The point is, the thing was done - Russell Turner’s two former employees at Rusk’s All Star Bar-B-Q were fully and legally married. The preacher had said all the words. But the reception - the joyous celebration of holy matrimony - was starting to encroach on the Astros’ Game 7 against the New York Yankees.
“These workers had met at my restaurant in high school, and they’d gone on to college and now they were getting married,” said Turner, who modestly declines to call himself the Astros’ biggest fan. “But come on. This was Game Seven. So I just got my wife and my daughters and we kind of eased on out of there.”
If there’s any greater indication of Turner’s devotion to the Houston team, it’s on the walls and in the display cases of Rusk’s landmark barbecue joint. Turner’s extensive collection of Astros memorabilia is on display. And with the team heading to the World Series next week, he’s even added an Astros flag outside.
“We’ve been here for 25 years,” he said of All Star Bar-B-Q. “But about 20 years ago, I began to get halfway serious about collecting Astros memorabilia. It’s something I love, and it gives the folks something to look at, something to see. We’ve got everything from pennants to figurines to some game-used bases and just about everything else.”
It’s also something he shares with his family.
“We had the first few innings of Game 7 recorded, so my son, who is stationed in West Texas, kept texting, asking if we had caught up yet,” Turner said of Saturday night’s game. “When we had, we could all start talking about it.”
Turner understands it’s tough to get down to see many games - he’s got to run a barbecue restaurant, so he only gets to see one or two a year, he said.
But Astros fans in East Texas can also stop in and get a helping of team spirit at All-Star.
“Come on in, take a look at what (memorabilia) we have,” he said. “At this point, it’s more of a question of what we don’t have.”
All Star Bar-B-Q is located at 267 S. Dickinson Ave. in Rusk. It’s open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.