The Charlotte Observer has noted the passing of Donald Haack at the age of 78.
I once asked Donald Haack to design a ring for my wife. After several meetings where my bride to be and I shared photographs and drawings, a diamond stone was selected and deposit was paid.
Many weeks later the stone was missing the ring was not ready, a mistake at the vendor we were told. So a new stone was selected and the process was begun again.
Our wedding day came and went and still no ring.
Six months after our Vail Colorado wedding day, Mr. Haack called to announce "the ring" was finally ready.
We were both so excited we took an extended lunch to pick up our long awaited treasure that would endure a lifetime. But the ring was the most insanely ugly piece of contemporary art I've ever seen. The designer had according to Mr. Haack "used his best judgement" and created a setting to "enhance the stone". What we both say was a tragic comedy of errors that had culminated in horror, imagine a watermelon perched atop the Eiffel Tower.
We left without the ring and called and after much discussion and tears.
He was not happy and neither was I, he offered a 50% refund and I suggested a army of lawyers from my firm would enjoy dragging him to civil court.
We met at his office after hours a few days later.
As I left with his check, he elegantly shook my hand and at the same time politely suggested that stepping foot in his business again would be hazardous to my health.
I never did return to Donald Haack's business, and became a life long customer of David's and Morrison Smith instead.
Over the years we have rubbed shoulders at charity events around town, never speaking to each other, as polite nod would always do.
His passing has denied me a chance to make amends and I'm stuck with a sense of sadness that after all these years we both could not put a bad business deal aside.
The man behind one of Charlotte's most iconic names will be missed by many, myself included.