So as it gets closer to my Birthday, I am in total reflection mode. After all this is 58 years on the planet, 58 years old, wow two years closer to 60. I am thankful for each and everyday. There are some people that are not lucky and blessed enough to make it to this fine age. A fine age it is.
There are a lot of wonderful things I have accomplished in my life. Now before I left Chicago I wanted to go into the antique business. When I relocated to Charleston. Everything was so new to me the actual thought of having an antique business was a bit overwhelming. So instead I went into the tourist business.
How about this one. Moved from a different city, applied and then interviewed for a position in a historical Museum, was given keys and all the security codes to the historical building. Owned by the DAR ( Daughters of the American Revolution) run by the City of Charleston, and yes we are talking been in the DAR family since the 1700s and I was planted in the place now to grow and flourish and keep visitors happy as well as staff. Supervise the gift shop and special events that took place at the building.
I remember my first week. The Director told me to plan a special event and make it happen for Philip Simmons an iron Artist responsible for most of the beautiful Iron work here in Charleston. The Gift shop was going to be selling miniature gates, and each person that bought one, could have Philip Simmons himself sign them.
Well thankfully being involved in the theater business for many years and learning early on treat every show like it is the biggest best show on the planet. People will buy tickets and come to be entertained. So all that said. I got in touch with the Philip Simmons foundation. Told the director of the foundation what we wanted to do she was on board. I had some ideas for entertainment on the Portico and inside the building a Gullah story teller upstairs in the great hall and also down in the dungeon. Where FYI 3 signers of the Deceleration of Independence had been held prisoner. As Well as very famous Pirates. 1500 initial gates had been ordered. I ordered an extra 1000. The Director thought I was nuts, but, she did after all drop this event in my lap and say make it happen so I was off to the races.
On the portico I had a fabulous gospel group they were performing all through the day as people entered the building. People were ushered in and could tour the building or just purchase their miniature piece of history and have a meet and greet with Mr. Philip Simmons who was a wonderful delightful little man. What a trouper he was. He ended up signing 2500 gates that day and we had an extra 500 orders. The Museum had to be kept open two more hours. It was such a hit. For the extra 500 gates that were purchased, people would have to go to the Philip Simmons foundation and have them signed there. Was it a success? What are you crazy. It was one of the best events the building ever had.
You ever get a theater person involved in something, okay pat, pat, pat, a theater person like me. You are bound to have a successful event. After working at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon for a year and a half, it was time to move on.
Before I leave the Old Exchange behind. I have to share a major great moment that happened at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, I met Leland Joaquin Simmons. Well if you have ever heard of Kismet, this was it. I was interviewing new staff. I had a French Tour Group going through the building. I had a special African drumming troupe that was performing in one of the downstairs rooms.
Then there he was looking at the merchandise hanging on the walls biding his time, before his interview. I needed some talent to entertain School children and draw attention to the building out on the Portico. I got more than I expected. During our interview. We were talking about all the things going on in the building and in the midst of all of it. Leland said, “have you ever read at which point I interrupted him and finished his sentence, The Celestiene Prophecy??!! Yes, yes, yes, I finished Leland's question. Well how can you not notice a thing like that? Yes the stars were aligned that very moment in time for us to meet.
This November the 13th we will be celebrating our 21st Anniversary. Our life together has been a complete crazy roller coaster ride of adventure. We have some great history and have shared, Loved, laughed and cried through some incredible moments together. The happiest of times and the worst. Always more good.
Lee is an incredible performer, singer, song writer, music producer. He is the whole bag of chips and more. His bag overfloweth. At the times when we shouldn't be laughing, yup we are laughing and giggling still, all these years later. We enjoy our simple times together a bottle of wine and an indoor picnic a good movie, book or show we are content. I believe in him and he in me. I thank my lucky stars for him. We have a lot more adventures to share and I look forward, I say again, I look forward to each and everyone. Currently he is working on some new inspiring, amazing music that I hope to be sharing very soon.
