At any given charity auction, one really never knows what the actual items are truly all about. The bidding sometimes develops into a rip-roaring frenzy among bidders and shy of any name calling, folks lose track of what the hell they’re actually bidding on. Our Globe Santa Auction at The Rattlesnake Bar and Grill is no different than any other, except to say that we are constantly trying to make all our items and packages a little bit different or special. Let’s say, for instance, we have a pair of Bruins tickets for a game at the Garden. Perhaps you never have gone to a professional hockey game or maybe never sat in the high-priced seats…so now there’s a bit of excitement and curious energy going on under one’s cap. Adding to the mix of your wonderment, we toss in a gift certificate to a local and extremely popular restaurant. So you’ve never darkened their doorway or checked out their menu? This leaves you guessing about your pre-game meal…what should I order? Should I invite a date who likes good food and rock-‘em sock-‘em hockey? Is there a dress code? So many questions…
This exact scenario took place after our 2013 Auction. There was an item donated by one of our esteemed committee members, Wayne Strattman, that was not only sensational, but an enjoyable learning experience for the small group who attended. Mr. Strattman is a very well known glass artist and travels around the world displaying his works. One of his pieces was recently awarded the top prize at a show in New York. If you’re interested in purchasing the piece for your home or office it will cost you a mere $125,000. But the item that people bid on was a tour of his studio at Boston’s old Piano Factory. Mr. Strattman, a quiet, unassuming gentleman who was quite the runner in his time, was a gracious host, providing an array of select cheeses and wines that were served in glasses that he created in his studio.
The couple who were the high bidders included my very attractive cousin, Sue Cappadonna and her charming husband, Tom. They brought their good friends, Joe and Cristina Piscatello, a fun couple who rounded out the party of four per the guideline of the auction item. Both Mr. Strattman and the Cappadonnas invited my wife Marcia and I as their guests (add-on’s). Once we all had a glass of the grape in our hands, we were given a complete tour by Wayne (I’ll cease with the name formalities at this point). The place looked like Dr. Frankenstein’s workshop, with big glass objects throwing streams of electricity from one to the other. There were pieces of neon art that were spaced around the studio and threw off an abundance of vibrant colors of light.
Following a demonstration of glass making at his bench, Wayne gave the ladies an opportunity to show their talents at making their own wine glasses. With a small degree of coaching, he was actually quite surprised how quickly they mastered the hand/eye coordination using the wheel and propane torch.
I thought about purchasing one of the electro glass balls that had lightning bolts shooting within the sphere, and place it in my window for the world to see. My neighbors would most likely refer to me as Professor Von Doyle. I’ve been called worse.
As the tour came to an end, our party of seven departed the cozy confines of Wayne’s studio, and strolled across the street to Estelle’s Restaurant and Bar, fighting off the freezing winter chill. Dinner at this comfortable little eatery was included as part of the auction package. The two gals removed their new, handmade glasses from their bags and filled them with their wine of choice. Conversation reigned supreme at our table and the southern style food was wicked awesome. Each of our group agreed that Wayne Strattman’s Studio auction item proved to be nothing less than excellent and something worth re-visiting down the road.
If you’re really looking to bid on a remarkable Bostonian type of auction item, I would highly recommend this interesting gem…or check out the list we’ll provide our guests. You’re sure to find something that will tickle your fancy. It will also make a dandy holiday gift for someone special on your list. Enjoy!
— Eddie Doyle, 10/24/2014