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I retired from the Met in 2010. During the off season various ballet company's come in for several weeks. One year the Bolshoi Ballet visited New York and performed at the Met. There was a problem with a piece of scenery and I was assigned to work with one of the Russian stage hands. As we were working on the set, this young man took out ( I'm not making this up) a hammer fabricated from a block of steel, welded to a foot long piece of pipe. Well, I must have at least a dozen hammers that I have accumulated over the years. The next day when I went to the stage I presented him with a fiberglass handled, Plumb hammer and told him it was his to keep. You would think that I gave him a million bucks, he must have asked "take back to Russia" a dozen times. He was so excited, he went to just about everyone to show off his new American hammer. I had to accompany him to the Russian Stage Manager to verify that I gave it to him because if they saw him with it they would assume that he stole it and would be in big trouble.

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