Yesterday marked the end of a twenty-year long project. Back in 1996, a very good friend, MG, was selected by the company we worked for to participate in the Olympic Torch Relay. Talk about a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Twelve thousand torchbearers carried the symbol of the Olympics over twenty six thousand miles and MG was one of them!
The route began in LA, looped through Phoenix and ended in Atlanta seven weeks later with Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic cauldron in one of the most inspiring moments in modern Olympic history.
Three busloads of our friends lined the section of the route MG ran in downtown Phoenix. After the cheers died down, she was presented with a certified replica of the torch as a reminder of the experience. As she has said, it was one of the more memorable days in her life.
Since that time the torch has been relegated to a closet in her spare bedroom. Why? Simply because an Olympic torch is not something you display on your coffee table for your friends to admire.
With the twentieth anniversary of her run approaching, MG began searching online for the appropriate Olympic torch display case. We were at a party a few months ago and she mentioned she hadn’t been able to find a thing that was made of wood and in her price range. Surprise, surprise. There is not a huge demand for torch display cases. I laughed and volunteered to ask my husband who is an accomplished wood worker if he would be willing to help her with the project.
Happily, the idea sounded interesting to him and he agreed to take on the challenge. Using only the torch, a photo I found online and his good old Yankee ingenuity, he came up with a case that met all her requirements. It fit in the spot she had reserved for it plus his design would allow the torch to be easily removed. (Unbeknownst to me, most people in the presence of an Olympic torch want to carry it and I have to admit, I too fell under the spell.)
Yesterday we delivered the finished case to her and I’m happy to report, MG was thrilled. See how great it looks now that it’s come out of the closet? The Olympic torch finally looks like the heirloom it is.
Being the caretaker of your family memories is a wonderful thing. Helping a friend preserve hers is priceless.