07/12/07 — Wilbur's Barbecue helps governor settle Series bet

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Wilbur's Barbecue helps governor settle Series bet

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on July 12, 2007 1:46 PM

Despite a renowned allegiance to the N.C. State Wolfpack, Wilber Shirley, owner of Wilber's Barbecue, couldn't say no when asked by Gov. Mike Easley to pay off a bet he made with Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski after UNC-Chapel Hill lost to the Oregon State Beavers in the NCAA College World Series.

At stake was not only the governor's honor, but also a pound of Wilber's famous eastern North Carolina-style barbecue, a bottle of Wilber's Sauce and a pint of cole slaw.

So, without hesitation, Shirley said, he decided to help bail his friend out.

"It's not the first time I've done this," he said about having to pay off a governor's friendly wager. He even threw in a Wilber's basebal cap for good measure.

The gifts were received by Kulongoski late last week.

According to Anna Richter-Taylor, spokeswoman for the governor, not only did Kulongoski enjoy a nice barbecue sandwich over the weekend, he also proudly wore his new hat while fly-fishing.

"He thoroughly enjoyed it," she said. "He said it was some of the best barbecue he's ever had and it left him wanting more."

Kulongoski also was to receive a case of CheerWine and pound of western N.C. 'cue from the Barbecue Center in Lexington.