Today’s post is from George Baity, Guest Services Associate, whom you may recognize as the little boy looking through the periscope on the 1999 CMoG brochure!
I don’t quite remember how I made it to the front cover of the CMoG brochure, so I went to my dad for the true story. The truth is, I was just lucky to be the son of the man who worked in the communications department of the Museum at that time. According to my dad, they needed a cute little boy and I just happened to be photogenic enough to fit the description. I was so young at the time; I didn’t know what was going on. My dad told me they were going to take some pictures of me in the Museum to put on the brochures and I just went along with it. At the time, I didn’t know CMoG was so well known. It wasn’t until my dad told me later on that the brochures were sent to locations across the globe that my mind was blown.
When I started working at the Museum in 2013, I finally realized how great of an opportunity it really was to be involved here. I was born and raised in Corning, New York for 18 years. The Museum was fun to come to when I was younger for school field trips, but as I continued to grow it lost its luster in my eyes. I compare it to living in New York City and staring at the Statue of Liberty every day. I imagine that you would lose your appreciation for it after a while. However, all that appreciation came back once I started working here, not just for the Museum, but for all the people that make it possible.
Working here has opened my eyes to how important the Museum is to the town of Corning. We see thousands of tourists come through the Museum each year from all over the country and the world. I don’t know any other job where you are able to encounter such a wide and diverse group of people. One moment I’m helping an older couple from Maine find The Studio, the next moment I’m helping a large family from Israel purchase admission tickets, and after that, I’m helping a family from Asia find the Hot Glass Show. Also, just seeing the excitement on their faces when they come to the Museum makes it so much easier to help. It doesn’t matter if guests are under 18 or over 55, they all have the same joy on their faces when they enter the Museum and the look of satisfaction when they exit our doors.
Being here has also made me see how close of a community Corning is. Here at the Museum, we love to support our amazing region in New York State, whether it is the Gaffer District downtown or the wineries around the Finger Lakes. It’s not all about us doing well; we want the town and the surrounding area to thrive too. Also, the support we have from the community is huge. I had never attended a 2300 Degrees event before I started working here. To see the community come out and support the event 100% is amazing. During the holiday season, it is truly incredible when families come to our Holiday Open House weekend and make the Museum a staple of their holiday season.
The support I’ve seen from the community over the North Wing expansion project is terrific. I know many people are excited about the expansion which just makes me more anxious for it to open, so we can all enjoy the new space.
Coming back here has turned me into a little boy filled with excitement who was once the face of the Museum. It’s crazy to think all of this happened because my face was on the brochure. Everything just came full circle.