The event in New York City that was originally scheduled for October 21st was rescheduled for Dec 15th. On October 20th I was supposed to take the mobiles to the Mandarin Hotel in NYC, but the event got rescheduled because the person who it was being held for had just gotten out of the hospital and was still not well enough to attend the event... the event was for none other than President Bill Clinton!!!
When I learned who it was for I was floored! It was a good thing I had been sitting down, because I was so stunned that I stopped breathing. Originally I had been told only that it was an event being held by Sigma Computing, so I figured the mobiles were going to be for a reception event after a computer conference, and didn't give it much more thought beyond that.
Sometimes I like to watch the news while I work, and I had heard that President Clinton had been hospitalized for a kidney infection, and that he had just been released from the hospital and was getting better. Never had I imagined that I was making these giant mobiles for an event for President Clinton!!! To think that my mobiles would be seen by a bunch of amazing people, possibly be filmed and shown on television and in the news, and above all, be made for our 42nd President... wow, just wow!
My contact person at Cogs and Marvel, Scott, asked if I could hold onto the mobiles and take them to New York City for the new date that was yet to be determined. I agreed to keep them in my basement for another month or so, and on November 9th Scott let me know about the new date of Dec. 15th.
As the date approached we got everything in order, child care, dog sitting, and my husband took the day off work to go with me. Once the kids were off to school and we dropped our dog off at the sitter, we packed the three mobiles up and got them into the car. We had to be at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at 6pm, and left home at 11:30am in order to avoid traffic.
It was a nice drive with little traffic and we arrived in the city by 3:30pm. This gave us a couple of hours to kill before we had to be at the hotel so we drove around, through Times Square, and visited the Kinokuniya Book Store several blocks away. When we got back to the hotel at 5:30pm we left our car with the wonderful doorman, and took the mobiles up to the 36th floor. There we met Scott and few other people from Cogs and Marvel, as well as Katelyn from Sigma Computing.
My husband and I had put all three mobiles together, and taking them apart wasn't easy because we had to be careful not to rip any birds in the process of separating the three. After waiting an hour for a ladder to arrive, we ended up using the hotel's ladder to hang the three mobiles from the ballroom ceiling. They had looked so large in the basement and the car, but now from the ballroom ceiling they were the perfect size.
By the time the mobiles were up it was 9pm and we had a long drive ahead of us. Before leaving the city we did take a very short stroll around the entrance of Central Park, got some street food to go, picked up the van from the hotel, and then drove past Rockefeller Center before heading back home, where we arrived at 1am.
The next day I couldn't get it out of my mind that Scott had said the night before that it was possible that the mobiles might be thrown out after the event. They were too large and delicate to be hurriedly packed up and taken back to the Sigma or Cogs and Marvel offices on the West Coast, and neither company had a place to keep them in New York. The thought of the mobiles being destroyed and thrown out made my stomach turn, so at 2:30pm I jumped in the van again and headed back to NYC to rescue them from their possible fates.
This time my dad went with me and we encountered a lot of heavy traffic on the way. We arrived at 7:30 (the event was supposed to have finished at 6pm) and I went up to the 36th floor to see what Scott and people from Sigma had decided to do with the mobiles. When I got up there the event was still going, and the Secret Service agent by the elevator said he didn't know how much longer it would go.
The agent directed me to take a seat and wait at one of the small tables outside the ballrooms. Several minutes later I heard enthusiastic clapping, the doors swung open, and Sigma employees began pouring out of the ballroom, collecting their gift bags, and leaving. President Clinton had gone into the reception ballroom where the mobiles were at, and Scott was still in there so I had to wait a bit longer. Apparently President Clinton is a very friendly and talkative person, and the Secret Service agents wanted the lobby to be cleared out for safety reasons, as well as the fact that if anyone was hanging around the area, the President would happily stop and chat and it would take them forever to get him out of the hotel.
I had to go to the office room that Cogs and Marvel had been using on the 36th floor and never did get to see the President at all. After a few minutes there, Scott burst into the room removing his jacket and tie while talking hurriedly. When he spotted me sitting at the table he exclaimed, "Debora! Thank God you're here!" He went on to explain that all three mobiles were wanted, and asked if I could possibly take them back home, find a way to pack them, and ship each to a different location on the West Coast. Both Cogs and Marvel and Sigma Computing absolutely LOVED them and wanted them in their offices. I knew this would give me a great opportunity to learn about shipping massive work for any future projects of this scale.
Scott had someone go with me to the hotel lobby and we spoke to the same friendly doorman from the night before. The doorman said we could park right up front and offered to hold onto the van keys while my dad and I went upstairs to get the mobiles. He told me some stories of the people he'd met as a doorman while we waited for my dad to drive around the block. Some of his favorite celebrities that he'd met there were Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Morgan Freeman, and Hugh Jackman - although his daughter's favorite was Zac Efron.
Back on the 36th floor the furniture rental people were busily wrapping everything up and hauling furniture away. A hotel employee brought us 3 hotel chairs to hold the mobiles and I used the hotel ladder to go up and get them down. Before long we had all three mobiles down and ready to go. I went back to the office room where I got some party swag, two sodas, and said thank you and bye to Louise from Cogs and Marvel. Scott and most everyone else had already left to get some sleep - they had all been up since 4am.
With mobiles in hand my dad and I took the elevator back down to the lobby where the doorman helped us get the mobiles back into the van. We finally left the city at 10pm and headed home. The rain that had stopped falling while were were in the city started coming down again as we got onto the Henry Hudson Parkway heading north. We got home at 2am, and the mobiles are now temporarily filling my basement with sparkle again. These two trips couldn't have happened without the help of my two drivers.
I've already been in contact with a local crate shipping company in Westboro, so I hope to send the mobiles on their way in the next week or so. What a relief that they will all have permanent homes where they will be loved and appreciated for years to come!
To read about how this phenomenal project landed in my lap, be sure to check out Part 1!