Thanks to filmmaker Martin Doblmeier, the prophetic Rabbi Heschel speaks to us again

You can click on this banner image from the new documentary to visit Martin Doblmeier’s Journey Films website, where you can learn much more about the film—as well as the extensive educational resources that can help you spark discussions with friends. But first, read this story. We also have a 3-minute preview of the new film, below in this column.

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By DAVID CRUMM
Editor of ReadTheSpirit magazine

Filmmaker Martin Doblmeier finally is ready to hit the road later this year, assuming pandemic restrictions subside, with a transformative project that has taken him many years to complete. And, rest assured, he also is making plans for adapting to any restrictions—including virtual events he offers to host (details about that are below).

“Finally, we are ready to start organizing showings and talks with people across the country about a question that so many of us are asking these days: How can we raise up the prophetic voices we need right now in this country?” Doblmeier said in an interview this week, marking the national release of his fourth and final documentary in his series on American’s great spiritual and social sages. “I like to describe these four films as Prophetic Voices of the 20th Century and, with the release of the Heschel film (in May 2021), we’re now ready to invite people to experience the entire series.”

The series is:

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See the Heschel Preview

The most important news about the Heschel film is summarized in a 3-minute preview of this new film. In the video frame, you will see a link to “buy” the film, which is one option. But, starting in May 2021, the film also will be showing free of charge via public TV stations.

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Q: Why should you see and share this film?

A: Because each week brings fresh headlines about extremist political efforts to suppress the rights of minorities, oppose immigration and spread fear about racial, ethnic and gender diversity across America. Of course, there also are millions of Americans celebrating diversity and working toward peace and hospitality. This is an ideal time to organize inspiring programs to promote civil conversation.

Here is how our Faith & Film writer Ed McNulty summarizes the importance of both Heschel and this film:

Thanks to Martin Doblmeir’s PBS documentary Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel will become a better known figure to millions of viewers. Now available on DVD and streaming, this is a worthy addition to his other filmed biographies of great thinkers and movers—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Reinhold Niebuhr, all brave thinkers who have had a deep impact upon the modern world.

The film’s title is taken from a telegram the rabbi sent to President Kennedy in response to the President’s call for a national conference on race and religion. However, Heschel knew that the Kennedy was not really interested in a concerted effort of the federal government to mount an attack on racism. Instead, the conference was  intended to ward off A. Philip Randolph’s planned march on Washington in 1963. Such a March would have been politically embarrassing and would force him to take action that would hurt him at the polls in the South in the 1964 elections. Instead of agreeing with Kennedy, Heschel, according to his daughter Susannah, sought to bring the President fully into the struggle for equal rights, “I propose that you, Mr. President, declare a state of moral emergency. The hour calls for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.”

It did indeed, and Rabbi Heschel himself was prepared fully to plunge himself into the struggle, later marching by the side of his friend Dr. King at the Selma Bridge in 1965. 

Want to read Ed’s entire review? It’s right here.

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The third Selma Civil Rights March frontline. From far left: John Lewis, an unidentified nun; Ralph Abernathy; Martin Luther King Jr.; Ralph Bunche; Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Also visible in the second row is Rabbi Maurice Davis from Indiana. About this march, Heschel later wrote his famous line: “When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying.” (Photo copyright by James Karalas; used with permission from Journey Films.)

Q: Why should you start with the Heschel film?

A: Because this film begins with a powerful reminder of how Heschel, among many other American clergy, risked their lives to stand up for racial justice during the most dangerous days of the Civil Rights movement. Today, once again, weekly headlines describe political efforts in a number of states to limit peaceful protests. Of course, millions of good-hearted Americans oppose such extremist campaigns, but new restrictions on civil rights are likely to pile up in a number of Southern states.

Among the four Journey films about American prophets, the Heschel film is the perfect first choice for discussions of these issues in coming months.

“In keeping with the central theme here, it’s ‘prophetic’ how you devote the first quarter of this Heschel film to his daring decision to march with Dr. King,” I told the filmmaker in our interview. “You could have started your Heschel film with his childhood, or with his interfaith work, or with his anti-Vietnam activism, or his support of aiding Soviet Jews—there are so many important chapters in his life. You deliberately chose to start the film with Dr. King’s three Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965—and Heschel’s decision after the first two marches to defy warnings from Jewish friends and colleagues. He marched with King and John Lewis in the front line leading the thousands of protesters on March 21, 1965. That’s a powerful way to open this film.”

