February First Share the Wealth with Natalie Yule: A Life in Construction
by Mark Chmiel
When I say the word “Construction,” what is the first thing that pops into your mind? For some folks this word may invoke thoughts of being stuck in traffic on the highway, then being late to work or a meeting…due to the annoyance of too often unanticipated, darn “Construction.” What a hassle! Then for others the word “Construction” may invoke a caricatured mental image of that stereotypical “blue collar” worker who definitely curses like a sailor. Do these thoughts ring true for any of you? If not, I’m certain that there may be others of you who hear the word “Construction,” and, in contrast, it invokes nostalgia. Maybe you have a father or friend who worked diligently in a trade and maybe you admired them for it.
For me, however, “Construction” represents creativity, art, perseverance, excellence, solving problems, the challenging of gender and racial stereotypes, reward, and, more significantly, an incredible opportunity to connect with others from all walks of life (from fellow carpenters to customers). As a female, 1% minority member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, I have quite simply fallen in love with building. Becoming a full-time, professional carpenter was not my original life plan, but it is my niche, and I have zero regrets. I feel blessed by this request to share my stories with you. My occupation, the opportunities that have come with it, and the interactions I’ve been so fortunate to have with others have literally been a gift to me nearly every day I lace up my work boots. I hope that through sharing my journey and experiences, and answering any of your questions, I am somehow able to give back a small portion of that gift.
Sunday 1 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm
Natalie begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Fatima Rhodes
4406 A Laclede
Central West End