Monthly Archives: January 2014

Nick and Me

In the spring of 1964, a week or so past my sixteenth birthday, I found myself taking a motorcycle ride on Sir Francis Drake Blvd., heading west through Marin County towns like Greenbrea,Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, and Fairfax. I have a significant history of adventures in some of these towns but they are not my destination. I’m headed for a house in the San Geronimo Valley town of Lagunitas, owned by a man named Ken Howard. Ken Howard was a local writer, activist for liberal causes and father to two lovely girls. I am on my way to meet Sarah Howard, the older of his two daughters, but it his younger daughter, Debbie, who first caught my attention.

Debbie was a dark haired beauty with deep-set, brown eyes and a smooth, tan complexion. Sarah, older by a year or so, had light brown hair with a persistent wave bordering on frizzy, paleskin with some freckles and intense blue-grey eyes. They hardly looked like sisters but as I rode, I did not dwell on this but rather on my mission.

Strapped to the back of my red Honda 150, held in place with bungee cords, was my first guitar, which my parents had given me as a birthday present about a week earlier. The guitar was a Montgomery Ward special (“Monkey Wards” my parents used to call it) worth all of thirty bucks with the strings sitting about a half an inch above the fingerboard. By any standard it was a real piece of shit, but it was what I had and I was determined to learn to play it. After the money they had spent getting me an accordion and lessons starting back in the fourth grade, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when they didn’t fork over the big bucks for a Gibson or a Martin. Sarah, my best friend Gary Steadman assured me, that they knew the words and chords to Guantanamera, a folk song made popular by Pete Seegar, and my mission was to have her teach me to play the song.

I also had it on reliable authority that Sarah Howard was known to make out when the stars were aligned, and the wind was just right.

So with the promise of an auspicious launching of my new musical career, and the prospects of a handful of boob throbbing in my loins, I crested the hill leaving Fairfax and dropped down into the San Geronimo Valley, the sun was getting ready to set over the hills in West Marin, and I soon arrived at their house in Lagunitas. I went inside and said my hellos to everybody, and her family asked me if I wanted to stay for dinner.

“Yes, I’d love to.” I replied and off to the living room we went. Debbie said she had to babysit and someone was coming to pick her up. I went out to the driveway to fetch the guitar from hell, and only then learned that it was woefully and criminally out of tune. The Howards had an old upright piano in their livingroom and Sarah and I worked for a while trying to get that guitar in tune and presently the guy Debbie was supposed to babysit for showed up to take her tohis house. He introduced himself as “Nick” and he looked vaguely familiar. He saw that we were having trouble getting the guitar tuned, and offered to help.

“He plays in the ” Kingston Trio ”, Sarah whispered.
“Huh?” I stammered. Well no wonder he looked so familiar. I had four of their records at home and played them all the time. My dad had worked in radio and TV all my life, and one of the perks of such a job was that the station where he worked,KJBS in San Francisco gave away hundreds of records that didn’t meet the criteria of the program director’s play list. Thankfully, The Kingston Trio, arguably one of thehottest acts in the country in the late fifties and early sixties, fell into this category, along with about a ton of other records including jazz, blues,and priceless old comedy records. KJBS played a sickeningly sweet format of“middle-of-the-road”, post-war standards. Patty Page, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como with a lot of lame string arrangements…elevator music for the fifties –that’s the crap Dad’s radio station played, and their “dump bin” became my playground.

So here’sthis well-dressed, and young looking guy with a kind of soup-bowl haircut, who is standing at the very epicenter of the music scene as I understood it back then, and he’s teaching me to tune my first guitar.
“Start withthe E string…that’s the fat string at the top of your strum. Hold down that string at the fifth fret and turn the tuning peg on the next string down –that’s the A string, until the sound matches – like this…” and then he showed me! I was almost in a state of rapture, forgetting for a short while all about boobs, and the sweet smell of Sarah Howard’s hair. Nick Reynolds drew a little chart for me to use and wrote down the changes to Tom Dooley and MTA on a piece of Sarah’s notebook paper. He was very nice to me, and I’ll never forget that day. I never could have anticipated that five years down the road, I would beworking for Kingston Trio Inc. and I surely didn’t know that nearly fifty yearslater, I would be recounting this story to his widow, Linda Reynolds, one ofthe first friends I made when I started working at the Trident. Years later,when Frank Werber sort of introduced us again, I told him about that day and what it had meant to me.

