Spit and Polish, With Humor
During the 15 years he spent in the Honorable Artillery Company in Britain's version of the National Guard, Simon J. Turner learned that there was only one way of doing things — the right way.
When Mr. Turner and his wife, Elizabeth, started renovating a four-bedroom Edwardian house they bought in London last year, he continued doing things in the same regimented way, leaving no detail to chance.
Mr. Turner, 39, spent months looking for the right cast-iron radiator for the house. Mrs. Turner said she, too, got caught up in his pursuit of perfection. "There I was, five months pregant, on my knees wirewooling the hardwood floors," she said.
Henry Perks, a close friend and co-worker at the Risk Waters Group, where Mr. Turner was publishing director in charge of New York operations, said he applied the same standards to everything he did. "Simon was someone who was certain that there was a right way of doing things," Mr. Perks said.
But he was not all spit and polish. When someone at work asked the prospective father, "What are you hoping for?" Mr. Turner replied, "I'm hoping for a Dalmation puppy, but I think Elizabeth has her heart set on a baby."
With that, they began calling the baby Spot, a family joke that lasted through early September, when Mr. Turner flew to New York to be the host of a big conference at the Windows on the World restaurant on Sept. 11.
The baby was born on Nov. 14.
His name is William.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 10, 2002.