Published work rarely acknowledges the contributions of everyone involved. The reasons for this are many, most of them benign.

But a recent case deserves mention. The feature story about architect Christine Matheu’s house in the July/August 2011 issue of Old-House Interiors includes a shot of “cabinetmaker Nancy Hiller” standing with Christine in the kitchen she designed for her mid-century ranch.

In my shop, whenever feasible, I assign each job to a particular person. Think maximize pride in work, not to mention minimize mistakes caused by miscommunication. Building Christine’s cabinets was officially the task of Daniel O’Grady (seen above, in the parking lot of Hinkle’s Hambugers, celebrating an especially impressive six-figure odometer reading achieved by his Volvo).

This is not to say that Daniel was alone in producing and installing those cabinets. but he certainly deserves to be recognized for the central role he played in realizing our client’s vision, as well as for his unfailingly excellent work in general. I wish he had been with us in that published picture.

Employee of the decade

Image by Kendall Reeves from A Home of Her Own

Daniel left my shop over four years ago. He moved back to Milwaukee, where his parents and sister are based, and where his partner, Evelyn, had returned to conduct research for her doctoral dissertation. (Thanks a lot for taking him away, Evelyn.) He opened a shop of his own in an old industrial building and ran his business while earning a degree in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  

A man and his lady. Or should that be the other way around? (Photo by Pat and Terry)

My abdominal muscles have atrophied considerably without the daily workout I used to get from laughing at Daniel’s wicked wit.

Daniel! I have hereby rectified the omission! (With apologies to William Wright and Old-House Interiors.)

You can see the story by clicking on the Old-House Interiors cover at the right of this post.
At least two others who worked on Christine’s kitchen deserve mention: carpenter/job manager Ben Sturbaum and craftsman Ted Stahly, who meticulously veneered the doors, drawer faces, and fixed panels.

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