Ribs and Rods 2007 – ‘It’s a family thing’

Ribs and Rods 2007 – 'It's a family thing'
This Sunday, Vermillion will be hosting an event that can truly be described as family oriented. The third annual Ribs Rods & Rock 'n Roll barbeque cook-off and car show will feature two families that have long a history of involvement with backyard cooking, fast, shiny cars and weekend cruises.

Todd and Ernie Halverson are a father/son team whose partnership in working cars goes back to when Todd was barely old enough to hold a wrench. When he was in high school, Todd helped his dad when racing in Park Jefferson Speedway in North Sioux City.

The Halversons' experience in racing ranges from racing enduro cars to super trucks and modifieds. After racing for over 10 years, their interests switched to refurbishing classic cars. Father Ernie drives the 1963 Impala Super Sport and Todd drives the 1969 Chevelle Super Sport.

When asked why he decided to restore his Impala, Ernie said that he and his wife Lois were married in that car (so to speak) and always had affection for that model. When they saw the car, they knew that was the one they needed to buy.

Since building and improving these cars over the last 10 years, Todd and Ernie and the Halverson families have attended over 100 car shows. They are proud to point out that neither car is a trailer queen, meaning that they prefer to drive rather than trailer their cars to events.

Todd may sometimes trailer his car to save on gas, as his modified 396 engine gets about eight miles a gallon on a good day.

Owning cars like this is a labor of love. Every winter they seem to have another project. Typically father and son work together on the big projects, one helping the other.

This is a family thing for the Halversons. Todd and his wife Tracey recently went on a poker run in Yankton when 3-month old daughter Mya was initiated with her first auto event, accompanied by big sisters Morgan and Payten.

Payten seems to be to the newest addition to the family pit crew as she is intent on helping dad by rolling around on the "creeper" underneath the car, assisting dad and grandpa any way she can.

At last year's event, Todd received the People's Choice Award and Ernie received the Mayor's Trophy. This year the father/son team has been named the 2007 Ribs, Rods & Rock 'n Roll featured cars, but it may be more appropriate to present the award to the entire Halverson family.

A Barbeque Family

Kase Allison's interest in barbeque goes back to his childhood when he use to attend weekend BBQ events with his family at the, mouth of the Vermillion river. Kase said everyone cooked ribs over corncobs back then.

Some of his favorite memories as a kid are hanging around with his dad, grandfather and all the guys as they cooked ribs.

Kase remember how neat it was when he was a little kid watching BBQ chefs like Larry Mart and Loren Ouellette grilling hundreds of pounds of ribs and having a great time doing it. Grandpa Willie Wieland was part of that group as were many others.

"Dad also cooked a lot of ribs for the family but he was a propane guy, not a cob guy," he said. His interest in the smoking process was developed watching BBQ experts in the south while on trips with his father to NASCAR events.

The interest in BBQ extends to the youngest generation of the Allison family. Kase and his wife, Allison, have two daughters, Talladega and Daytona. Talladega is the youngest member of BBQ pit team. At 3 years old she has the responsibility for applying sauce to the ribs and is heir apparent to the Allison BBQ legacy.

Kase is looking forward to this weekend's event where he will have the opportunity to compete with four other competitors including his childhood mentors and BBQ legend Larry Mart and Loren Ouellette. Also featured in the competition will be last year's award winners Terry (Smiley) Barnard and James Duke.

The five teams will be preparing over 400 pounds of BBQ ribs for public judging. A people's choice ballot will decide the winners of the ribs and baked bean divisions.

Ribs, Rods & Rock 'n Roll is hosted by the Norway Rib Eaters and the Dakota Classic Cruisers.

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