CONWAY — The marinade was simple: Just the hint of a vinegar-based barbecue sauce over a 350-degree fire.
Cook for an hour, and the result was a quintessential American product – chicken quarters accompanied by baked beans and potato chips.
For storm-battered Horry County residents, the arrival of Greenwood’s volunteer convoy into their decimated neighborhoods was more than just an opportunity to grab lunch.
It was a miracle.
Jim Godfrey couldn’t hold back his gratitude even before taking a few plates home with him.
“I think you can see what this is doing to me,” he said behind tears. “It’s just so appreciated.”
During the pre-dawn hours on Thursday, a group of Greenwood volunteers — Steve Cribbs, James Long, Kenny Talley and Jason Taylor —navigated a caravan of vehicles more than 200 miles down state, into the heart of Hurricane Florence’s powerful aftermath to bring comfort and supplies to anybody who needed them – including 3,000 chicken leg quarters.
They pulled into a Lee’s Landing staging area just after 1 p.m. to scenes of water rescues and property owners assessing their homes.
Cribbs decided Monday to assemble the relief trip, and was able to secure nearly $3,000 in donations to help offset costs.
The morning was spent navigating traffic and planning logistics. Pulling two large cookers and a panel van full of essentials, including bottled water, toiletries, diapers and pet food, the group will continue to cook at locations around flood-hit areas of Conway through the weekend.
Not all the chicken found human stomachs. Maichiko Williams fed pieces of meat to her hungry 6-year-old Great Pyrenees, Hanako, blowing on it to cool it down as it came off the grill.
“We’ve been having a lot of trying times lately, and I think there’s a reason for it,” Godfrey said.
Joey Parrott and his son, Kyle, live just on the outskirts of the flood zone, and said they were appreciative of the fresh meal.
“We still have power, but I don’t know for how much longer,” Joey said. “We didn’t have an option like this when Matthew hit. Most people out here aren’t going to ask for much, but this is such a great gesture.”