“Thank you for pointing that out to your readers, because as a filmmaker that’s certainly what I was thinking,” Martin said. “I felt strongly that this was the best entry point to illustrate Heschel’s engagement with the world—and how civil rights was a natural part of that prophetic work. So, in that opening sequence, we put him right there in the front line shoulder to shoulder with King and others. This is a great way to get people talking about the need for all of us to become allies in facing so many challenges we are encountering today.”

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From left: Martin Doblmeier interviews Pulitzer Prize winning historian Taylor Branch for the Heschel film.

Q: How can you start the conversation?

A: Martin Doblmeier and his team have developed extensive resources, ranging from photographs and video clips to suggestions for further reading—and even a series of complete discussion guides on seven different themes you may want to explore, all based on Heschel’s life.

Here is the link to the Heschel discussion guide index at Journey Films. The seven available themes are:

  • God in search of man
  • The Prophets
  • Repairing the world
  • No religion is an island
  • The Vietnam War
  • The Jewish tradition
  • The Sabbath

“Please do explain to your readers that our discussion guides are always a work in progress and we encourage people to contact us if they see ways we can add to these offerings,” Martin said. “We’ve followed that process for many years. We want people to make suggestions. So, please, invite people to write to us or call us or email us with suggestions.”

To mail: 1413 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Or call: 1-800-486-1070. Email: [email protected]

“Also, let people know that I’ve already done a whole series of virtual programs about this film—and the others in this series—and I’m eager to keep doing programs across the country, especially as pandemic restrictions are lifted this fall and winter. Contact us if your group is interested in an event.”

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Mindy Corporon: A week of tragedy and prophetic recommitment to teaching compassion

Mindy Corporon returns to the site of the vigil on the night of the murders and talks with the Rev. Kelly Demo, a co-host of that 2014 vigil. You can see this remarkable video, below.

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By DAVID CRUMM
Editor of ReadTheSpirit magazine

Click the cover photo to visit the book’s Amazon page.

The events of this past week would have devastated a lesser prophet, but Mindy Corporon weathered tragedy and dared to return to one of the most emotionally traumatic scenes of her life this week—with a recommitment to her message of compassion.

First, if you need more background about this story, here is our recent cover story about Mindy and her new book, Healing a Shattered Soul. Mindy lost both her father and her young son in 2014 when they were murdered by a white supremacist intent on killing Jews in Overland Park, Kansas.

Then, here’s the news: The same day that ReadTheSpirit cover story was published, the killer died in prison. He was on death row, but died of what prison officials said were “natural causes,” likely stemming from his chronic emphysema. On that May 3, 2021, book-launch day last week, Mindy’s book already was reaching readers nationwide and the NPR news network even quoted a brief response from Mindy in its news report about the killer’s death.

You may note, however, that we are not using the name of the killer in this article—nor does his name appear anywhere in the 300 pages of Mindy’s book. On May 3, Mindy’s family released a statement reflecting on the killer’s death, including these lines:

“We choose to not use his name ensuring he occupies zero percent of our consciousness. … The murderer took the lives of two Methodists and a Catholic while intending to murder Jews. No one should have lost their lives at his hands. We are neither happy nor sad. He stole so much from our family, but he didn’t steal our hearts or our dignity. He did not steal our memories, the love that sustains us or the ability to offer forgiveness and kindness in the face of such tragedy.”

As astonishing as this may seem—on May 6, 2021, Mindy returned to the scene of deep emotional catharsis on the night of the murders: St. Thomas Episcopal Church. The book includes a full-page photograph from the community-wide prayer vigil that night in 2014, showing a devastated Mindy clutching the hand of her close friend. That photo opens Chapter 16, which describes the vigil that night at St. Thomas.

