Married to Joyce Greene for 34 years, and they have a daughter, Jessica, who will be 21 in May and is a student at East Tennessee State University, and son, Steven Jr., who is 18 and a student at Maryville High School.
Occupation: Attorney, partner Costner/Greene, Blount Title Agency. He and Joyce own Royal Oaks Event Facility, including Oaks Restaurant and Bar.
Steve Greene is an attorney and a familiar face at Royal Oaks Event Facility, but plenty of folks know him for something else - his barbecue.
Whether it is at a Big Brothers Big Sisters dinner fundraiser or at the Big Barbecue Bash fundraiser, Greene can be seen standing near his cooker and serving up barbecue and, if you’re lucky, beans. Greene’s propensity for cooking started when he was young.
“I love to cook,” Greene said. “My mother was a nurse and worked 4 to 12, and we didn’t get to see her much. If we wanted to eat, we had to learn to cook. My dad was a good cook and taught me.”
When Greene started out barbecuing, he bought a 300-gallon smoker that needed lots of attention and put it on a 24-foot tandem trailer. “It has grown from there. We get asked to cook for charities, and I love doing it. It has taken a while but we’ve perfected how to use it and use a smaller smoker for smaller events,” he said. “We always cook for big crowds.”
Greene and Jeff Headrick get their practice cooking for large crowds by preparing barbecue for the University of Tennessee football team each summer. They’ve done that for 15 years. Last year they cooked 400 pounds of ribs, 30 Boston butts, 16 gallons of baked beans and 400 pieces of chicken. “All the chicken went real quick as did the butts and ribs. They are the greatest bunch of kids. A lot of them thank you two or three times.”
Greene grew up in Carter County up in upper East Tennessee near the North Carolina line and played football at Happy Valley High School. He went to Lees-McRae College in North Carolina, at the time a Top 5 junior college in the country in football and located 40 miles from his home.
“It was just a beautiful place and a good opportunity. I got hurt. It’s a sad thing to say but I went to play football and was going to quit school,” he said. “When I carried my suitcases out, my roommate from Boca Raton carried them back in. After we wrestled on the dormitory floor, he talked me into staying, and I’m glad he did.”
Greene graduated from there, then went to East Tennessee State University and got a four-year degree. From there he went to Memphis and earned a law degree.
Greene and Joyce met while in college. Initially she was engaged to someone else. “When I first met her, she was engaged, and I wouldn’t have anything to do with her, but I think she had other things in mind,” he said. “She said it was love at first sight. She broke up with her boyfriend, and we started dating.”
25 Random Things about Steve Greene
1. I know it is hard to believe but I used to be skinny. When I was in high school, I would put three dozen eggs in the blender with vanilla extract and brown sugar and drink it to gain weight for football. Go figure.
2. I am a morning person. In high school, college, and law school, I would get up at two in the morning to study until it was time to go to class.
3. I love to shoot guns. My grandfather gave me his old .22-caliber rifle when I was almost 10, and my dad bought my first shotgun about the same time. It was a youth gun with a shorter stock, and I was already too big for it. The first time I shot it, I got a bloody nose and fat lip.
4. I started teaching Steven how to shoot guns when he was only 3 years old, and he knew more gun safety by the time he was 10 than most adults.
5. Other than my faith, Jessica and Steven are the most important things in our lives. Joyce and I were married in 1975, and Jessie wasn’t born until 1988. Finally got it right. I would have loved to had 10 kids, but we started too late.
6. I love the outdoors. We have some property in Walland, and I love to camp. We used to camp and four-wheel almost every weekend.
7. When Jessie was about 2 years old, we started going on father-daughter dates. I would curl her long hair, dress her in a pretty, frilly dress and go to a nice restaurant for dinner. She was a little lady.
8. I loved playing football. It was a way to have a good time and to take out all your frustrations. I never came out of a game in high school. It wasn’t because I was good, it was because we didn’t have many players.
9. I believe that we all need to do whatever we can do to help all of the disadvantaged children in our community. I applaud groups like Junior Service League, and their countless hours of work raising funds for Toys for Blount County, and I applaud groups like the Boy’s and Girl’s Club volunteers.”
10. I love to ride a Harley. I’m not as reckless on a motorcycle as I used to be.
11. Joyce won’t ride with me anymore. Her last ride was 22 years ago. She was so scared.When we got home, she said she prayed the whole ride, and promised God that if He got her home, she would never ride with me again. Promise kept.
12. I love life and people. It takes a lot for me not to like someone. I love a good joke and try to keep a positive attitude about everything.
13. I used to collect old watches. Howard Kirby was a watchmaker and could make any parts for the old watches that I found. I could sit for hours and watch him make and put together all the parts for a beautiful watch. When he died, I lost interest in collecting them.
14. I like all amateur sports. I believe they teach a lot of life’s lessons that will help people through the rest of their lives.
15. Dave Bennett and I coached Little League baseball together for several years. Our first year after minor league, our team finished last in the regular season. In the playoffs, we made it to the championship game and only got beat by two or three runs by an undefeated team that had beaten us by 20-30 runs during the regular season. I was so proud of those kids.
16. I met Joe Costner in law school. We played intramural football and basketball together. Boy, could he throw a football!
17. Joe and I became partners in 1980 and have never had a disagreement. It has been a great partnership.
18. I skied for the first time when I was 18 at Sugar Mountain. My buddy and I got on the wrong lift and went up the most advanced slope. After they stopped the lift and got us up and out of the way, my buddy took his skies off and walked back down. I went straight down the slope yelling ‘look out’ the whole way. When I got to the bottom without falling, I couldn’t stop, so I fell down and rolled about 50 yards into a split rail fence. The ski patrol had followed me all the way down the slope, and, while I was still in a daze, jerked the lift ticket off my zipper and skied away.
19. I have always loved Tennessee football. Coach Phillip Fulmer and his staff have always been such a class act, and I’m having a hard time getting over that situation.
20. When I grew up, we had two families. My brother, sister and I were all born within three and a half years of each other. Then two sisters were born 12 and 15 years later. My mom was a nurse and worked nights, and we raised our sisters.
21. One of my biggest faults is that I tend to procrastinate. That’s what Joyce says about my Honey-do list.
22. I don’t wear ties and suits unless I really have to.
23. I’m from the mountains of upper East Tennessee, which is very similar to Blount County. We lived way out in the boonies and for entertainment we caught lightening bugs, snakes and did foolish things like throwing rocks into hornet’s nests.
24. Jack Nicholson is my favorite actor. He can do anything.
25. I am a pack rat. When Joyce tries to throw something away, she does it the day of garbage pickup.