The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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From Pez to Puzzle Pieces

Posted by on October 27, 2012

The Visitor Services team is excited to share our visitor encounters from the front desk. We are (in no particular order) Mary Kopp, Sarah Groh, Katie Chrivia, Kai Hanson and Diana Kapsner. You will occasionally see a visitor encounter from some museum interns as well.


September 30, 2012

I stayed late at the Museum one evening so that the carpets could be cleaned. The carpet cleaner arrived, noisily getting to work. When he had finished his task, he looked down at the stone ground and said,

“You see this marble swirling pattern on the floor? Me and my guys did that when this place first opened. We got a bunch of old papers from the Sentinel, grey floor paint, and then smudged paint on the floor.”

I imagine it was a difficult job, tough on their hands and knees, but it was very interesting to learn that the floors were hand-painted and to know that the same man has been making this place sparkle and shine for almost 20 years. Look down the next time you visit your MAH.

-Katie Chrivia


October 5-6, 2012

Levi and Jesus were on a mission to complete our Antique Shop puzzle. They came on First Friday, Santa Cruz’s art walk night, and were working on it until we had to close the museum at 9pm. Surprisingly, they came back the next day and stayed until 8pm determined to finish the puzzle. “We’re going to try to solve this until they kick us out.” Levi and Jesus worked it for 7 hours total. That’s some dedication!

-Diana Kapsner & Stacey Garcia



October 17

Can you believe that I’ve never had Pez? This was crazy talk to Jeremiah, who has a huge collection of Pez dispensers he has been collecting for 19 years. “What do you mean you’ve never had Pez? How could you not have had Pez?” he asked me, baffled. It was such a coincidence, too, because the night before, I had a dream where I bought Pez at a festival (no joke!) “Well, I’m going to have to bring some for you. What’s your favorite cartoon character?”

Apparently, it’s the Green Lantern. Jeremiah came back a month later with a stack of Pez candy and the Green Lantern dispenser. Jeremiah can dispense Pez like nobody’s business; the man has it down to a science. “You have to peel the wrapper back… rip the sides off too… oh, careful of the broken ones…” I failed miserably. Lemon Pez scattered all across the top of the desk. Thank goodness we don’t have ants.

My childhood-self had no idea what she was missing. Now, I can’t stop eating them, even as I write this. I think I’ll try the cherry favor now…


Later that day…


The Battle of the Elmo. It was a hot day on the desert-colored tables in the Lezin gallery.


A staff member happened upon the scene. We had no idea who could have done it, but I was determined to figure it out. I eyed all the visitors curiously wondering to myself “was it you?” I put on my metaphorical Sherlock Holmes cap. There was only 1 family who came into the museum that day. I would investigate. As the family walked out, saying their goodbyes, their son lingered around a few seconds longer to look at the doodads in our store. I raised an eyebrow and in a low voice, asked him suspiciously “did you make that war scene in the Lezin gallery?” He smiled a buck toothless smile and ran out. Case closed.