By Sue Moore
It is said that an army marches on its stomach. In Vicksburg last week, an army of volunteer carpenters marched to work each day after being fed by community volunteers. The workers have built a towering pavilion in a unique style that will stand as a testament to timber-framing construction.
They have been fueled by the generosity of the many Vicksburg area residents.
Hundreds of people whipped up delicious food for volunteers from the Timber Framers Guild who began work on Thursday, September 12 and finished their part of the project on Sunday, September 22.
Between 50 and 60 workers were fed three meals a day, along with snacks between times and lots of coffee to keep everyone awake, according to Karen Hammond, the food committee chairperson. Initially, she made numerous calls to food purveyors, community organizations and bakers who annually help with the Historical Society’s Christmas bake sale, to supply the meals and snacks. It was a task that took over three months of planning in anticipation of the buildout dates along with help from her committee members.
Hammond and Margaret Kerchief, president of the Historical Society, were on site every morning at 5:00 to get the coffee going and assist the many organizations bringing food for breakfast at 7:00. They stayed until after lunch, and dinner was served at 7:00 p.m. each day to coordinate the serving and cleanup efforts, even to the point of Hammond taking the silverware home each night to wash up for the next day’s meals. They were assisted by Kristina Powers Aubry on many of the days.
The carpenters, or “lumberjacks” as Hammond fondly referred to them, showed their appreciation by thanking everyone profusely and eating most everything in sight. They often remarked that they usually come to these build-outs to lose weight and now were gaining weight instead. Some of the meals were served off site at area churches along with showers at Lakeland Reformed Church and Chapman Memorial Nazarene Church.
These accommodations were most appreciated by the builders after a long day of toil and sweat. One of the builders brought his dog “Scruffy” who also appreciated all the handouts from the cast and crew.
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