Then, on May 6, 2021—at the invitation of the St. Thomas clergy, who hosted the prayer vigil seven years ago—Mindy returned for a triumphant, prophetic public talk. She read from the book and then spoke in a dialogue with one of the pastors. This was the same spot where she felt compelled to speak, even if haltingly, on the night of the murders.

On that night in 2014, Mindy managed to say, in part, “I can’t tell you how much it helps to see other people.”

In her return on May 6, 2021—in the wake of years of grieving and even the latest breaking national news of the unrepentant killer’s death—Mindy once again told the crowd, and all of us, that healing should continue and all of us should continue reaching out in compassion.

You can see that remarkable appearance at St. Thomas on May 6, 2021, in the video below:

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Mindy Corporon’s Family Statement on the Death of the Murderer

MAY 3, 2021—Our family learned in the late evening hours of May 3, 2021, that the convicted murderer who took the lives of our family members, William L Corporon MD and Reat Griffin Underwood as well as the life of Teresa LaManno on April 13, 2014, had died of natural causes. We choose to not use his name ensuring he occupies zero percent of our consciousness.

We offer gratitude to the first responders, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, police, detectives and the Johnson County District Attorney’s office for their assistance with all matters relating to the soulful lives taken and the capture and conviction of the shooter. A jury of his peers convicted him. A judge sentenced him to death row, and this is where he took his last breath.

The murderer took the lives of two Methodists and a Catholic while intending to murder Jews. No one should have lost their lives at his hands.

We are neither happy nor sad. He stole so much from our family, but he didn’t steal our hearts or our dignity. He did not steal our memories, the love that sustains us or the ability to offer forgiveness and kindness in the face of such tragedy.

With shear grit, determination and faith, our family forgave this murderer his sins against us. In no way does this forgiveness mean that his actions were correct. Our forgiveness releases the hate from our own hearts. Hate comes in all shapes and sizes, all colors and creeds. We pray that our healing journey helps others move forward during their own struggles and challenges. Don’t allow hate to occupy your heart or mind. It will rot you from the inside out. This murderer was rotten to his core. At no time did he ask for our forgiveness or offer regret for his actions.  He was taught to hate by his own father from the time he was young.  Only knowing how to hate another drove him to murder. This is heartbreaking.

We are sad. We miss our family, Bill (aka Popeye) and Reat. But we don’t carry the weight of hate in our hearts.

As Christians and people of faith we learned the Gospels. The Gospels taught us to forgive.

On May 3, Healing a Shattered Soul, a memoir by Mindy Corporon was published. The fact that this memoir—Mindy’s faithful journey of courageous kindness after the trauma and grief of domestic terrorism was published on the same day the murderer who inflicted horrendous pain into our lives, died, is not lost on us. In fact, we feel even more connected to our family members in Heaven with each passing minute.

Typically, we have answered the question about “closure” to say that there is no closure when you lose a loved one. In the same way, you lose a limb, you learn to live without it. We are thankful that the court system, media and our families no longer have any need to concern themselves with a potential appeal from the convicted.

Thank you for your prayers upon our family and others who suffer at the consequences of hate. We each have a responsibility to love our neighbor. Our family started the Faith Always Wins Foundation to promote dialogue for the betterment of our world through kindness, faith and healing. Our work will continue.

 

 

Bill Tammeus and Mindy Corporon videos: ‘Together we can shine a light on peace. Together we are better.’

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SPECIAL NOTE as this May 3, 2021, issue of ReadTheSpirit is published: At 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday May 3, 2021, Mindy will talk live with the Rev. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the largest United Methodist church in the U.S. and her family’s pastor when the terrorist struck in 2014. In this Cover Story, below, we are recommending three previous videos that you can view right now. To watch the Hamilton dialogue live, follow this link to Mindy’s YouTube channel. Later, when the live session with Hamilton is saved and posted to YouTube, we will add that permanent link as well.

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By DAVID CRUMM
Editor of ReadTheSpirit magazine

Listen to Mindy Corporon.

Take a few minutes. You’ll be glad you did. In her own words, Mindy explains why her new book will inspire you—and may help you to find companions in your own journey toward healing, hope and peace.

