The following take on the Trident Waitresses is Published here with permission from Baron Wolman from the pages of “Rags” Intro: The Trident of Sausalito has evolved into a “Freedom of Expression” and a reflection of a differing lifestyle. The key word is Style. It’s not service with a smile that counts anymore, it’s service with Style! The title for this article was The Ladies A La Mode
The Ladies A La Mode by Blair Sabol
Five years ago the Trident was barely going through the motions of being a “Jazz Joint” with all the attendant atmosphere: lots of black leather, red rugs, cigarette smoke overcast, as well as “Bunny” rejects for waitresses – to lend a stamp of authenticity. But authentic for whom or for what became the question.
Time marches on, forgetting to take with it the “clubbing it” scene, and leaving owner Frank Werber in the throes of rapid culture changes. He ended up trading his full time job of managing the Kingston Trio for organically tripping on “self discovery.” Werber went from bookings to busts. And, all for the better. Naturally enough, Werber took the Trident tripping along with him … changing it’s interior … painting the ceiling in bright organic colors … arching curving wooden partitions – no right angles – for backrests and a sense of space .. None of the Dayglosplotchiness of 1967 vintage psychedelia that marked a sell out organization – just natural wood grained comfort and lots of greenery.
Janie, voted the Best Dressed by the rest of the Trident ladies says that, she, “was always clothes conscious but over the year that I’ve been working here I’ve bought more far out stuff and bought just a lot more in general. I really don’t own any more straight clothes anymore. It’s great to wear what you are …. your prersonality.
That’s why people dig the Trident so much, cause they can related to the girls since the girls look real and not like antiseptic white milk bottles. Besides having no dress code here makes you more than just a waitress. You become creative by just inventing your own outfit each time.
Oh yeah … there’s a liquor bar but organic juices have become the highlights (higher and lighter) and the drastically modified menu includes freshly baked and grown goodies from nearby commune’s kitchens and gardens. The Trident has become healthfully re-established within the community and people recognize it as part of the hipper restaurant solution instead of the problem. And, it is because of the Trident’s more liberated approach that some thirty to forty people descend upon the restaurant daily asking for jobs … and more specifically: chicks! It has become “status” to be a “Trident Lady,” not waitress. ” If she’s playing a part,” explains house manager Lou Ganapoler, ” you’ll pick it right up. She has to fit in with the cosmic flow of the place. That’s why we let them dress the way they are. Every girl here is known to be a beauty because she is being her real self. Wearing clothes she really sees on the streets and being just the plain person that she is. No putting on a strange uniform and acting uptight because that’s the superimposed attitude stemming from the management.”
Frank adds a few more prerequisites: ” I like them to dress the way they would if they were at home turning on with their cats. It’s more comfortable and freer for them to operate. However the chicks must really dig themselves first and not be afraid of how to show it.” He means in spirit as well as the more obvious physical features, like bralessness and thrifty antique chiffon transparencies so often used to slam home the liberated message. Frank and Lou keep an unusual employee file – a Polaroid album full of all their past and present girls, categorized according to “beginners, permanent,cashiers, and hostessess,” not to mention their four star ratings.
And, believe it or not the only numerology recorded besides age – which averages to about 22 – was that of Social Security and not of measurements. Very few references are asked of the girls, although the most prevalent “previous job held” was “grooving.” Lou admits, “We are so into our girls giving forth that certain energy and spirit that we tell our people, ” Look our service is lousy but our karma is high and vital!”
Laurie, ” I was a Playboy Bunny and really into the heavy makeup and uplift bra thing. But now … I’ve been working here for over a year and the make up is gone except my sequin stars and I’m really into old clothes and lots of feathers. Everything I own has magic and I try to make people aware of that magic while I’m working … I love to turn em on, by the way I look different every day.