Who are the ‘Untouchables’? No they are not from the Elliott Ness TV version of the popular television show (and movie) The Untouchables. They are a group of amazing men gathered into a social club from different backgrounds and life statuses. They have been joined together in this community-minded endeavor, each for various time periods. The organization itself was established in 1958 creating a historic legacy that figuratively wraps arms around the Black community—but openly welcomes anyone who cares to join them.
Every year on July 3, they roast two whole cleaned and prepped pigs, fry fish, and prepare tasty side dishes like coleslaw, hamburgers, baked beans and more.
Frank Pillow has been the president of the group for 19 years now. When asked how do you do this or why do you do this, he humbly replied that this is done in the spirit of good clean family and community fun propelled by God. They ask no one for anything for the yearly venture. All foods, items and anything needed come out of their personal pockets.
The pig roast clearly is a hefty undertaking, but to these men it’s just another day’s work. They are no strangers to hard work. They are retired and semi-retired men who have worked all their lives and find the community and its people invaluable.
The large pits and brick outlays are carefully manned by the Untouchables and were built to last over time. The event atmosphere is free from violence, trauma and convenes to provide a family friendly Independence Day. The spirit of such a well-organized event carries throughout the weekend—and no doubt remains a pleasant, positive lifetime marker for many.
Throughout the year, the Untouchables meet frequently to plan the large event and for general group business matters. The only advertisement is word of mouth. Anyone is welcomed to join for a night of food, fund and a positive experience to remember, said Pillow. Gary Dennis, a proud member of the group, introduced this writer and thoroughly informed me of the group’s activities.
Indeed the Untouchables are a Nashville staple and to some a best kept secret. To others their work and legacy is a household name. Either way, the July 3 preparation is taking place and the outcome is expected to be a successful community event.