“My mother called me Pumpkin. That is cool when you are a kid, but when you are playing middle linebacker in high school, you can’t be Pumpkin. My mom would yell, “Go Pumpkin!” I got her to call me Pumpkin Smasher. That became Smasher. Smac was my college name. I also talk a lot of smack. I wish I could have gone back to Artius but it was too late for that. Pumpkin or Smac, so Smac it was.
The Smac Shack food truck started as Humpty’s Hashbrowns, Chicken and Gourmet Waffles in middle Tennessee. I grew up in Mobile and left when I was 18. I have been gone for 18 years. I like Huntsville and middle Tennessee and never thought I would come back to Mobile. My mother got sick with cancer two years ago and my wife and family relocated back home with me. My mother passed last February at a young age. I realized the most important thing is family and we aren’t here that long. I am 37 now and can remember like it was yesterday when my mom was 37. In a blink of an eye, my kids will be this age. My kids love being around their cousins, uncles, and aunts. I can’t take that from them, so we are going to stay. I work with the Corps of Engineers, but this food truck is my main job.
I cooked chicken and waffles until I smoked my first Boston butt and fell in love with it. I haven’t cooked a waffle since. I am a math guy and barbeque is fun because it has variables. There is everything from cook time and meat preparation to how close the meat is to the heat source and the type of wood that you are using. There is so much to play with and tweak. There is no pinnacle and I want to be better at it tomorrow than I am today.
I love to cook and interact with customers. I want to give my boys opportunities to work and to have their own business. I want to show them if you are committed and work hard, you will succeed. Some people measure success by money, but that is not it. You succeed in taking care of your family, paying your bills, and not starving. Success is also loving what you do. This is my first time cooking in the Smac Shack for Mardi Gras. I will be in the Lost Garden on Dauphin Street the whole time. I am excited about experiencing Mardi Gras and meeting new people from this side. My mama would be proud.”