Save Curtis's Barbecue

“Curtis Tuff, who ran Curtis’ BBQ in Putney for more than 50 years, has died. Tuff was an icon in southern Vermont, standing over his open-pit smoker and talking with anyone who was waiting for their food to be served.” - VPR’s Howard Weiss Tisman, Dec. 9th, 2020.

Since this article, the family has not only had to mourn Curtis’s passing and incur debts through Curtis’s declining health, but also deal with Curtis’ BBQ being vandalized, multiple times.

We - residents of Putney, the surrounding areas, and other caring community members - are setting up this fund in the hopes that the repairs and security can be immediately covered and that if there is any extra funding, the debts incurred through Curtis’s long decline can be paid off - finally putting this family in the stable place he had always wanted them to be in.

Weiss-Tisman described Curtis BBQ as, “the kind of place where if you visit it once, you never forget it. There’s the food – big meaty pork ribs, and chicken slow-cooked over hardwood (which Tuff himself used to cut) slathered with his secret recipe barbecue sauce.

And the setting is like no other. It’s all outside, and the food comes out of an old, funky school bus, painted baby-blue. You would have likely had to walk around one of Tuff’s pot-bellied pigs on your way to pick up an order.

But above all, it was the man, Curtis Tuff, a gentle and soft-spoken pit-master, part-James Beard and part-wise man.

This is what he said during a recent interview about why he thinks his customers would return year after year:

‘When you’re nice and kind ... things work out for you. But if you're walking around in the world with your head stuck up in the air like the world owes you something, it ain’t gonna happen, it won’t happen now, no, you know. Peoples takes you as you are.’”

Despite the shortcomings, the family has kept on as he would have wanted them to - continuing his legacy. But now they find themselves contending with elements of the community that have not always been accepting.

The vandalization has made it difficult for Sarah, Curtis’s daughter, and her family to open last season. But thanks to some community support and hard work, the family was able to open. But they opened very late in the season; and this put them further behind financially.

And now, just as they were getting to open this season, they found out they had been VANDALIZED, AGAIN. There will need to be more extensive repairs and they would like to add security.

Please consider supporting this iconic Putney family who have given so much of themselves by donating and sharing. Thank you!

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Organizer and beneficiary

Laura Chapman
Putney, VT
Sarah Tuff

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