Hutchmoot has grown substantially.
For the first few years, it was limited to 100 attendees. Then, through a weird glitch in 2012 or 2013, it expanded to 130 attendees. In 2017, it moved from Church of the Redeemer in Nashville to Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN where, I think, they could accommodate 300. Last year, when COVID forced Hutchmoot to go virtual, they had over 3000 people “attend.”
But, back in the old days, when it was small, the meals were coordinated by a multi-talented woman named Evie Coates. She is an art teacher and a visual artist. Her Hutchmoot food was delicious and beautiful.
On the first day, a sign-up was available to help in the kitchen. There was absolutely no pressure, just a quiet here’s-an-opportunity-to-serve.
I pounced on it.
On my schedule, I wrote “dish duty” next to lunch on Saturday.
I remember going down to the bustle of that kitchen and trying to help in whatever way I could. I wanted to give back in some way. I wanted them to know how grateful I was (and am) for what they do.
Since growing and moving to Franklin, the kitchen crew became a well-oiled machine. They turned out amazing meals. But they didn’t ask for volunteers from the general riff-raff. I couldn’t volunteer there.
Not that they would want me, of course. I don’t remember being especially helpful when I volunteered for dish duty. I wanted to be helpful — but, you know, sometimes lost people just get in the way.
Don’t get me wrong — no one made me feel like that at all. I remember feeling lost, though, in that unfamiliar kitchen, and wishing I knew my way around it better. I see now how it makes so much more sense to have an actual kitchen crew.
Still — I’m glad I had the opportunity that I did in 2012.