Why I’m Coming: Becca Shreckengast

Rebecca ShreckengastMy mother’s eyes moon and the side of her face dimples into a grin as she passes a dripping coffee pot for me to dry.  “Honey, if you’ve been designing Museum exhibitions for a decade – doesn’t that mean you’re already established?”

“A decade…No!?” It couldn’t be. Really?

After a third-check-count on my fingers – “Wow, it has been that long – Dang.  I have to finish this Museum Studies Master’s degree.”

I “sigh” and put the pot back into the coffee maker, programming it for the morning.  I dry the fiestaware pitcher, then the transferware mugs.

The new, yet-to-be-named puppy wrestles with six year old Major at my feet.  Both of them are enjoying the sprinkles of dishwater on their fur.  I “shoo” them off so my husband can squeeze in behind us to wipe off the counter.  In a display of nonchalance, he slings a handful of crumbs into the compost can, winks at me and says,

“I’m sure they’ll learn something from you up there in California.”

“I hope so.  More likely, I’ll bring something worthwhile back with me.  It should be a fairly productive way to spend time with creative people.  That’s what Andy Merriell says and he’s been to a couple of these NAME retreat things.  Our immediate office is so small I think it’ll be nice to goof around with a whole slew of designers for a change.”

I pick up the rinse water bin and pour it into the watering can to cool.  My husband jockeys the rag for the broom and says, “Well, whatever happens, get to the beach and take some photos.”

As I open the door to let in the warm Santa Fe evening, my mother touches my arm

“And make some friends while you are up there. From what I know of exhibition designers, they’re o.k. folk.”

“Ma, you’re a silly one.”

“Major, New Pup, let’s see if we can figure out this whole ‘sit’ thing together.  Who knows, maybe there are some new ‘tricks’ we can try.  And if not, well, at least we’ll run around the yard some.  Come on all, let’s go!”


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