Click on the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

Here is a transcript of what she says in the opening minutes of this new video, made with veteran journalist Bill Tammeus. It’s a video you can watch right now (below):

“When we are shattered by life, how do we reassemble ourselves? I’m Mindy Corporon and on April 13, 2014, my life was shattered when a domestic terrorist murdered my father and 14-year-old son Reat as well as another woman. This white supremacist who came to a Jewish community center in Overland Park, Kansas, had planned this attack to murder Jews. My Christian father and my son were not his intended victims—they were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Their deaths shattered my soul.

“Perhaps you too are a shattered soul. My new book Healing a Shattered Soul was written for those of you who are grieving a loss or who have suffered a trauma. It’s for those of you who are seeking inspiration and for those who are searching for a glimmer of hope and faith. For all those in need of support during a difficult time, I am sharing my story because I am a shattered soul and I am now in the process of healing that shattered soul. My objective in life right now is to help other people heal, to make something good come from my Dad’s and Reat’s deaths. I am doing this because I believe God has asked me to do it.

“Grief and trauma are invisible. When we are experiencing grief and trauma you cannot see it. You can’t see it anywhere on me that I have suffered greatly and that I still have grief and that I still have instances of anger and sometimes I get very short tempered. You cannot see that on me. You cannot see that like you could see a broken arm or a broken leg. But just because you cannot see it does not mean that it is not there. My book is the story of how a shattered soul ached to find the glue it needed to piece myself and my family back together.

“As you read my book you will find my journey heart-breaking, authentic, thought-provoking and most of all I hope you find it inspirational. My faith in God and in humanity concretely paved my path to healing. My work with interfaith groups of Christians, Muslims and Jews and other faiths has restored my faith in humankind.

“I got a lot of help along the way as I have been grieving. People have held my hand as I have walked this journey—and that’s what I want to do for you. Together we can shine a light on peace. Together we are better.”

And then—Bill Tammeus expands on this inspiring story

After that brief introduction in this first video (below), we meet her friend Bill Tammeus, also from the Kansas City area, who has written Love, Loss and Endurance, his own new book about dealing with the long-term trauma from losing a loved one to terrorism.

“I too have been struck by sudden loss of someone, my nephew who died on 9/11 as a passenger on the first plane that hit the World Trade Center,” Bill says in the video. “Mindy and I are going to talk about grief and ways of dealing with grief.”

Next, they each read a short passage from their books.  They describe how they met in the wake of the Kansas City shootings. Then, they talk about the experiences they share in common with thousands of American families, these days. They discuss positive ways to respond to those challenges, including—later in this video—Mindy describes her work advising employers on Workplace Healing. (You can read more about her Workplace Healing program in this earlier story about Mindy.)

The following video is part of Mindy Corporon’s YouTube channel and is an excellent resource to use if you are planning a small-group discussion of her book—or Bill’s book—with your friends, co-workers or in your congregation.

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The Bill Tammeus and Mindy Corporon Video

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Care to Learn More? Listen to Bill Tammeus

Click the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

If you are considering discussing these books with friends, you will also want to watch the following video in which Bill Tammeus takes us deeper into his own story.

Want tips on how to use Bill’s book for a one-time program or a longer series of discussions? Read our earlier Cover Story will Bill.

This next video is a great introduction if you want to focus especially on the section of Bill’s book about unplugging extremism. In this video, Bill points out: “I used my book’s last chapters to suggest various approaches that you and I can adopt to try to stand against extremism and I hope readers will spend some time thinking about those approaches and what might work for them.”

The format of this video is a dialogue with Vern Barnet, a former religion writer at The Kansas City Star, the author of a dozen books about religion and the co-founder of the Kansas City Interfaith Council.

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The Bill Tammeus and Vern Barnet Video

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But, wait! There’s More!

Both Mindy and Bill are committed to providing a wide variety of resources for readers who want to carry this important conversation nationwide. Both of them continue to help produce columns, audio and video that can be used for individual reflection, classes or small-group discussions.

On April 29, 2021, Mindy created another video dialogue with Alana Muller, CEO of Coffee Lunch Coffee and also a board member of Mindy’s Faith Always Wins Foundation. This video begins with the same 4-minute introduction as the first video featured in our story (above). Mindy then reads an excerpt from her book (a different excerpt than she reads in the video above).

