Clarence Lee, I apologize.
He has been barbecuing for 25 years. And I haven't made nearly enough trips to Haslet.
Lee's Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Q is turning back the clock to celebrate 25 years, serving sandwiches and plates for about $3-$7, the way Lee did when he opened in 1987.
At first, Lee didn't win awards.
Then, in 2003, he made Texas Monthly's 50 Best.
"I hope I've gotten better at it in 25 years," he said, smiling and slicing the top-grade Rudolph's Market sausage from Dallas.
"I had a lot to learn. When I started, I had never smoked a brisket."
Now, the tiny, cluttered stand draws customers from nearby Alliance Airport -- Lee's is two miles west on Westport Parkway -- and from as far away as Keller or Southlake.
He learned well. The Rudolph's sausage and hot links are some of the best in any local barbecue stand.
Lee's pork ribs are his signature offering, but some regulars stand by the thin-sliced brisket.
"This place is a one-man operation," he said proudly, working alone on a Saturday morning.
"I know it's not much to look at. But it put two sons and a daughter through school."
Lee grew up in south Dallas, playing basketball for the South Oak Cliff Golden Bears, and worked on B-52s in the U.S. Air Force before settling down to a job at Dallas Love Field.
In 1987, he decided to go into business and opened briefly in a remote Southlake shopping strip.
So he's celebrating 25 years total and 22 years in Haslet.
The special prices are good throughout October.
Lee's is open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays; 103 Schoolhouse Road (Farm Road 156 at Westport Parkway), 817-439-5337(LEES).
West Magnolia Avenue is now a brunch boulevard.
The new Brewed coffee-and-beer gastropub was packed Sunday for its menu of buttermilk biscuits with local honey, fried chicken and waffles or Scotch eggs.
Next door, the newly expanded Hot Damn, Tamales! will vary from its usual offerings and serve a special Greek buffet Sunday.
It's the first time the Stavron family has added Greek dishes such as spanakopita (spinach pie) to its regular Sunday Tex-Mex table of eggs, waffles, breads, desserts and (of course) tamales.
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538
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