The image of a wooden spoon you see here is quite special. It is made of curly maple and was given to me just recently by our former Director of Natural Science, Andrew McKenna-Foster. Andrew made it – that’s what makes this spoon something I will treasure forever.
My first memory of Andrew was when he was an intern here many years ago. I remember this young man, sitting in the kitchen of Hinchman House with other interns, carving a spoon out of wood. He then planned to place a cord of rawhide through the end so it could be wrapped around his wrist. He claimed he would use it all summer to eat all of his food – no other utensils to be utilized. I am really not sure what I thought then – something along the lines of, “This young man practices what he preaches, lives simply . . . He found the right internship! And we found a great intern.” But, in any case, that is what I think about when I think back to first meeting Andrew. He had other adventures as an intern too – I think he took in a baby bird and at one point had some large spider that may even have gotten loose. But, the first one is the spoon.
I told him about that not long before he left MMA to go back to school and to seek new adventures – Andrew, after all, had been with us since his internship in some way or another – as an intern, assistant director, and then director – it was time for him to fly. But, I think this is the reason he made this for me. I am not sure he realizes just how special this is. With my background, this is a heirloom to be passed down – used but used carefully. It is not a simple spoon at all. It is a memory of a friend and colleague, who like me, grew up at the MMA in some respects. It is not simple at all. Thank you, Andrew.