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june 2013 | by ben speidel | show project

One of the truly great things about working at Sea Reach is getting to install our exhibits. We encourage and make room in our busy schedules for all staff members to get out into the field to experience what we do and to see where our art exists in the world. I hadn't grasped the power of this myself until very recently.

As the general manager and a new father, I was not enthusiastic about leaving my post - my inbox is always full, there is a steady stream of calls, and a shop full of fabricators needing materials. On top of it all, for those who have raised a little one, you know that your partner needs all the help you can give. Funny how all of these reasons seemed to disappear when my boss smiled and said, "you're going."

I was sent off to Multnomah Falls to do a "simple" exhibit panel replacement. I've seen the instructions countless times on how to do the process:

Step 1.
punch and drill out the existing rivets.

Step 2.
remove rail and slide in new panel.

Step 3.
hammer in new rivets.

I didn't master Step 1 until rivet number 14. There were 15 rivets. Rivet 15? Perfectly executed! I can now describe to a client fourteen ways to fail at removing a rivet and the one way to it successfully!

When all was said and done, I'm certain this was the lesson I was to learn. Whatever frustration I experienced that day, paled in comparison to the beauty of the falls and the memories it brought back. My wife and I traveled to the falls early in our relationship and as I looked up it struck me how lucky I am both personally and professionally.