A Little History
...from a 2015 introduction to a planned book, a collection of sausage making information, which unfortunately was never finished.
Back in 2011, Barry Bryner was asked to become a moderator of WedlinyeDomowe.com/en , the English-language version of a website begun by a group of Polish enthusiasts interested in preserving the knowledge and traditions of sausage making and meat preservation in “the old country.” (For brevity’s sake, let’s abbreviate it as “WD.”) The Polishversion of WD was started by a number of sausage enthusiasts in Poland, and the effort was furthered in the United States by Stanley Marianski and a few family and associates. At the time, Stanley was writing what turned out to be a seminal book on home production of sausages and meat products, and was influential in providing material for the WD site. As of late, he maintains (with son Adam and several others) a knowledgebase website now called SausageMaking.com.
Barry Bryner, late of Draper, Utah, agreed to help moderate the Wedlinydomowe.pl/en site and broaden its appeal to an English-speaking audience. Bryner’s many experiences growing up on a ranch in southeastern Utah, his degrees in Food Science and Microbiology and a Masters Degree in Music, but especially his “living the life” experiences in the history of the SouthWest, brought a cowboy-flavored, practical meat-production-oriented approach to the website. Bryner had previously authored a collection of “wild West” tales and a series of recipe columns titled “The Chuckwagon Gourmet.” He chose the handle “Chuckwagon” for his posts on the WD forum.
Under Barry's work, the number of WD users expanded considerably from the website's start in early 2011, to late 2014. Unfortunately, one of the Polish underwriters of the site decided that they needed someone from the Polish community to have a larger presence as a moderator. Whether or not “Chuckwagon” was being shoved aside, it appeared that way to him, and in late 2014 he decided to leave.
He had a large following of amateur (and a few professional) sausage makers. Many felt rudderless, and the hit rate on WD dropped precipitously. Amid a bit of finger-pointing, and a few calls for Chuckwagon to go out on his own, a new site was born: SausagesWest.com. Russ “el Ducko” Lambert, a retired chemical engineer, amateur sausage maker and computer enthusiast, threw together a website with the help of Google’s software, and Chuckwagon was back in business.
Like all amateur efforts based on a whim, the start was rocky. Lambert was learning as he went, and the website started up with very little on-line material. One major mistake, checking the wrong checkbox when the list of users was installed, resulted in a blast email announcing the site. Those who looked at the site saw little of value, and forgot about it. Later attempts to overcome that first impression and lure them back were ineffectual.
But the user base did grow. A new “Project “B” (for “Beginner”) got started in spring 2015, and continued in fits and starts. The number of new users continued to grow, and the number of hits continued to rise, until about 2018.
The challenge was that neither Bryner nor Lambert was young enough to keep the thing going for very long. Bryner died in early 2019, and as the number of visits to the website declined, Lambert finally "pulled the plug" on it inearly 2020.
So, why is it back? Well, it's not. This material is posted here because it's too good to lose. There most likely will not be an interactive website, partly because at this point Google's website builder doesn't support such things very well, and because frankly I've moved on to other things. But much of the "meaty," if you will, material is here for some to hopefully enjoy. Barry's work and life were not in vain.
Sausage Making is a fascinating hobby and, for some, a siren song to get into the business of sausage production. I hope you'll find it enjoyable and enjoy it safely.
In Chuckwagon’s words- - “Yee Haww!”
E. R. Lambert