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My friend Jim Shahin had called me a few weeks ago about his latest find: a firewood lot in Bladensburg that sells seasoned oak and hickory and walnut and other woods. This news hit me hard, like humidity in August. We had been looking for a reliable source for seasoned hardwoods for, like, forever. The Firewood Factory of D.C. (4521-A Kenilworth Ave. 202-554-4100) seemed like an answered prayer or something.

The best news, Jim told me, was the lot’s resident wood man, Tony Meeks, son of owner Bennie Meeks. Tony’s like the wood whisperer. He understands wood like few others. Check out the video and see why.

Tony’s so good, I walked away with a 100 pounds of hardwood. The only bad news here is that Tony Meeks is throwing it all away to go back on the road. He’s a once and former over-the-road trucker.

Jim, by the way, has his own advice on summer barbecue, too.