When I was a kid (I'm 68 now) Me and my family always attended the annual meeting of the San Saba Production Credit Association held at San Saba, Texas in a grove of pecan trees. In the early days of this meeting (early 1950's) the men of the association cooked the barbecue. They started the day before by digging a pit about 5 ft. wide and 20 ft. long. They filled this pit with wood and set it on fire. Meanwhile while it was burning down to coals they boiled shoulder clods, (brisket was rarely barbecued in those days) in washpots out beside the pits. After the fire had burned down to coals they placed steel rods across the pit and stretched net wire fencing over them. Sometime during the night they took the shoulder clods out of the washpots and using pitchforks put them on the net wire, turning them occasionally with the pitchforks. They were ready to eat by lunch the next day. Outside those shoulder clods were black as the ace of spades, but tender and very juicy inside. Delicious!
After a few years of this they hired Walter Jetton and his crew to come from Ft. Worth and cater the event. The morning of the meeting Jetton & Co. came with a trailer truck and van. They had the BBQ already cooked when they got there and kept it hot en route. They also had the potato salad and other goodies done when they arrived. It too was delicious, but I don't remember it being as good as those shoulder clods cooked by the men of the association.