In choosing a video to share with friends, your class or discussion group, you may choose this next video if you want to focus more on family dynamics as men, women and children try to grapple with the long-term effects of trauma. Alana’s questions focus more on that part of Mindy’s memoir than the earlier conversation with Bill. “I’m really interested in how this shock and grief affects us in our lives at home and at work after such a loss,” Alana says.

At one point, they even discuss the best comedy movies to guarantee that your family will be able to laugh again after an especially somber experience. (And here’s a hint for discussion leaders: Ask friends, “What’s your favorite movie to make your family laugh when you really need to lighten their spirits?” As you will learn in the dialogue with Alana, Mindy’s a big fan of some Will Ferrell and Steve Martin movies. That’s not a silly question to ask your discussion group. In a small group, that question provides an easy opportunity for everyone in the group to chime in.)

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The Alana Muller and Mindy Corporon Video

Authentic Carolina Hot Dogs

What You Can Buy

  • 1 package hot dogs. Jesse Jones Hot Dogs are the best, and are widely available in Southern groceries, but if you can’t find them in your neck of the woods, try Hebrew National.
  • 1 package hot dog buns. Some like top sliced, while others prefer the more traditional buns.
  • 1 jar French’s Mustard
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (Use a knife, not a food processor. Yes, you’ll cry, but great food requires a little suffering.)

What You Need to Make

Hot Dog Chili

  • 1 lb. 93 percent lean hamburger
  • 1.5 cup water
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • ½ Tbsp garlic power

Place the hamburger and the water in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and break apart the hamburger. You want this to become as fine as you can get it. Add tomato paste, ketchup, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for 45 minutes, stirring often. Remove lid and allow moisture to reduce until chili is the right consistency. You should be able to pour it on the hotdog with a spoon.

Cole Slaw

  • One small head of cabbage
  • Duke’s Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Finely chopped dill pickle (Optional)

With a hand-held grater, grate about a cup of cabbage. Use the finest-grade your grater offers. Add a teaspoon of Duke’s Mayonnaise and stir. It should bind the cabbage. If it doesn’t bind enough, add mayonnaise just a drop at a time, otherwise it will overpower the cabbage. Add a dash of salt and a smidge of sugar. If you like, finely dice a small dill pickle and blend it in.

Build Your Hot Dogs

Boil the hot dogs for just a minute and remove from water. Place buns wrapped in a paper towel in a microwave oven and heat for about 10 seconds. Place hot dog in bun; top with mustard, chili, slaw, and diced onion.

Wash it all down with a cold Coke of Pepsi. Or, if you really want the Carolina experience, see if you can find a Cheerwine.

As the Spirit of Spring Returns with Opening Day, Let’s Sing a Hymn to the Hot Dog

EDITOR’s NOTE—For a number of years, our online magazine has welcomed the start of baseball as a uniquely American contribution to the global religious calendar that we have covered on a weekly basis since 2007. That special focus is thanks to three writers who were born and bred in Abner Doubleday’s denomination: Rodney Curtis, Benjamin Pratt and especially journalist Martin Davis, who will publish his book 30 Days with America’s High School Coaches just before World Series season this year. Shortly after Opening Day this year (April 1, 2021), Martin emailed our offices to say: “I know our readers love regional recipes and I thought of a great connection for this year’s start-of-baseball column.” And here it is …

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“A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.”
Humphrey Bogart

“I love a Hebrew National hot dog with an ice cold Corona—no lime. If the phone rings, I won’t answer until I’m done.”
Maya Angelou

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A Hymn to the Hot Dog (Carolina-Style)

By MARTIN DAVIS
Contributing Columnist

What sets baseball apart from any other sport in America is the way it ties multiple generations of fans together. No other sport in the country has stayed as popular for as along. Moreover, no game has changed so little. This continuity binds fans across generations to the games.

The game my grandfather followed when Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were playing is basically the same game I grew up watching with stars like Bob Gibson and Roberto Clemente. It’s the same game my son watched when his heroes were Carl Ripken and Nick Markakis.

No matter who’s in the room, baseball can be discussed. There’s always a good debate to be had. Who was the better home run hitter? Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron, Josh Gibson or Barry Bonds? Generational divides dissolve.

