When I saw Center founder Dan Boyce’s email offering up his desk and credenza, I knew what I had to do. This was in the summer, as The Center was preparing to move offices, and Dan was getting new furniture. I couldn’t stand to see such an iconic piece of Center history vanish into the night, so, without much hesitation, I went to Dan’s office to inspect the desk and see if I could make use of it.
A Desk with a History
As I expected, there was normal wear and tear from years of use. Dan had leaned over that desk in countless meetings with clients. He had signed off on too many documents to count. He may have even spilled a little coffee on it here and there. But that wasn’t the whole story. Dan told me he bought the furniture in the late ‘80s from his father-in-law, an attorney who’d used it for years as he worked as an attorney in Benton Harbor/St. Joseph. But he didn’t get it new. Dan’s father-in-law purchased it from his mentor, Charles Gore. Gore was also an attorney and had purchased it new in the ‘20s or ‘30s. This was a desk where business had been conducted for close to a century!
From Before to After
I felt confident with a little TLC I could restore the desk to its former glory. The project took me about three weeks. I sanded the desk down to the original wood and put a clear coat on it. I purposely didn’t stain it because I thought the underlying natural wood was beautiful. I’m really happy with the results and hope it will bring me the same mental acuteness it brought Dan throughout his career. I see myself pulling up a chair and sitting down behind the desk, making a difference in people’s financial lives just like Dan.