“I was hungry and you fed Me.” Matthew 25:40
Sometime around Independence Day in 1999, Oscar Bothwell started O’ So Good Bar-B-Que from a trailer in his front yard. Word quickly spread about the excellent food – smoked ribs cooked to perfection, pulled pork seasoned with his special sauce, and those polish dogs piled with sauteed peppers and onions – and the excellent service. In 2003, he constructed a first-class restaurant in his hometown of Oneonta.
But it wasn’t just the food that brought people back over and over and over again. It was the man behind the food. Going to Mr. Oscar’s, as many affectionately called him, was like going home. His love for cooking and his magnetic, jovial spirit drew people to him.
It didn’t matter, though, where Oscar set up shop, home was wherever he was. Oscar’s love for people and his desire to serve the community he loved remained at the forefront of all he did.
Oscar Bothwell is one of two recipients of the very special Blount-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Mr. Oscar was a hard working man of integrity and Christian character, a family man loved and respected by all who knew him,” wrote Pat Johnson. “He was a ‘salt of the earth kind of man’ as my husband would say.
“He was truly an asset to Blount County. I believe he looked at all people as ‘just another child of God’ who needed to be fed good food and kindness.”
He and Beverly, his wife of 36 years, ministered to countless people in many ways over the years. They opened their hearts and gave so much of themselves to the community they loved.
On Sept. 7, 2020, COVID-19 took Oscar and left thousands heartbroken. But Oscar’s legacy lives on. It lives on through his family and it lives on through the countless lives he touched over the years.
“He brought so much to Blount County with his cooking talents, but it was his love for mankind and Blount County that made him truly special,” Johnson wrote. “His compassion and care for the people of Blount County showed through all he did and the way he treated you each time you were there.
“Mr. Oscar served people from all over, always with courtesy. He treated everyone the same, only seeing a hungry fellow human being with a need for good food, which he so graciously provided. He was a servant of God through food, and he made life better for us all.”