Another thing that ties baseball fans to the game are the local eateries that surround the ballparks where folks wile away afternoons and evenings.

King’s Sandwich shop in Durham, North Carolina, where I grew up, sits right across the street from the Durham Athletic Park. This gem of a park was built in 1902 and served as the home of the minor league Durham Bulls from 1926 to 1994.

King’s is in the same brick building today as when it opened in 1942. My grandparents would eat there after their shifts at Irwin Mills in the 1940s and 1950s. My mom and dad would take my brother and I there in the 1960s and 70s.

There’s no indoor dining–only picnic tables. And the menu really hasn’t changed all that much. Kind of like the game played across the street.

Hot dogs were then, and remain, the staple cuisine.

Now, in North Carolina, there are only two things that everyone argues about. One is the best way to cook pork barbecue–I’m a vinegar and pepper-based sauce man, myself. The other is who makes the best hot dogs.

It’s a funny debate because the basics of the Carolina hot dog are pretty much the same no matter where in the state you travel. Order one all the way, and you’ll get a dog with mustard, chili, slaw and chopped onions.

One never hears “chili dog” in North Carolina because it’s an oxymoron. Every hot dog has chili, unless you have the audacity to order it plain.

Here’s what serves as our hot dog hymn:

Ketchup?
Don’t even think to ask. 

Relish?
Absolutely not.

Peppers?
Go back to Chicago.

Sauerkraut?
No thank you.
So, here’s to the hot dog—
All the way!
Mustard,
Chili,
Slaw,
Onions,
And nothin’ else!

This uniform construction of the Carolina Dog means the differences are in the details. And that means how the chili and slaw are made.

Let’s make one thing clear right away. Hot dog chili never has beans, is not a side dish, and can no longer be bought.

In my youth, every home had cans of Texas Pete Hot Dog Chili in the cupboard. The Winston-Salem based company that made this popular condiment, however, decided to discontinue it in 2015 for reasons that has folks in the Tarheel State still asking, “Why?” Others have tried to produce it, but nothing comes close in texture and taste. On Amazon, where nearly every canned or boxed delicacy can be found these days, has a mournful page with a photo of that Pete’s can we all knew so well—next to a bright red: “Unavailable.”

You’ll have to do what King’s has always done and what true North Carolinians now do–make it.

Cole slaw is the other ingredient that must be made. Now, there are as many types of cole slaw in the world as there are graters on the shelves in kitchen stores. In North Carolina, however, the slaw used on dogs has three things in common: Finely grated cabbage, Duke’s Mayonnaise and just a touch of sugar.

Alright–enough with the history lesson. I’m hungry, and the Nat’s game is about to start. So let’s make some dogs and sit down and enjoy a great game.

(AND NOTE: There is a green “print-friendly” button at the bottom of all our stories. Want an even simpler way to print just the recipe portion of this column? Click here and you’ll find just the recipe text.)

Authentic Carolina Hot Dogs

What You Can Buy

  • 1 package hot dogs. Jesse Jones Hot Dogs are the best, and are widely available in Southern groceries, but if you can’t find them in your neck of the woods, try Hebrew National.
  • 1 package hot dog buns. Some like top sliced, while others prefer the more traditional buns.
  • 1 jar French’s Mustard
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (Use a knife, not a food processor. Yes, you’ll cry, but great food requires a little suffering.)

What You Need to Make

Hot Dog Chili

  • 1 lb. 93 percent lean hamburger
  • 1.5 cup water
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • ½ Tbsp garlic power

Place the hamburger and the water in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and break apart the hamburger. You want this to become as fine as you can get it. Add tomato paste, ketchup, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for 45 minutes, stirring often. Remove lid and allow moisture to reduce until chili is the right consistency. You should be able to pour it on the hotdog with a spoon.

DON’T KNOW DUKE’S MAYONNAISE? Then you’re in for a Southern treat. Clicking on this image takes you to Dukes’s Wikipedia page that tells the distinctive history. Martin Davis is not the only author who recommends Duke’s to his readers. The best-selling mystery novelist Katherine Hall Page also insists Duke’s is essential for Southern recipes she has shared in her novels. Can’t find Duke’s in your stores? Well, unlike Pete’s, Duke’s is easily available from Amazon.

