hump day treat: big john’s bloody mary

On Sundays after church, beginning in the mid-1960s, the Womacks, Wrights, Raggios, Thompsons and Terrells made their way to my grandparent’s home in Jefferson Place, children in tow. My grandparents Bitsy and John (also known as Big John) Weimar always loved to have their people around. The children would play in the yard while parents socialized in the house with Bloody Marys in hand.

Big John’s Bloody Mary recipe was, and remains, a much-anticipated treat, so much so that my uncle has a framed copy of the recipe sitting atop his bar. Another hangs in the kitchen at our camp on Lake Bruin. The paper is slightly yellowed with age and the unmistakable typewriter font hearkens to a nostalgic era (see photo below). As silly as this may sound, I feel honored to be the one to share this recipe with people.

I enjoyed one of Big John’s Bloody Marys last weekend at my family’s tailgate, which I’d like to share a little history on. Beginning in 1958, Bitsy and Big John would park in the same spot every home game, on the side of Lockett Hall before there was Lockett Hall. Fifty-four years later, my family still parks in that spot. The tailgate there began with an ice chest of beer and a box of crackers on the back end of the station wagon; it has grown to a full-on production complete with a massive purple and gold tent, platters brimming with food, and a high-def television. My time spent here with family and friends is irreplaceable. And while Bitsy and Big John are no longer with us, to me they seem immortalized through this weekly ritual each fall, even if it is only a tailgate.

See Big John’s Bloody Mary Recipe and photos from the tailgate below…

Fried shrimp from Maxwell’s Market

Yes, we have an oversized Barbie that’s displayed at the tailgate each week. I don’t know how she got there, but she’s growing on me.

Petit fours from Keller’s Bakery in Lafayette

Meat pies from Maxwell’s Market

Quote of the day: 


“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” –George Bernard Shaw


  1. Absolutely brilliant. Truly a great heritage which I’ve experienced many times. Made my days at LSU so much better knowing the clan was in the parking lot on Saturdays. Thanks for telling the story. A great memory for me. Geaux Big John W.

  2. Still rocking after all these years!!! Great story, Becca. Love you, mama