See that picture, that painting, above?
That fine piece of art will be on sale tomorrow night, Saturday night, at an art gala in Brooklyn, which serves as a funds raiser for the PTA for the grade school my kids go to.
It could fetch $10,000…
You should know that I was tasked with bringing the painting from the artist's car, into the space where it will be displayed.
I took hold of the painting as my heart beat at a trot, on Friday morning. I had volunteered to help set up the space and bad thoughts went through my head as I took ahold of the painting and walked up stairs, and a ramp, to the room where other volunteers buzzed about.
Nobody likely could discern my concern. But there was a reason for it.
On March 16, I had volunteered to help the day before another gala. This was the BWAA Dinner, the 92nd, held in NYC, downtown, at the swank nightspot Capitale. The day before the fete, I was helping out the BWAA prez Joe Santoliquito, ferrying awards and plaques and such from his hotel room, one block over, to Capitale. The route was mushy, with leftover snow and slush from a late season visit from Mother Nature.
One box was heavy, and I huffed and puffed it from the hotel to Capitale. Argh. The door was closed. So I held the box with one arm, my left, while with my right I pulled open the door to Capitale. I felt a sliding. And I saw something, something wrapped and heavy, falling out of the box, to the ground. In slow motion, it tumbled.
I picked up the plaque. And pulled off the wrapper. And saw that the plaque was marked Fighter of the Year. I'd dropped the Sugar Ray Robinson award. Carl Frampton's FOY trophy.
Fuuuuuuck. What a butter fingered butt head I am, I exhaled, self loathingly.
Nothing to do but finish the task. I put the plaque pieces—the bottom right had a chunk shorn off–inside the building and went back to rat myself out to Santoliquito. I didn't hesitate. It's the best way to be the bearer of bad news, spit it out.
Joe was ever so gracious. “We will figure this out, Woodsy,” he declared.
And he did.
The trophy guy made an emergency pit stop and did some surgery on the plaque. The next day, that night, as the dinner was kicking in, Joe told me it was all good. I looked at the plaque. It looked good as gold.
Frampton seemed pleased as punch to receive it. The dinner came off great. He was charming as heck, Lee Samuels bowled us over with his grace and dignity, Bob Arum stood out for his trademark crusty charisma. Down note: Boxing writing is dying out. About 12 writers attended. But I digress..
As the event wound down, I approached Frampton about the imperfect plaque. “I have a confession,” I told the amiable and ultra classy Irishman. “Look close at your award.”
“Looks good to me,” he said, testament to the surgical skills of the trophy guy. Then, I told him of my egregious fumble. He kindly let me off the hook. “It's ok Mike,” he said, endearing him to me for the duration of his career, and then beyond. I thanked him, profusely. He told me he'd not even thought of whupping me, for my slippery fingers. “You're a big guy, I wouldn't tempt fate,” he said, employing trademark Irish ingratiation, super skillfully. “Please, you could pummel me with a hand tied behind your back,” I replied.
No harm, no foul, said Frampton.
Bottom line: Carl Frampton is the man, and fellas…channel your feminine energy, or whatever it is that has you being safe more than sorry, that pushes you to properly wrap and pack fragile objects in transit, when faced with a situation as the one that bit my butt.
Oh, and if you feel moved to grab a new objet d'art, message me, and I will give you info on how to snag that majestic work seen above.
I promise you, it hasn't been dropped or otherwise besmirched by these hands.