Staten made name
with barbecue, turned to writing
has many books to his credit
(July 2002) PROSPECT, Ky. Statens Old Time
Barbecue is situated on the corner of a small shopping center off Hwy.
42 in downtown Prospect, Ky. Popular for its tender meats and tangy
sauces, the restaurant has been serving up some of the best barbecue
in the Louisville area for a decade.
Vince Staten, the mastermind behind it all, decided that what the world
needed was a McDonalds of barbecue, or in other words,
a barbecue restaurant that was reliable and clean.
So after some prodding from enthusiastic friends, Staten ventured into
the restaurant business and the rest, as they say, is history.
The menu at Statens includes a variety of sauces to tempt the
palate, such as the mouth-watering mild Jack Sauce, with a hint of Jack
Daniels whiskey, and the tongue-inflaming Legal Limit Hot Sauce, which
may or may not be legal in all states.
But although some Staten Barbecue enthusiasts may beg
to differ, the tempting barbecue on the menu is not Statens primary
claim to fame.
Staten, who has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman,
Dateline NBC, the Today show and many other
television and radio shows, is more often recognized as a popular non-fiction
author and newspaper columnist.
His books, including such captivating titles, as Do Pharmacists
Sell Farms? Inside the Corner Drugstore, Did
Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench? Hardware Stores and Hardware
Stories, and Unauthorized America: A Guide to the Places
the Chamber of Commerce Wont Tell You About, showcase a
talent for melding story telling with interesting, and sometimes unusual,
And as the titles demonstrate, Statens knowledge extends well
beyond the food genre.
A Tennessee native, Staten received a graduate degree in communications
from the University of Tennessee. He has worked as an editor, reporter,
announcer, entertainment columnist and television critic for various
publications and has been a syndicated columnist for the New York Daily
News and the Louisville Courier-Journal. After achieving success in
his career, Staten decided to try free-lance writing. Ten books and
many articles later, he is still going strong.
Statens latest book, Do Bald Men Get Half-Price Haircuts,
takes readers on a trip down Main Street to the old time barbershop.
Unlike the style salons sprinkled along suburban boulevards and strip
malls across the country, the barbershop community has remained a relatively
unchanged classic of American culture.
According to Staten, the barbershop is still the community center,
where folks gather to discuss everything from politics to stock car
racing, or just to catch up on local gossip.
While researching his book, Staten visited barbershops across the country.
One of the favorites he describes in the book is that of his personal
barber, Wib Scarboro. Wibs Barbershop is located on Fifth Street
in downtown Louisville. Wib has been cutting hair and spinning yarns
for the past 46 years.
According to Wib, his customers tend to stick around for the company
long after their hair has been swept from the floor. Its
just an old time barbershop, explains Wib, who says that Staten
was inspired by the friendly community atmosphere he found there.
Staten admits that Wibs is just what he was looking for in a barbershop
when he wandered through the door several years ago, and in his book
he gives plenty of credit to Wib, whom he says taught me how a
Staten lives in Oldham County with his wife, Judy. He teaches a writing
class at the University of Louisville and is currently working on his
next book, due out in April 2003. This time, Staten plans to probe the
wonders of Americas favorite pastime, baseball, and in his unique
and witty manner explain a few of the less-known facts and interesting
stories behind the sport.
In the meantime, his weekly video news column, On the Tube,
can be found in the Saturday issue of the Courier-Journal. And if you
happen to wander into Wibs Barbershop, you might see him occupying
a chair, if not for a cut, at least for the company.
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