Rodney Long is from a well-known family barbecue tradition from Newberry County. This tradition grew out of the Fourth of July and Labor Day barbecues his family held when Rodney was a child. These celebrations began as a way for the extended family to come together, but as the hash and barbecue grew in popularity, the crowds expanded to as many as 300 to 400 people. Long commented, “They liked our barbecue but they killed for the hash.” His father realized he had something the public really liked and so opened up his own business at Hickory Hill with Rodney’s brother. Long’s father and uncle learned their hash-making when they were young men. Their teacher was a legendary game warden who was considered a master of hash-making.
According to Long, two other well-known hash men learned from this man as well: Sid Lee of Lee’s BBQ on the shores of Lake Greenwood and Johnny Wise of Wise’s BBQ on highway 78 between Newberry and Clinton. From this one game warden’s tradition sprang three barbecue and hash traditions. Each owner “tweaked” the original hash recipe with his own seasonings, seeking to satisfy the local customer’s hash tastes. Lee’s version remained true to the original and the Long brother’s version moved more to an all beef and onion with a spicy seasoning. Wise favors pork as the primary meat and uses a mustard sauce seasoning. Today, Rodney’s sister, Penny, with her mother’s help, operates the Heavenly Hog BBQ restaurant on Hwy. 76 in Prosperity, SC, down from Wise’s BBQ by 8 to 10 miles. There she continues her father’s hash tradition (with a little “secret ingredients” of her own.)