IMG_5091_resizeSeveral months ago I was refinished a mahogany card table and needed to purchase a sheet of mahogany veneer for the table top. Found a company that offered a great product.  I ordered a sheet and a few days later received this e-mail:

“I have some great news, michael.

Our team of 107 hard working (and exceptionally good looking) employees has – with great care and attention – selected, packaged and shipped your order #57673 on this beautiful day.

I wish you could have been here to see all the action. When I handed the order to Robert, our master packager, he looked at it, smiled, and slid a pair of Italian leather gloves onto his hands. As he selected your order, he placed it all on a satin-lined chariot to move it to the packaging center. And there’s more . . .

Everyone gathered around, held a candle, and watched with hushed awe as he wrapped the entire order in the finest gold-laced cardboard that money can buy – you could have heard a pin drop.

In the end, the guys were so thrilled that they wanted to throw a party just for your order. We’re talking about a big fiesta with live music and good food. All the action stumped the UPS driver when he showed up. He thought he was going to pick up the packages like normal, but instead we picked *him* up carried him down the street on our shoulders while the band played. You can imagine what happened next, right? Our neighbors came outside to see what the fuss was all about, and when they saw your beautiful order they all waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, and patted Robert on the back.

Someone must have called the local TV stations because the next thing I knew I had six interviews to handle for reporters who asked, “What does michael Collins intend to make?” But don’t worry, your secret’s safe. I told them, “I don’t know. Maybe world peace?” Man! If only woodworking could do that!

Anyway, the guys hope to see pictures of what you make so we can have another party (I know what you’re thinking . . .). I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at Woodworkers Source. We enjoyed every minute of it, and we’ve named you “Customer of the Year.” That gets you a pretty good parking spot right out front if you ever come see us. I gotta tell you, though, we’re pretty exhausted. And we can’t wait for you to come back to Woodworkers Source.

Okay, okay. You want the info. Your tracking information is below, or you can also get it all by logging into your at account at our website. ”

I shared this e-mail with Ron and his response (on my behalf) was:-

It is difficult for me to convey in temperate language the plethora of emotions that nearly overwhelmed me when I took delivery of the mahogany veneer you were kind enough to allow me to purchase.
While your vivid and detailed descriptions of the preparation of my order led me to expect a product of high quality, I was moved nearly to tears of joy when I was able to view this exquisite specimen in all its Meliacaenean splendor!

The scales have been struck from my eyes: I can only now fully appreciate the fervor and passion with which you and your colleagues prepared my order, and my heretofore dubious view of (and puzzlement regarding) the cathexis with which you purvey your wares is now forever banished to that same repository wherein reside the boyish naïvetés and youthful misapprehensions that once limited my perceptions of all that is beautiful and good in life.

Thank you for allowing me to partake of the resplendent glory of this veneer, and I trust you will forgive the callowness with which I approached your brilliant and entertaining descriptions of its journey from the heavenly precincts of your establishment to the rather more mundane province of my humble workshop.

I will try to make myself worthy of this veneer’s time with me. I cannot claim to “own” it — can one “own” a sunset? I can only count myself fortunate to have been its caretaker and companion during its time with me, and can someday go to my grave content that it will survive me, bringing joy to the generations that will follow.



Dedicated to my dear friend Ron Reposh – (1945-2016)