In the later years when he would return to Birmingham, Ansel Head and his father used to eat barbeque at Miss Myra’s. It was unknown to him in his youth, but it was close to his father’s house and convenient.
The old and neglected building marked it as an established place to eat. The essentials were present: smoked pork, Bear Bryant, Shug Jordon, and Jesus. Nevertheless it is not something one would expect to find so close to the southern border of the Tiny Kingdom, but it was safely out of the view of the lords and ladies and thus allowed to thrive undisturbed.
Before Head’s first visit, his father had gained acceptance into Miss Myra’s society. His father was tall, handsome, and easily recognized with bountiful wavy white hair and his ever present coat and tie. Having so obviously come from the big mule class in Alabama, he and his kind would ordinarily have been shunned by those frequenting Miss Myra’s, but his father had a warm and genuine way of saying hello to everyone, as if they knew him, and it opened doors and kept them open for him.
When his father grew feeble and his mind had begun to wander, Miss Myra’s society continued to embrace him, welcomed his visits, and guarded his dignity.