The Digital Journalist
Selected photos from Michael O'Brien's The Face of Texas.
© Michael O'Brien

Monroe Schubert/LA GRANGE - Monroe Schubert, 65, is the Barbecue Chef of LaGrange, TX. Monday through Saturday, dawn to dusk, he tends the sweltering pits at Prause Meat Market, cooking enough brisket and sausage to feed 100 people at a time. When he's finished cooking, he scrubs everything down.

"Monroe grew up tough," says Gary Prause, whose great-grandfather Arnold Prause opened the market in 1913. "But he'll give you the shirt off his back."

Schubert was raised in nearby O'Quinn, TX, where he walked to a one-room schoolhouse every weekday, weather be damned. After his family moved up Farm Road 609 to LaGrange, Schubert got a job at the feed store, where he ground feed, filled a big truck and delivered it to all dairy farmers in the area. A few years later, he signed on with the Prauses. He's been with them for 30 years.

"You're not going to find someone like Monroe," says Mark Prause, Gary's first cousin and another fourth-generation proprieter. "He's one of the first ones here, and one of the last to leave."