“This is to inform you all that the chili supper at Our Blessed Redeemer (West Side) has been called off due to circumstances beyond our control,” Father Davis O'Brian reported to the Calhoun County Times Record.
As you all know, Mrs. Glatin makes the chili for the chili supper and is aided by Mrs. Mahough, who makes those wonderful sweet pickle chips that we all love. Last night Mrs. Glatin and Mrs. Mahough were at the church hall preparing the chili and pickles for the dinner.
Mrs. Mahough has been advancing in age, as we all know, and bless her sweet heart, she always manages to make it to help with the chili supper and her sweet pickle chips have always been a hit.
However, this year she seems to have mixed up the kerosene and the vinegar. She uses the kerosene in great quantities to heat her house, and vinegar to make a lot of sweet pickle chips, so she always has aplenty of both on hand and it seems her eyes failed her as she was drawing from the tank for the pickles.
It was not until Mrs. Glatin had turned on the stove to make her 5-alarm chili that Mrs. Mahough opened the first Jar of her wonderful sweet pickle chips and started to plate them that the smell of kerosene began to drift over towards the gas stove where the chili was beginning to boil. (According to Mrs. Glatin's recipe, it has to cook for at least 12 hrs or it just does not come out right.)
Mrs. Glatin began to smell the kerosene just as the fumes hit the gas burner and she stood back and watched this year’s batch of five star chili head for the roof of the church hall, do a double summersault and begin to had towards earth once more. As if that ere not bad enough Mrs. Mahough's sweet pickle chips began to explode like miniature bombs on the plates that were sitting on the carefully paper covered for easy clean up tables which as each pickle bomb went off managed to flame higher and higher.
Mrs. Mahough and Mrs. Glatin did not stick around but called the Calhoun County Volunteer Fire Dept (we have yet to loose a foundation or a frame) who responded in record time as they were at the firehouse looking over their brand new pumper that has just arrived from War Surplus that afternoon and were still trying to figure out why it had 12 wheels, was half a block long, and took 12 hours to fill with water and some pink stuff that was sent with it.
They aimed the hose from the new tanker on the fire, and all of a sudden foam began to come out of the hose and enveloped everything in sight. It is estimated it took about a minute to put out the fire and about ten minutes for them to turn off the hose so by the time it was over foam was all through the Church hall and had run into the chapel.
Father Davis O'Brian estimates the damage to be 45,000 to the church hall and the chapel and another 400 from the revenue from the chili supper, which will not be held this year.
© Tina Rice