It is 10:00 PM and I'm the sort of tired that comes from a long, sustained effort. It feels good.
About six weeks ago we began renovating the space that would become the new 517 Pulaski studio, and tonight we celebrated with an open house in grand style.
Altogether, I'd guess we had about 100 friends who showed up to eat and see the studio. We began the party with an "official" ribbon cutting at 4:30. Andi Hake from the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce said some kind words and then I got to wield the Big Scissors to cut the ribbon and start the party.
Kim Forman from the Vintage Fare/Maple Club restaurants was my accomplice tonight. Kim and her team prepared a tantalizing spread for the guests that included some delightful dishes: chicken medallions with champagne sauce, wild rice, bow tie pasta, Mandarin orange lettuce salad, and several styles of cupcake desserts, some of which included miniature cameras and little flags with my logo (didn't know she'd planned to do that)
On this toasty Illinois summer night, Kim's crew kept the plates loaded and the drinks flowing. Everyone I talked with loved the food.
I'm grateful for everyone who came out tonight to wish us well. I wasn't able to chat with as many as I'd have liked--just too many folks to see and too much going on.
A lot of folks helped us get to this place tonight as well: the Guzzardos, Brad Matthews and his crew, Jim and Diane Coop, Bethany Henry, Cindy Keller, Gena MonicalRuhl, Rondel Ramsey, Mark Morris, Rob Maupin. I'm sure I've failed to mention someone; I apologize.
Of course, I wouldn't be doing this at all if it weren't for the fine people who hired me to make pictures. Thanks for your trust.
My wife Suzanne constantly plays the most important role, and my son Liam was my right-hand man from the beginning of the project. He told me today he was sad that the studio was finished because he's enjoyed working there so much.
So tonight we close the "building the studio" chapter. Tomorrow we start the "using the studio" chapter: I have a session with a few of the Logan County Fair Queen pageant contestants.