Story 02: Education of a Dropout

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Sidebar: Hyams Presentation

Written by Mike Spock

I was setting up my inaugural presentation to the funder that was the most consistent and generous supporter of the museum. The board of the Godfrey Hyams Trust was about to arrive in the foundation's old-fashioned Boston offices. I had come early, tense as an over-wound spring. I rested my slide projector on a worn leather chair, plugged into an outlet, and hurried on to arrange the table and set up the screen. Suddenly, I detected the unmistakable odor of burning insulation and turned to see a thin column of smoke rising from the projector. I frantically unplugged the projected and lifted it from the smoldering chair. The building's DC electrical current had fused the carousel's motor, burning a hole in the upholstery and making a shambles of my carefully orchestrated presentation. Just as I fully grasped how bad things really were the door opened and the members of the board filed in. I have no memory of what happened next but a month later we learned that, perhaps out of amused pity, they had decided to renew our grant for another year.

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