By ANGIE CARNATHAN
This year, as the fall semester was winding down at Mississippi State University, students and faculty coming and going from Mitchell Memorial Library were treated to a very special reminder that Christmas was on its way.
Two very talented employees spent months building a tribute to the holiday season to add to the holiday decorations –– an almost exact replica of the library, made in the form of a gingerbread house.
Faye Fulgham, of Maben, has been an employee at Mitchell Memorial Library for 10 years. Bobbie Huddleston of Starkville has been there for 12 years. Together, the women and their talents made 2011 a Christmas no one will forget.
“During a staff meeting we were brainstorming ideas for exhibits for the Christmas Gala, sponsored by the library,” Fulgham said. “One display featured fruitcake from Eudora Welty’s recipe, aprons, old cookbooks, etc. Someone suggested a gingerbread house and Bobbie immediately said ‘let’s build a gingerbread library,’ and so the plans began.”
According to an MSU release, the gingerbread library included such features as blue window panes made from melted Jolly Ranchers, Christmas carolers from upside-down ice cream cones –– complete with peppermint candy faces –– and gift boxes from Starbursts, along with icing ribbons and bows. A special touch was the candy replica of Frances Coleman, MSU dean of libraries, and tiny gingerbread MSU fans ringing cowbells.
Huddleston said the project was not without its challenges.
“Getting the measurements for the building pieces was a process,” Huddleston said. “I used a photograph and scaled it on the computer and then made my measurements.”
Fulgham said she was worried most about the transportation of the delicate masterpiece.
“I was concerned about what would happen when we moved it onto the display cart and onto the elevator to go to the fourth floor,” Fulgham said. “I was really hoping it would not break or fall apart. We tried really hard to secure every part with lots of icing, and luckily there were no accidents.”
The longtime colleagues went all out to create the scaled replica of their workplace, according to the release. No detail of the massive Drill Field-facing brick building was spared.