As we look toward Father’s Day weekend, I thought I would share another story from the workbench.
The most memorable item that I have seen, but not framed, was a map of Europe that was printed on silk. It was brought to me by a man who desired to honor his father. He had been in the army during World War II and had been flown and dropped behind enemy lines. He was issued a map printed on silk because it is a material that is both extra strong and light-weight. He was prepared to be on foot for a long time.
I was honored that I was being trusted with such a unique item, but not sure if framing was the best way to really preserve it. While the customer was in the store I called the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.. They have a curator whose specialty is military items from the past. He explained to me that indeed I was looking at a rare item. He also suggested that the map would be better preserved if not framed. The reason being that silk is quickly damaged by light. Most beautiful silk items are stored in the dark and only worn or displayed for a short period of time. To expose this rare map to light every day would have done great harm.
Yes, as a business man, I could have done the job, served the customer, and this project would have been expensive, if done as the customer requested. I could have made a lot of money, but I chose to serve the customer with honesty, and preserved the map for many generations to come, by doing nothing at all. No charge. Since then, we have remained friends and I have had the privilege of framing many special art pieces for them as a result of this experience.
To all fellow “dads” out there, have a safe and happy Father’s Day from me to you.