You never forget your first taste of coon. Mine was two years ago when my state senator at the time, Shane Broadway, took me down to Gillett for the annual ritual known as the Coon Supper. It is certainly something to experience.
The thing about coon though is that a taste of it lasts you about two years, so I am heading back again tonight for a second serving. The faces of politics have changed a bit in the last couple of years, so it will be interesting to see if that is reflected at the dinner. Last time, Democrats out-numbered Republicans by about 5-to-1.
Absent this year will be former Congressman Marion Berry, who is a fixture at the Coon Supper, hosting a “pre-coon” reception at his farm. Health reasons will not allow him to make it, but friends are pitching in to keep his “pre-coon” reception alive. Also absent will be Gov. Mike Beebe, who is also a regular. His roots in politics actually go back to his days in the state senate when Gillett was in his district. The Coon Supper was moved from last weekend to this weekend due to the Sugar Bowl, so Beebe has a prior commitment and won’t be there either.
I will be making the pilgrimage this year with State Senators Eddie Joe Williams and Jonathan Dismang, whose district lies just north of Gillett.
If you are wondering what coon tastes like, this video seeks to answer that question.