Widow wants husband's bar-be-cue pits


The company says they tried to contact the family about that pit, but was unable to reach them. The case appeared headed to court, but now the smoke has cleared.

Pitts and Spitts is one of the best known names in the bar-be-cue cooker business. That's why a Houston man paid for two of them a year ago, but after he passed away the pits became a problem.

When James Chapman's bar-be-cue pit needed to be replaced, his family says he turned to the place that made it more than 20 years ago, Pitts and Spitts.

"It needed to refurbished and restored," said James' widow Linda Chapman.

Linda says her husband ordered two pits and paid a $3,775 deposit in April of last year, but a month later James died.

She said, "This year in March we want to make fish that we caught on a trip that he paid for and insisted that we go on if something happened to him."

Linda admits that nearly a full year passed before she got around to inquiring about those long ago ordered bar-be-cue pits. Chapman says when she did call Pitts and Spitts she learned her husband's pits had been sold.

"Since they could not contact us and could not find us, they sold both pits," Linda said, "I would like to have the money back. 'Can't do that', that's his exact words."

Pitts and Spitts' contract clearly states that deposits are non-refundable.

Pitts and Spitts' owner did not want to speak on camera but told me the company did not know James Chapman had passed away, but his company, "made 16 or 17 calls for over a year."

Linda Chapman says she never got any of those calls.

The company owner went on to tell us, "We could not get a hold of them and sold the pits."

Linda went so far as to file a lawsuit against Pitts and Spitts to recoup the money spent by her husband, but the owner of the company told me he, "wants to do right for the customer" and is willing to make the originally ordered pits at the previously agreed upon price.

"It's not just simply a Pits and Spitts bar-be-cue pit," Linda said. "This is our family memories."

The Chapman family says they are satisified with the outcome. They still want the bar-be-cue pits and the owner of Pitts and Spitts tells us he understands the family's loss, but added after nearly a year the company believed the pits were abandoned. The new pits should be in the family's hands in a matter of days.

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