Turning Archive 2006

Subject:
Right place; right time

Jack Savona
>For background, I drive and narrate a few summer tourist trolley tours each week here in Kennebunkport. Before each tour, I mention that I'm a woodturner and will point out along the way some of the shops that carry my turnings.

During the tour, when we leave one of the huge seaside hotels, I say, "And this hotel has something NO other hotel in the world has...(dramatic pause)... They have my handcrafted wooden bowls." It always gets a chuckle.

Last week a woman on the trolley said she bought 2 of my bowls and 2 wine stoppers there. I thanked her and continued the tour.

Next day the hotel gift shop manager calls in a panic to say that one of that woman's bowls and two stoppers were taken from the counter as she was shipping them. Unfortunately, I couldn't easily duplicate the bowl for her.

Next day on a full trolley I give my cheap commercial plug at the hotel and a woman with her elderly mother and two daughters says, "Oh, we bought one of your bowls and two wine stoppers there." I thanked her.

As I was getting off the trolley to change shifts, I casually asked just out of curiosity "which" bowl she bought.

You guessed it. Described the stolen bowl exactly. When I said, "That's interesting since the only one like that I had ever made was sold the day before", one of her pre-teens said, "Oh, I think it was a different one." Bingo! Red flags all over the place. I called the hotel gift shop manager to intercept her when she got off the trolley.

All items were recovered and now I am 'golden'. Not only are they my best customer, I think they'll continue to be.

Book 'em, Dano.

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