A love of barbecue has kept an exclusive Texas club alive for decades
In the early 1950s, a handful of salesmen met for lunch at a barbecue joint in downtown Houston to talk industry. That industry was oil and gas, which was booming in Texas. Half a century later, the group has grown in numbers and Texas industries have diversified quite a bit. What hasn’t changed is the group’s love for all things barbecue. For the past 20 years, members of the group, dubbed “Noisy Boys,” have participated in the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The group, which includes a member with Galveston ties, was dubbed the “Noisy Boys” by the owner of John’s BBQ, who claimed its members were “too rowdy” for his restaurant dining room, longtime member Danny Beaver, 71, said.
“He built us a separate room with a private entrance and exit,” Beaver said.
Beaver has been a member for more than three decades and said the “boys” have included an impressive circle of friends over the years.
“It wasn’t uncommon for the chief of police or the mayor to stick their heads into a meeting,” Beaver said. “Some of the district attorneys and local councilmen would show up, too. Even our former president, George Bush Sr. signed the guest ledger a time or two.”
Bush was a principal in Zapata Oil at that time.
With only 18 official club memberships, a spot in the Noisy Boys Club isn’t easy to come by. Larry Rogers, 70, of Cyprus, was offered a spot in 1978 when a member passed away, he said. It was the same for Virgil Mosley, 74, of Sugar Land, who attended his first Friday luncheon 46 years ago.
What keeps Mosley going back after so many years is the camaraderie and the men’s similarity of interests, he said.
Tim Goggans, 61, who owns a home in Galveston’s Sea Isle, agreed.
“We’re a group of men who work in connected industries and we all like to hunt, fish, barbecue and drink beer,” Goggans said.
It’s a tight-knit group, Rogers said.
“We’re very much a team,” he said. “And everyone on the team has a specific role.”
For many years, Rogers’ role was security just in case the boys got rowdy at closing, he said. Steve George, 67, of Houston, is a former NFL defensive tackle who was responsible for acquiring sponsorship and “everything else under the tent” before passing the torch to Goggans.
Pit boss Brad Jeter, 58, of Tomball, might stand watch over brisket, chicken and ribs these days, but started as a bartender and bus boy, he said.
“It took me four years to work my way up to the cook team,” he said.
Jeter began experimenting on the pit because of his daughter’s fondness for barbecue ribs and, like the others, was introduced to the Noisy Boys Club through a coworker. And, like the others, he enjoys cooking for family at home, he said.
As much as times do change, some things remain the same, Mosley said.
“Some of us are retired and some of us are new blood,” he said. “But we’re still a bunch of noisy boys who like to hunt, fish and barbecue together and we still meet every Friday afternoon for lunch.”