Local firm spruces up furniture for vice president

April 21, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

The work order Ron Eyler received was nothing special in terms of money.

The four reupholstery jobs D&R Interiors has done since last May brought in a couple of thousand dollars, Eyler said.

The noteworthy part of the project is the customer: Vice President Al Gore.

Actually, it was the vice president's office.

Eyler said he refurbished furniture for the official vice presidential residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

"It means something to you. It's sort of interesting to do work for someone like that," he said. "We don't treat the work any differently in terms of quality. But it's just interesting to be doing work for the vice president."

Eyler completed the most recent order last week. He reupholstered 16 dining room chairs. He said he also did work for the vice presidential residence last August, June and May.


Some of the other furniture included lounge chairs and patio furniture.

Eyler said all of the items were high-quality craftsmanship that remain at the residence from administration to administration.

"It's not for the vice president. It's for the residence," he said. "I guess it's not his furniture, it's our furniture."

Eyler said D&R, which is on Jefferson Boulevard east of Hagerstown, got the job through its longtime association with a Gaithersburg, Md., furniture and interior design company.

Roush Interiors has used D&R for nearly 30 years for its reupholstery work, said Roush owner Bill Topercer.

"He does superb work," Topercer said.

Topercer said the vice president's office selects the fabric. Roush sends the furniture to Eyler and then picks it up when the job is completed.

Eyler, 54, said he developed a business relationship with Roush a few years after he went into business in 1967.

"They liked it and they've been sending work up here ever since," he said.

The vice presidential residence is not the first job Eyler has done for the government elite. He said he reupholstered several pieces of furniture in the 1970s for the presidential retreat at Camp David.

Eyler recalled one piece of furniture - a headboard he built for the bedroom. Officials sent a plastic presidential seal and asked him to mount it in the center of the headboard, he said.

No matter how many jobs Eyler performs for officials in Washington, though, he said he recognizes his base is his everyday customers.

"This is just a small part of what we do," he said.

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