From the Director’s Desk: SoFAB Gives Thanks


LIZ WILLIAMS

SoFAB has faced some rather difficult obstacles during 2013. We have had to find a new developer for the new building which is going to house the SoFABulous Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Because of delays the staff has had to operate in the Twilight Zone, working from home and only gathering formally once a week to keep each other updated on progress, while trying to maintain cohesion. And we have been further delayed by various governmental entities, including the closure of the federal government.

But in spite of all of these rather large potholes in the road, we have also found a lot to be thankful for. We have had some important successes, but I am saving those for another time. This piece is about being thankful to people. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I am going to indulge myself by wallowing in gratitude, mostly because it feels so good.

First, I would like to thank our staff.  We have a motley crew assembled, which has pulled together and never given up, even as we drove our SoFAB bus over the potholes. Hats off to the paid staff, the consultants, and the crowd of volunteers who take on the role of staffers. Most of our supporters do not know the staff by name, but everyone sees the results of their efforts. I am always gratified to hear people’s surprise when they learn how small our staff actually is compared to all that they accomplish.

Next, I would like to thank the team of people and companies that have remained committed to our renovation and transformation of the old Dryades Market into the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Some members of the team have been around since the beginning and others have signed on later with the old-timers’ level of commitment. The fruits of this commitment will be seen very soon.

Thanks to all of our financial supporters and sponsors. During this time of transition, you have remained steadfast. Your support has been crucial to our ongoing success. This has been the type of support that has allowed us to grow around the country and sprinkle the concept of SoFAB everywhere.

Our Board of Directors cannot be left out of this laundry list of thanks. Individual members have organized fund raisers, collected artifacts, and made personal donations. The Board has been patient, supportive, and willing to make hard decisions.  They have recruited other members and goaded each other into taking the organization to higher and higher levels. The Board rocks.

And our volunteer curators, the volunteer advisors, the generous people who have given us their time and talent with no thought of reward. Some volunteers have been with us since the beginning, and they have contributed to the continuity of SoFAB. So I salute them. We could not have gotten here without you.

And to everyone who has contributed a book, a menu, an artifact, ephemera, or something to SoFAB’s collections, thanks for your trust and your generosity. Our collections are establishing SoFAB as an important institution. Our library is growing every day because of the caring thoughtfulness of those who send us their books, pamphlets, and photos. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, please “like” or “follow” the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, the Museum of the American Cocktail, OKRA, and the SoFAB Culinary Library and Archive.

I sincerely hope that I have not left anyone out. There are so many people to thank that it is very possible that I have. My apologies.  As we approach the end of the year, let me say thank you to all of you.  Send us money; send us books and menus; send us artifacts.  You will feel good and so will I.  You will have given me another reason to say thank you.

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