Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 46

JACKIE KENNEDY
Hometown HEROES
By Jackie Kennedy
Maurice Houston:
barbecue hero
M
aurice " Mo " Houston knows his way around a kitchen.
From the time he was 5 and growing up in LaGrange,
he was taught how to cook by Winnett Reed, his
grandmother and personal hero.
" Her heart was in her cooking, " Houston recalls. " If you
stopped by to say 'hey,' she invited you in to eat with us. She
enjoyed watching people enjoy what she cooked, and she put so
much love and time into it. "
Houston is a foreman for Georgia Right of Way, a cooperative
that clears and maintains rights of way for utilities, including
LaGrange-based Diverse Power. He recalls being deeply
depressed after his grandmother died in 2000.
" It put me in a depression for years, and then I put my
hands into cooking, and that just opened my heart up, " he says.
" I think cooking-and helping others through cooking-helped
me get through it. "
In 2015, Houston launched his business, Smokin Mo's
Barbecue. The same year, he started cooking meals for residents
of LaGrange's domestic violence shelter and giving bags of food
to homeless people in the community. With help from his family
and friends, he prepares meals during the holidays for those in
need, and he's manned the grill for numerous fundraisers.
" That's one thing I love doing the most, " he says. " I'll be
working on one soon for a wheelchair basketball team. "
Houston uses social media to drum up involvement.
" I'll post that I'm doing a fundraiser and people ask to
help, " he says. " Stuff does cost, but it always works out. I have
friends who'll send money to buy food or give me free hands for
the day. "
Houston says the people he works with at Georgia Right of
Way and Diverse Power are supportive.
" Maurice is a great example of one who serves others, " says
Wayne Livingston, president and CEO of Diverse Power. " We're
46 Georgia Magazine March 2022
very proud of all he does. "
Houston feels that God and his grandmother have been
beside him all the way. In 2018, he and his wife, Stephanie,
adopted their daughter, Kezilha, fulfilling their dream of
becoming parents. In 2019, they expanded their business by
purchasing a food trailer.
" We do it all: beef brisket, ribs, chicken and my grandmother's
homemade Brunswick stew, " says Maurice Houston, whose
barbecue grilled cheese sandwich, nachos and fries are fan
favorites.
Giving back to the community, one meal at a time, is
Houston's favorite.
" I just want to be there to help, " he says. " That's what it's all
about, you know? "
Jackie Kennedy is the editor of Newnan-Coweta Magazine.
Maurice Houston
prepared smoked
turkeys during the
Christmas season
for women at the
domestic violence
shelter in LaGrange.

Georgia Magazine - March 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - March 2022

Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 4
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 5
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 6
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 7
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 8
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 9
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 10
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 11
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 12
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 13
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 14
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 15
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 16
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 17
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 18
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 19
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 20
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 21
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Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 23
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 24
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 25
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 26
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 27
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 28
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Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 34
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Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 38
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Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 45
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 46
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover4
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