Now continuing on. I couldn't continue without mentioning. My hunka hunka burnin love my husband and an incredible soul that lets me be me and through it all we still come out loving each other at the end of the day. Never miss an I love you, before we go to sleep.
Now on to the Charleston Lady Gallery and World Renowned Artist Bonnie Holden and her husband Harry.
I interviewed with Bonnie Holden at her gallery on King street. She didn't hire me at first. She hired some girl that had worked for Disney as an artist with Disney in Florida. Bonnie called me and thanked me for coming in and if there was anything in the future blah, blah, blah. I am sure at sometime or another you all have experienced that call, or something the likes of it. A week after the call from Bonnie she called me again. She asked if I had accepted anything else, would I still be interested in working with and for her. Evidently the Disney girl had lied about everything and didn't even know her way around an easel.
I ended up working for Bonnie for 6 years. I was her personal assistant, as well as helping in all aspects of her business, production to shipping. Whatever was needed I was her gal Friday. I even managed her website and taught her how to do it. Unfortunately back in the early 2000 things were changing on King street. The Mayor ,Joe Riley was trying to make King street like Rodeo Drive and the rents were going through the roof. Bonnie was going to move her business to her home on Isle of Palm. It was time to part ways.
I am going to copy Bonnie's letter of Recommendation, it is the best letter of Recommendation I have ever received. It makes me very proud of my work ethics and my integrity and capabilities every time I read it. It is a little insight to the kind of person that I am.
To Whom it May Concern:
This is a very enthusiastic recommendation for Heather Hutcheson.
This recommendation is based on our experience of Heather's employment with us for a period of 6 years prior to our retirement from our business of 37 years.
During this time, we found her to be completely reliable, honest, and with the highest work ethic & integrity. She seems to possess the ability to perform various projects simultaneously and all completed with perfection.
This was very important, as our clientele consisted of Disney, Avon, QVC, Nordstrom and many other stores throughout the country. All of these companies demand expertise.
Heather is a self starter and motivator, and needs very little, or no, direction. Whenever speaking of Heather, I always would say, “Every business needs a Heather!”.
Please feel free to call me regarding anything that I have written. Her Phone number.
Very Sincerely, Bonnie Holden Former Owner of The Charleston Lady Gallery King Street Charleston SC
Now is that a letter and a half!!?? It was wonderful of Bonnie to take the time to write that letter. I enjoyed working with Bonnie and her Husband Harry. I learned a lot about Art dos and don't s, after all Bonnie had been an artist, professional since the 1950s.
After working for Bonnie I ventured out on a few more artsy creative positions, that has brought me in a way full circle to what I originally thought I would be doing when I first moved to Charleston some 22 years ago.
My Antiques and collectibles. Here I am with my own little shop selling antiques and collectibles. But, also using my creative, artsy juices to make my own jewelry for my jewelry line Mixed Vintageables. Bits and pieces of Vintage jewelry that have been discarded, I create and transform them into wearable art, for a new era. WWW.OLDSTUFFWELIKE.COM Just incase you haven't noticed, I love to write. I am currently working on a book project. I am hoping to have my First published novel early next year. I will of course be sharing that. When it comes out.
I write this blog, to share little life stories and things that are going on with me. Ha ha ha I think that I really write for myself. I don't know if anyone ever reads it. But it marks some great moments in my own history. Moments in time that I enjoy remembering and that are so fun for me to share.
Hope fully to anyone that possibly reads them. It brings a little joy and smile to their face. Just maybe there might be a little inspiration in there for someone to try something that maybe they had only thought or dreamed about. But hey if I can step out there and try it and go for it. Why not try something new. What have you got to lose? Life is short. You might as well enjoy every single waking moment doing something that you enjoy getting up for.
Why leave yourself open for those, oh if only, or gee things may have been different or why didn't I?? Just try it. Go for it whatever it is. If in the process you are making a little bit of a difference and at the same time enjoying every day, that sounds pretty good to me. Now no more delay. go on get out there and enjoy yourself.
Work, play, laugh, love and find time to look up at the stars.
Thanks for visiting and reading. Happy trails................Heather