Bull Corry leans back on a bench beside a vintage Coke machine outside his Oakman restaurant, The Bull Pen Steakhouse.
“He was a great dad,” Bull says in his Southern bass drawl, speaking of Harold Corry. “He took us hunting and fishing. He was a belt-whoopin’ dad, thank goodness. I needed that.”
From the time Bull was born, his dad worked as a mail carrier until he retired. “Back in that day, that was a great job,” Bull says. “On bad days we didn’t have school because a lot of the roads was dirt. I rode on the mail route with him and helped push the car out of the mud.”
Bull spent much of his youth on the family’s cattle farm. “When Richard Nixon resigned, I was at the cattle sale at Morris, Alabama. I saw it on TV at the cattle sale cafe,” Bull says.
But his father had a dream, which eventually became Old York Farms. “This is what he wanted to do,” Bull says. “Dad could look at something and envision it. I would have never had the concept to build this restaurant in this direction. We never used a blueprint. We’d draw it on a napkin.”
Then Mr. Corry died in 1997 and left the farm to Bull.
“It’s sort of like gambling. It’s hard to quit,” Bull grins. “We borrowed a ton of money and built this restaurant and then Dad died, but we’ve been very fortunate.”
One thing Bull says he’s learned from his dad is “don’t quit.” Relating a funny story about an overturned manure truck, he grins. “That’s the way you have to look at life. If there’s that much manure, there’s bound to be a pony somewhere.” 78