2011 was a happy year for us at the Handler Studio. As December drew to a close, Murry decided to donate a recently finished large acrylic painting of Caribou, seen from a great distance silhouetted against the dark horizon, to an animal rescue farm in Oregon. His cousin is a principal in a non-profit venture, which cares for horses, other large animals and abandoned pets in an idyllic rural setting. There they provide opportunities for at-risk teenagers, lonely elders and volunteers to care for the animals and at the same time, soothe their souls. Lloyd was delighted with the offer and agreed to pay the shipping costs for the large painting which he planned to place in the upcoming April fund raising auction. Murry took the painting to PakMail for packing, crating and shipment on Thursday.
Friday evening we drove to our friends’ home in Pittsboro for drinks and dinner. During the evening, Murry casually mentioned the gift of the painting, which both our hosts had seen several times at the studio, and its journey off to Oregon. Tom listened to the story with intense interest, but said nothing. After a delightful meal and many glasses of wine, we returned home and to bed. At exactly 9AM the next morning we were awakened by the jangling phone. Our hostess from the evening before, noticeable excited, was asking where she could contact the auctioneer, or Murry’s cousin, or any other way she could get a hold on the Caribou painting. “You see”, she said, “I was so touched by the way Tom reacted to the ‘loss’ of the Caribou painting, I want to buy it as a gift for his birthday in January. I had no idea he loved it so much.”
Murry hurriedly told her to hang up and give him a few minutes, he thought it might be possible to retrieve the painting before it left N.C. Murry called PakMail, which was closed for the long New Year’s holiday. Because he often ships Murry’s works across the country and abroad, Murry keeps the owner’s private home number. He reached PakMail and asked if the painting had left Chapel Hill. “NO, it’s a holiday week-end, why are you bothering me now. It will go out first thing Tuesday morning.”
Murry explained that’s exactly why he was bothering him, he did not want the painting to be shipped at all. There would be a replacement sent in about a month.
Murry retrieved the painting in time, Tom’s wife was joyous at her success and Tom got his surprise birthday gift.
And the Handler Studio made its first sale of 2012.