The Oven

Clark Street Bakery used a massive Middleby-Marshall baking oven which John Goodell had generously given me and I transported to Chicago in pieces in a rental truck.  Two friends helped me move the big pieces of the oven into the bakery and my brother referred me to an African-American tradesman who he called “Big Dave” to assemble it.  Big Dave was truly big and muscular, with biceps the size of my thighs, and very knowledgeable about assembling this type of oven.  Without a blueprint, he put it all together and poured nearly a ton of powder insulation into its steel walls.  When finished, the oven was an imposing 11’ X 11’ steel box which stood 7-1/2’ tall and was covered in white enamel with black trim.  The paddle wheel inside the oven had six shelves, each of which could accommodate a reclining adult.  It was quite an oven.

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