Monday, January 3, 2011

The Ark of the Covenant

 I met the Rev. H.D. Dennis more than 20 years ago. I was fairly new to town and he came to the newspaper where I worked at the time and ended up in my office one day. And the man could talk. That first conversation with him revolved around his news that the Lord had allowed him to build another Ark of the Covenant. Even more, the Lord allowed him to make improvements to it, namely by adding wheels on the bottom so it could be pushed and not have to be carried. Rev. Dennis said the Lord told him to have a parade with the Ark of the Covenant. He also said the Lord told him to come to the newspaper to have that news put in the paper. Our conversation ended with me telling Rev. Dennis that as soon as the Lord told me to put that in the paper I would. He was satisfied with that answer and left. I never have forgotten my first experience of Rev. Dennis.

The Ark of the Covenant still resides at Margaret's Grocery, the castle he constructed for his gentle wife on Washington Street. I stopped by this weekend to record it more closely for I am still flabbergasted that it has survived all these years. Rev. Dennis had a short ritual for opening the Ark on the few times I asked him about it. It included taking a Bible to the Ark and placing it in a precise position where the flowers are now located in the Ark. Rev. Dennis chastised me many a time for not knowing the Scriptures he used to quote during the times we talked about the Ark.  He did it in such a loving way, however.

I love the Ark for it is vintage Dennis design with all sorts of objects incorporated into its design, including a favorite item of his, a large hairclip. It is quite a heavy object so I am glad the Lord let him put wheels on this one.

 One large wasp nest on the left side and several smalls ones on the right side are now part of the Ark. I am glad I did not decide to take these photos earlier in the summer because that must have been quite a surprises for whoever ventured to open it up.

Margaret's Grocery is slowly fading away, with some of the structure now falling down. I will post photos of that later on. Vandals have already broken through the front door and I hate to think what they have done to the artwork inside. I am glad I have photos of the interior, however.

Go by and see Margaret's Grocery while you can. It won't be around for too much longer and it is such an important part of Vicksburg's heritage. But more than anything, it is a monument to one woman who deserved such a castle from the man who loved her.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these memories and photos. I was over at Margaret's Grocery in early September and was surprised that there wasn't any vandalism that I could see. But I figured it was just a matter of time. Sad to hear that they've broken through the front door. That place is so unique, but so difficult to save without the Rev. and Margaret--they and their testimony gave the place life.