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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Chapel restoration an act of remembrance

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mike Meyer opens a package while Tim Long scrapes paint off the Cunot Community Chapel last week. Meyer is restoring the chapel as a memorial to his friend Jaime Spears, who died in a car accident in December. Banner Graphic/JOSH GARVEY
POLAND -- Mike Meyer is channeling his grief into a project -- he's pushing himself and others to refurbish the Cunot Community Chapel as a way of remembering his friend Jaime Spears.

"I lost my very best friend in an automobile accident in December," Meyer said. "He's just one of those people where there will never be another like him. This is just my way of doing a restoration and memorial."

Meyer and other volunteers spent most of Friday and Saturday working on the chapel. Paint was stripped away and redone, caulk was applied to openings and doors were stripped and stained.

He said around 15 people showed up to help him on Friday, with five there in the early afternoon on Saturday.

Meyer said the reason fewer people were there on Saturday was that both he and Spears worked the Saturday shift at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Greencastle, so many of the people who knew Spears had to work Saturday.

Portions of the chapel have been restored, but it is still a work in progress. Meyer said he had hoped with a strong enough effort, the entire restoration could happen over two days.

"Me being who I am, I thought we could get this done in one weekend," he said. "It looks like the outside is going to take about two weeks. The inside might be a project through winter."

Meyer, who lives outside of Cunot, said this chapel appealed to him as a project because Spears was so familiar with it.

"We liked to take pictures of old buildings and stuff," Meyer said. "He lived out here near the chapel like I do and we passed it all the time."

Meyer said Spears wasn't a very good builder, but he would have enjoyed the chance to improve his technique.

"He would like this project because there's a lot of learning going on, and he would come over to my house and help me when I was working on something and learn how to do it," Meyer said.

Meyer said one of the most difficult parts of the project involves repairing the windows in the chapel.

"They're all-wood old windows that are falling apart," Meyer said. "They're really expensive to try and get replaced. We're in the process of trying to rebuild those ourselves."

Meyer said he has been in contact with someone who may be able to help with the windows. If that person can't help, he intends to do it himself. Since the windows are so old, Meyer said he thinks he can repair them himself because the techniques used aren't as complicated as modern windows.

Meyer spent most of his spare time last week preparing for the heavy workdays on Friday and Saturday.

"I was out here until 9:30 p.m. [Wednesday] and probably the same [Thursday]," Meyer said.

Meyer said he's not currently getting much sleep, as the project monopolizes his day.

The Cunot Community Chapel is at 11593 State Road 243.

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