A popular November meme involves making a daily post about something that inspires gratitude. With all of the things we have to be thankful for this year, it seems like we should have started participating on 11/1. To catch us up to today (November 27), here are director Lynn Josse’s 27 top things to be grateful for at DeMenil in 2013:
1. A supportive membership that keeps our house operational.
2. An involved board of directors, every one of whom shares his or her talents and resources to get things done.
3. A super events committee, which keeps interesting things happening year-round.
4. Kevin O’Neill, whose tours leave visitors awed and whose skills around the house are irreplaceable.
5. Lucille Miller and her almost daily dedication to the gift shop, which is looking FANTASTIC.
6. Our friends at the St. Louis Curio Shoppe who sell items on our behalf (thank you Kristin!)
7. Ditto the Pacific Antique Mall (thank you Charlene!)
8. A dedicated group of crafters who make our house more like a home, and some of whom keep our shop stocked with interesting handmade items.
9. A creative fundraising team that is about to launch a commemorative brick program as well as an adopt-a-shutter program.
10. Our wonderful housekeeping team, which over the years has included four generations of the same family (!)
11. Weekly shop volunteers Sharon Cox and Marilyn Lane, whose basement watch is sometimes lonely but who get first pick of the books that come in.
12. Weekly volunteers Holly Washeck and Dolores Goerger, who have their own special projects schedule that makes everything clean and shiny.
13. Our ongoing relationship with Landmarks Association of St. Louis, the organization that saved the DeMenil House 50 years ago and has become a helpful partner in many aspects of our operations.
14. Our new relationship with the Missouri Humanities Council… oh wait, we haven’t formally announced that yet. Stay tuned for an announcement.
15. A wonderful and supportive community of house museums and historic sites in St. Louis – including Campbell House, which supports us in so many ways, and Mudd’s Grove and Oakland, which hosted us at meetings this year.
16. Our grounds committee, headed by the tireless E. Wardwell Buckner (I wasn’t going to mention specific board members because they all do so much, but Ward is in a class by himself) and staffed by the equally dedicated Jim McGuire.
17. The Carriage House committee which has almost finished work on our substantially improved event space.
18. Architect Ray Simon who drew up our new accessible and classy Carriage House restrooms.
19. Katie Graebe, our incredible volunteer Special Projects Manager and author of the weekly “Friday Favorites” on Facebook.
20. Chris Naffziger, who has volunteered as our Collections Manager a couple of days a week for most of this year.
21. A terrific neighborhood – there is so much going on in Benton Park these days!
22. Terrific neighbors at the Lemp Brewery – that complex is so much a part of our history, and it’s been delightful to work with its owners and see all of the interesting things happening there.
23. This one is a little abstract, but we are all grateful that St. Louis’ French history is finding its way back into the curriculum and the public consciousness after years of being ignored.
24. In our little corner of the universe, #23 has manifested itself through great events this year with Les Amis, our booth at the MOCHE conference, and…
25. Our new relationship with The French School, debuting on Dec. 6 when the 5th graders come a-caroling.
26. The rest of our volunteer corps, too many folks to itemize in a month with so few days… a fantastic group of people who give tours, decorate, undecorate, help at events, do committee work, organize the attic (!), and give us so much of their time and energy.
27. The Chatillon-DeMenil House itself. It’s a great privilege to be able to work in such a wonderful historic building and share it and help preserve it.