Our once-a-year sale requires all hands on deck, so we were pretty happy when an old friend stopped by the showroom to help. Jim is a former corporate executive who suffered a brain aneurysm, and a heart attack eight years ago. His health problems cost him some cognitive ability, but he hasn't lost his confidence, his talent for leadership or his sense of humor.
All of those were in evidence when a customer decided to buy a beautiful hand-planed barn board table. She drove to our showroom from her home in Connecticut, prepared to haul home her treasure. She brought a U-haul - and her dad. Both father and daughter were concerned that the trailer's worn-out shocks would mean a bumpy ride and, ultimately, a damaged table.
Jim came to the rescue. Rummaging around our storage room, he found a case of paper towels and a half-dozen rolls of duct tape. "This might do the trick!" he announced, "Oh, and Jay," he added, "I'm going to need a saw."
A saw? Near this spectacular table? My heart seized up for a minute, but I decided to trust him.
An hour later, the table was secure in the trailer - and packed so carefully it could withstand a collision with a Hummer. First, the table was swathed in bubble wrap. Then, Jim constructed a crate using scrap wood. Placing the table into the crate, he used rolls of paper towels to act as shock absorbers. He topped it off with a tarp in case of rain.
Father and daughter honked to say good-bye as they pulled out of the parking lot, happy with their treasure and with the innovative packing that insured they'd get the table home without a scratch.
Jim is one lucky guy to have survived a health whammy. And we're lucky, too. He came out of it with his big heart - and his creativity - intact. Thanks to him, our customer will be serving dinners on the table of her dreams for years to come.