HO Studley

The HO Studley Exhibit Closes With Gusto


While it seemed to me that the final afternoon of the exhibit The Henry O. Studley Tool Cabinet and Workbench was about four years after it opened at the Scottish Rite Temple, it was in fact only four days after installation.  Jameel Abraham’s snapshot of me in the final hours of the show pretty much says it all.

I knew beforehand that Sunday afternoon would be slow; it was after the rush of Handworks so the overall energy level wold be low, plus the tickets for Sunday afternoon just weren’t selling in advance.  Going into the weekend, the final three viewing sessions for the exhibit totaled around thirty tickets, as opposed to the 150 visitor slots for those hours.

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By lunch time my energy was flagging a smidge, and when I learned that virtually none of the remaining late afternoon tickets had sold at Handworks, I made the executive decision to reward the hearty survivors with the chance of a lifetime.  I announced to the audiences and docents that beginning with the 3PM session, anyone who came in could stay until the very end when we kicked everyone out at 6PM.

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This decision re-energized me for some reason, and I charged into the home stretch with renewed vigor.  Yes, I was too weary to stand and speak for the whole afternoon, but I could certainly sit and speak at length and many of the patrons came and sat with me as we spoke.

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In addition, the “open vitrine” segments got longer and the descriptions and demonstrations more elaborate as we were not facing deadlines of the coming group at the top of next hour.  My soliloquys on the cabinet, tools and the tales of HenryO became more “Don-like” as I am wont to take my time in unfolding the narrative under the best of times.  And for this afternoon, there was no deadline as the audience and docents knew I wasn’t restricted by time.


The final “open vitrine” session beginning about 5PM was a thing to behold, as I took the time to guide the two dozen remaining stalwarts through the entire tool cabinet contents, showing each tool, opening each compartment including drawers, and removing many of the tools and inner racks for their viewing pleasure.  We kept this up until just before 6PM, when we reassembled the case and vitrine, and wished all the visitors farewell.

Then, all the docents and I went out to dinner.  On me.

And it was over.