Cole Slaw

  • One small head of cabbage
  • Duke’s Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Finely chopped dill pickle (Optional)

With a hand-held grater, grate about a cup of cabbage. Use the finest-grade your grater offers. Add a teaspoon of Duke’s Mayonnaise and stir. It should bind the cabbage. If it doesn’t bind enough, add mayonnaise just a drop at a time, otherwise it will overpower the cabbage. Add a dash of salt and a smidge of sugar. If you like, finely dice a small dill pickle and blend it in.

Build Your Hot Dogs

Boil the hot dogs for just a minute and remove from water. Place buns wrapped in a paper towel in a microwave oven and heat for about 10 seconds. Place hot dog in bun; top with mustard, chili, slaw, and diced onion.

Wash it all down with a cold Coke of Pepsi. Or, if you really want the Carolina experience, see if you can find a Cheerwine. Generally speaking, we save the beer for the pig-pickin‘.

But that’s another story.

Bon appétit! And: Play ball!

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Care to Read More?

The new book is not yet listed on Amazon for pre-sale, but if you click on this cover—you will visit Martin’s book page full of helpful information and ways to keep in touch with his ongoing stories.

WATCH FOR MARTIN DAVIS’s UPCOMING BOOK—If you enjoyed this column, you’ll definitely enjoy Martin’s upcoming book 30 Days with America’s High School Coaches, which is not yet listed for pre-sale on Amazon but will be released in September. Right now, you can visit Martin’s own website, where he has a full page describing this fun and inspiring book. While you’re there, click on the “E-Newsletter sign up” button in the upper-right corner. Martin publishes columns and sometimes podcasts about sports and values. Enjoy!

ENJOY AN EARLIER STORY HERE—If you’re reading this far into this article, you’ll also enjoy looking back to Martin Davis’s soaring 2019 ode to baseball in ReadTheSpirit, headlined, “When I hear, ‘Play ball!’ it’s like a prelude welcoming me back to the great cathedrals

BENJAMIN PRATT, author and retired pastor, has written about as many spirit-of-baseball columns as Martin Davis for our online magazine. If you want to keep reading, here is one of Benjamin’s most popular columns from our archives, headlined: Field of Dreams.

WANT A GREAT BASEBALL BOOK RIGHT NOW? Journalist, author, photographer and baseball fan Rodney Curtis spins a great yarn in Hope’s Diamond, which is available right now on Amazon.

WANT A GREAT HOT DOG BOOK, TOO? Our authors have you covered! Our Michigan State University School of Journalism author Joe Grimm actually wrote the book on Michigan’s signature hot dog—the Coney. Here’s the Amazon page for his popular Coney book. Then, in Michigan, few people have heard of Cheerwine. We drink FAYGO up here! You’ll also enjoy reading Joe’s story about how he published the FAYGO book and then presented more than 100 book talks about its launch—a record! And, yes, that column has a link to find his FAYGO book on Amazon.

FINALLY, A NOTE TO ESPECIALLY EAGLE-EYED READERS—Yes, we are aware that the photo of a Carolina hot dog featured with our story today was taken just before the final touch—the onions—were sprinkled across the hot dog. That’s what we like to think. In fact, this was the most delicious public-domain photo of a Carolina hot dog we could find to illustrate Martin’s tasty column. So, before you email us with this concern—the photo was captured just before the onions were added. And, that’s our story.

‘God Is Just Love’ author Ken Whitt invites us to ‘A Global Creation Care Conversation’

Ken Whitt is the Executive Director of Traces of God Ministries, a nonprofit spiritual formation center founded after his retirement from 40 years of service to American Baptist Churches (ABC/USA). Ken’s ministries have focused on nurturing children, youth and families, mission trips, prayer and efforts to build peace and justice. Since the publication of his book, God Is Just Love, he also has helped to coordinate new global conversations within his worldwide denomination.

Now, for Earth Day 2021, Ken is inviting anyone with an interest in this theme to join in the latest Global Climate Justice Zoom.

Here are the details: