autumn, Fall, Winter, Spring, it didn’t make any difference, Poppa’s Chili was always high on demand. Yum, yum, yum! It seems that I can still smell and taste it now. The Chili Con Carne, the chili beans, the brown ground beef, with his special ingredients and spice mixed in. Wow! The Chili had a taste that was out of this world. Customers would come from far and near in that city to get Chili, Chitterlings, and some of the finest fried Chicken sold at the Blue Derby Cafe.
Now that Restaurant was busy most of the time, but on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Restaurant was the place to be. It was situated in the eastern part of the city. When all of the beer joints and the bars closed, then people piled into the Blue Derby. The place really became alive with music, dance and laughter. The smell of chitterlings was in the air and all three, Chitterlings, Chili, and chicken, with various soft drinks filled the hungry stomachs.
Even though there was racial segregation in that city, you could hardly tell that it was because all races patronized the Blue Derby Restaurant.
Now, I said that the Restaurant was only open for a short time, about one and a half years, give or take a week or so, before it closed suddenly. The reason was poppa just suddenly got despondent because of his marital problems and he just quit. He simply stopped cooking. Something just wasn’t right. He just went down. Those close to him said, he had stomach trouble and he had trouble with his taste buds. He eventually had to go to the hospital. After about a week he was gone. His secret Chili Recipe and all of his other recipes went with him. None remained. Of course the Restaurant stayed open under another name for a couple of months before the doors were closed for good. That was the end of the Blue Derby.