Saturday, December 12, 2015

Remembering Stan

This has been a sad week for me thinking and reflecting about Stan Tenerelli our cabinet maker who passed away. He was the proud owner of Advanced Woodshop in Los Angeles, a family business with a lineage of talented carpenters, a legacy that proudly continues with his son Michael.

I discovered Stan in 2000 when I was looking for someone to produce our furniture line. I was familiar with the beautiful work he had done for my brother Oliver. It was an experiment for both of us and it turned out to be one of the most rewarding business relationships either of us could have ever imagined.  But it was a unique and beautiful friendship that evolved that went beyond my expectations.

Not only a gifted furniture and cabinet maker, Stan was a remarkable man of many interests.  Be it wine making, cooking, rose gardening, hunting, fishing, horse racing- I just adored his enthusiasm for all his pursuits. Of course we never ran out of things to talk about.

The  Holiday Ritual and The Amazing Christmas Basket
For many years Stan played a huge role in our holiday celebration and of course I'm referring to the famous Christmas basket.  The basket always reflected the year's success of our collaborations.  The largest was almost 3 feet tall, wrapped so that a bottle of champagne peeked from the top and all the goodies carefully hidden below. Along with the basket, sometimes there was a case of wines, each individually chosen by Stan and of course a case of his most recent harvest of Tenerelli classics.

Christmas Eve 
My husband Kevin and I saved the excitement for Christmas eve where we would each take turns pulling something from the basket. Olive oils, jams, nuts, liqueurs- some things savory, some sweet and always a box of pancake mix and maple syrup (saved for Christmas breakfast) Everything was hand picked by Stan that he assembled throughout the year.  He really knew how to make gift giving fun and we participated with equal passion. We always focused on one of his hobbies including designing a Tenerelli wine label. One year we even surprised he and Laura with a Jitterbug dresser that we painted up especially for him.

The Christmas Morning Call
Stan and I agreed that 11am was the perfect time to call and exchange Christmas wishes when Laura and Kevin could get on the phone too. Then we would go over all the basket contents, where he bought them, how to use or prepare a particular thing, his favorites, my favorites. It was all so special.

Yes he was amazing. Stan left us with some beautiful memories that Kevin and I will always cherish. We were lucky to have have him as a part of our lives.

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