Everyone asks “Hazbean” Joseph Smith if he’s named after the famous Mormon, so of course the Bean Beacon had to ask, too. For the record, he’s not. But he’s not just your Average Joe, either.
Joseph grew up in Stillwater, OK and joined the Army Reserves at age 17. A year later, he was Active Duty. He served three-and-a-half years — including time spent on Operation Desert Storm as an Infantryman Sergeant — before he injured both hips… jumping out of a helicopter!
While the injury ended his time in the military, and still causes him occasional pain when he walks these days, he continued on to another intense profession: emergency response. Joseph trained as an EMT in Winter Park, FL and stayed for about a year before returning to Stillwater to work as a firefighter EMT. He made his way to Oklahoma City, where he helped with the search and rescue following what is known as “The Oklahoma City Bombing” of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995, and later returned to do the same after a devastating tornado in May of 2000.
So, yes — should you need a wound fixed up, Joseph is the man to see (but hopefully you won’t get any injuries at The Roasterie!). He’s also the man to see if you need to hunt some bounty. Before moving to Kansas City in 2000 he had a stint as a fugitive recovery officer. Think: Dog the Bounty Hunter. Yes, really!
Not too long after moving here, he met his wife of eight years, Michelle. “We met on the job. I went to change her tire.” It was love at first sight. But it didn’t come without some complications. For someone who’s so inclined to heal people, Joseph gets his share of injuries. On their first date, he split is head open on a parking garage overhang on the Plaza. They liked each other so much, the show went on, and the date continued on even after Joseph got called into work halfway through their dinner at the Classic Cup.
At that time, he was working for Road Runner Road service. “I gave her the choice: try again some other time or hang out with me. She decided to go to work with me,” Joseph says. “We spent a lot of time talking and getting to know each other. We’ve been pretty much inseparable ever since.”
The happy couple now lives in Raytown with their Cat, Osiris, and hope to add a baby to the mix at some point.
In his spare time, Joseph builds models — “Helicopters, cars, trucks, everything.” When he cooks, he prefers to grill steak, ribs and chicken. He loves The Roasterie Super Tuscan Barbecue sauce, but recently had a hard time getting some baked-on sauce off of a Pyrex he used in the oven, so he prefers to use it for his grilled meats. His favorite coffee blends are Total Eclipse and 40 Sardines. Still, his favorite part of the job is arriving in the mornings “It means I’m here doing what I can to help the team. I enjoy showing up everyday because that means I’m working and I’m going to be around people I enjoy talking to and hanging out with.”
When asked if he’d ever ride on the back of a motorcycle with Danny, Joseph said, “I think that would be kind of weird. I don’t know… Ask him if he’d ride on the back of a motorcycle with me, then we’ll talk.”