Fifth Annual Chili Event Takes Place in Belle
BELLE – The Annual Chili Festival took place Jan. 22, 2013.
This makes the fifth for the celebration that began in Walker’s IS Dept., at Belle.
According to Robert Packtor, IS Manager of Midrange Applications Development, the first few years were actual competitions. The intent was to feed the auditors when they visited.
“The first year there were two crock pots – me and Ridenour and maybe Chionsini,” Packtor said.
This year, the auditors Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP, not only brought in a crock pot of chili, they also brought in desserts and other stuff, Packtor said. In the beginning, there were judges. But, the title was changed from a competition to a festival to attract more participants. And it has. The departments included have grown from IS and Accounting, to HR, Credit and last year Sales entered the picture with a pot of chili from PSSR Manager Brent Samples. Samples swayed Rental and Sales Costing Clerk Catrina Weidensall into the throng with his enthusiasm about the event. She joined the group this year.
“I thought this would give me a good opportunity to try a different recipe that I normally wouldn’t make at home,” Weidensall said.
The competition has garnered much enthusiasm and Packtor looks for the festival to grow. Through the process, Packtor has become a true aficionado of chilis and chili people.
“Ridenour, Chionsini and Goff are purists – no beans,” he said. “My attitude, if it ain’t got beans, it needs to have a hotdog underneath.”
One of the lasting benefits of the festival is leftovers.
“Any chili left behind, we eat all week,” Packtor said.
Larry Shifflette Retires
Party took place at Jackson store
This Is Iron Man
Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do..
Chris Miller - Parts Person Main Shop - had one goal from October, 2011, to October, 2012 - to become Iron Man, before Halloween.
People pass each other every day at Walker Machinery Co.
They see the mechanic, the salesman, the accountant, the manager. But they do not see the mother, the bicyclist, the volunteer, the artist.
One of Walker’s best-kept secrets, Chris Miller - Parts Person Main Shop - had one goal from October, 2011, to October, 2012 - to become Iron Man, before Halloween.
“I’m just a kid – I love that kind of stuff,” Miller said.
Miller began researching. He downloaded a paper craft computer program, Pepakura Designer. It is like something a Caterpillar® engineer does with a computer aided drafting (cad) drawing, to redesign a 3-dimensional image of a piece of equipment or a component. The program takes a 3-d image and smashes it out flat on a piece of paper, giving the lines to cut and all of the folds. It makes kind of like a paint – by - number.
“Making it fit you is the hardest part,” Miller said.
Hmmmm….that is what HE says.
According to Miller, the Mark IV Ironman suit, which was used in the second Ironman movie, has about 1,000 pieces of 110-pound paper to cut out with a hobby knife. The chest, alone, is 36 pages of very small parts. Cutting it out is most of it, he said. For six months it was just cutting and super gluing the pieces into 3-d forms.
“I worked on it in my free time, but hardly on the weekends because that is her time,” Miller said.
He is referring to his girlfriend Chastity Lies, who helped make this all possible.
Miller had to make a skeleton of himself, on which to attach the 3-d paper forms. His girlfriend wrapped him, tightly, in duct tape from the neck down. Then she cut the tape off of his body, enough where he could remove it. He inserted PVC pipe into the tape to make it sturdy. After he created the 3-d paper forms, he painted them, with fiberglass resin, and attached them to the skeleton. He gives grave attention to the details.
“You don’t want to put it on real thick or you lose some of the details, such as the ribs and abs,” he said.
As soon as the fiberglass hardened, Miller made sure it fit, piece by piece. He ordered the blue lights in his chest, hands and eyes from a man in The Philippines, who crafted the items from the actual movie files, Miller said.
Three weeks before Halloween, Ironman was finished. The unveiling was at HollowEast, Oct. 27, at Charleston’s East End. This is an annual Halloween celebration, sponsored by Electric 102, Suddenlink, and other local businesses. Miller’s girlfriend had to put the suit on Miller, piece by piece. It took them forever, and it was cold, dark and rainy. The center piece goes on first and straps onto his shoulders and then everything else goes over top. During the 25-minute assembly process, passersby took photos of him half dressed.
“And I’d be like, ok, but you’re not seeing anything right now,” he said.
The suit provides some restrictions. Many of the pieces bolt into one another. The knees are joined on the legs and in one piece, making bending, at the waist, impossible. Using the bathroom is also out of the question, as he has to remove the entire suit. When the helmet’s eyes are lit up, he can only see about four feet in front of him, and at a 45 degree angle downward. His girlfriend has to guide him around.
“When you first put the suit on, it’s kind of weird,” he said. “The suit looks really slim, but it feels a lot different when you’re in it.”
For Miller, the reaction he gets from folks is the big payoff. He went to CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital, last night, to cheer up the kids in the pediatric ward and the emergency room. The adults loved it, but some of the kids were stunned, he said. They waved at him, but if he came too close, they were kind of scared.
“One kid had a Spiderman cup and blanket, and I said, ‘Man, you like the wrong guy.’ The funniest thing is seeing them wonder who it is behind the mask. I see people I know, and they don’t know me. I feel more invincible in the suit…it’s a lot of fun,” Miller said.
Shirley Knight Retires