Last Week

This time last week, I fully anticipated writing a blogpost at this point all about how much fun I had at Costume College (I did), how many wonderful friends I made and people I met (I did...x1000), how I learned some things, and got to teach some new things (Ditto. Ditto), and so forth. That's what I wanted this post to be about.

But it's not.

I wish I could at this point, but unfortunately I am emotionally not able to do so. You see, last Thursday, while at LACMA, we received a phone call from Sarah with very sad news. Jay Gaynor, the director of the Historic Trades Department had passed away in the morning right when he arrived to work. We were, and still are, in a state of shock and deep mourning. The loss of Jay as our leader is massive, as he is one in a million, and I very much doubt I'll ever have a 'boss boss' like him. In fact, if I am ever in a leadership position similar to his, I hope I can be as good at that job as he was at his.

He was the type of boss that would say hello to you every morning, and be more than happy to chit chat with you when you picked up mail, even though he had 1000 other much more important things to do.

He was the type of boss that paid you to take drawing classes so you could be *marginally* better at drawing originals in collections.

He was the type of boss that would support the plan of a massive 60th Anniversary Millinery Conference.

He was the type of boss that would take care of your dog while on set, when you all were on a video shoot on the coldest day at work.

He was the type of boss that immediately guess that your dog was named after Aldous Huxley.

He would then proceed to always greet you and your spastic dog on evening walks when it was was past working hours and he was just heading home.

He was the type of boss that would ask you if you were ok, if you seemed out of sorts at a social party, and no one else even noticed.

He was the type of boss that supported the Millinery Shop Costume College.

He was the type of boss that would get really annoyed if you left your collections appointment at LACMA because he passed away.

He was the best boss, and he is greatly missed.

There are other, more eloquent memorials and obituaries floating around on the internet that list all of the inspiring and wonderful things he did over the course of his life. I cannot list all of those things, and so I choose to only list the precious few memories I have of him throughout my 1.5 years in the Trades Department. I cannot lie and say that Jay's passing did not take a massive toll on my emotional and mental state while in California. It did. I felt like I was in a daze most of the weekend, and all of my strength went into making sure I wasn't a big cry baby mess during the course of the weekend. So, with that in mind, if at any point I seemed distant, spacey, annoyed, uninterested, or surprisingly not in keeping with the personality and/or energy level you would have expected from me, whether through this blog or the shop's Facebook page, please accept my apologies. I hope you now understand why I was the way I was.

For everyone I met, whether completely new or a final person-to-person meeting, I so enjoyed meeting you this weekend, and seeing all of the lovely costuming work that is out there right now. You left me feeling inspired and really really lazy. :)  Hopefully, I will be able to see you all again next year!

And with that, I'm going to finish this post...hopefully I'll have the energy to post a more chipper "ZOMG ZOMG COSTUMECOLLEGEISTHECOOLEST" blog post later this week.

<3 <3


  1. Jay sounds like an absolutely wonderful boss. I'm very sorry for your loss.

  2. Abby, I'm so sorry for your loss. A boss like that is truly a one-in-a-million, and it sounds like he's left an incredibly legacy. My thoughts are with you and all those grieving his passing.

  3. How wonderful that you are able to honor his memory with your wish to be just like him. I hope you get a chance to be in such a position!
    All the best,
    Nancy N


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