Home Again

I’m back from a fun-filled weekend playing with metal, fire and assorted sharp objects. Repair Days was fun and interesting. It’s amazing to watch three men re-plate a 24″ silver platter or help repair a set of candlesticks. Lori and I spent most of the morning doing dent removal from teapots and cups. I learned to do a little work with pewter, but nothing really interesting. People bring in the weirdest things! Some of the objects we couldn’t identify. There were lampshades from the early 1900s, lawn chairs, flatware, statues and vessels. Kevin (the guy we stayed with) had a statue that needed a piece replaced and a new finger built. I didn’t get to see him build the finger, but he was going to form it out of brass then paint it to match the patina of the rest of the piece. Very cool.

The feeling of the event is one of friendship and family. Many people camp out on the Metal Museum grounds so one end is lined with assorted tents. Everyone takes time to reconnect with each other and meet new people. Several of us were there for the first time, but I soon felt comfortable walking around and working on pieces. Having Kevin nearby helped immensely! Since he works at the Metal Museum, he was handy with advice and direction.

Saturday night was the big dinner and auction. I scored a very cool steel clock made by a guy who works with Kevin. Most pieces went for several hundred dollars in the live auction so I just observed all the fun. As the auction wore on, and the drinking increased, the crowd became more loose with the money. Lori and I were amazed at the money spent, but it all went to the Metal Museum so it was a good donation. Plus, there were a lot of gorgeous pieces from amazing artists.

Memphis is a funny place. Not funny haha, but funny strange. Forget what Frank Sinatra says about New York, in Memphis bars stay open until 5 a.m. so the town really doesn’t sleep. Also people can’t drive and the lanes are really narrow. Lori and I about had several heart attacks with the bad driving we encountered. They can’t park either. Most cars took up two spaces parking over lines. It was really annoying.

But the weekend was fun. I’ll return again next year and will feel much more comfortable. Despite the free accommodations from Kevin, I’ll choose a hotel next year and enjoy more privacy. I’ll also bring some of my own tools so I don’t have to go chasing down hammers, files or shears when I need them. Oh, and I’ll remember to bring the camera! Sorry I don’t have any pictures.

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