“Oh yeah,”he said. “I remember…how’s the guitar coming?”

“Pretty good”, I said, “But you were right…it does take a lot of practice.”

He laughed and asked me how Sarah was doing. I told him Ihadn’t seen her in awhile, but I still saw Debbie from time to time. “She’sliving in Mill Valley.”

Even Frank got a kick out the story when I explained how Nick and I had met.

Anyway, I eventually taught myself the song and along the way figured out that songbooks and chord diagrams were easier to understand than notes scribbled on scraps of note paper and soggy cocktail napkins and thus began a life-long, love – hate relationship with the guitar. I never really hated my guitars…just the fact that I wasn’t able to play them better.

Not long after meeting Nick Reynolds, I got this part-time job working the door at this little night–spot in Sausalito that featured live music called TheLion’s Share. It was owned by a guy named Mike Considine and he was able toconsistently book some of the top acoustic acts around at the time. Rambling Jack Elliot, Sandy Bull, Eric Anderson ( whom we jokingly used to call “Blind Eric Flatpick”), Dave Van Ronk and a host of others played there often. Even Stevie Winwoodsat in one night. Some of the guys that went on to form Jefferson Airplaneplayed there regularly.

One night, KJAZ disc jockey Richard Conti, came in with Mose Allison, who even played a set. The place served pub-food; chili, beefstew and hotdogs and in my relatively impoverished state, I was glad to have some place other than my parents house to eat. The club burned down in about 1967, and Mike moved to San Anselmo and reopened it with the same name – but Idon’t think it was ever as successful as the Sausalito incarnation, but a lot of local Marin County bands got their , start there.
The point is, music was ever a recurring theme in my life andcontinues to be to this day, but I thought it proper that after all these years, I write this small tribute to the guy who kind of got me started…so, thanks,Nick, wherever you are.

Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio

By Patrick Pendleton email Pat at: Gizmo754@aol.com

Nick and Josh Reynolds

18TridentNickandJoshReynolds

 

 

Trident Waitress Flashback

Late sixties? Early seventies? A 32 second clip of some Trident waitresses on their way to work after parking in the lot across the street from the Trident. My apologies for the poor quality. Originally a 16mm version shot to Betamax then digitalized. But thanks to Rob Lawson – Terry the bartenders brother for the clip.

Terry Lawson

I was only a casual background item at the old Trident. I did work there when it was Horizon’s, and my mother even worked there (around 1960) when it was called The Yacht Club (I remember her calling it “The Yacht Dock” though). Most of my memories come from dating the infamous bartender Terry Lawson.
Remembering Terry Lawson…
Can you believe that Terry Lawson would have been 60 years old this week?

I started dating Terry in 1974 when I was barely 17 years old. He used to smuggle me in to the dark corner bench seat at the far end of the bar. Sometimes I would have to sit in his old VW with his dog “Say Man” waiting for the weekly meeting to end (that was back when they still let him park on the parking deck). I remember watching Robin and Eric come out the kitchen door, cutting it up and making me laugh. Terry moved with me when I went to college in LA in 1976, then I accompanied him to Maui in 1978. We hung out with Bobby L. at The Blue Max, who even invited us to a private performance there by Stevie Nicks. Terry and I stopped living together shortly after that. But we remained friends until the end. Later on, (I think it was 1980, but those times are hazy at best) I went to work at Horizon’s as a “Hostess with the Mostess”, but didn’t last long.

18TridentTerryLawsonsGirlfriend  I used to call Mary Lawson each year on this day to wish her a Happy Birthday after Terry had passed, but now that she is gone too, I thought I would honor his memory by posting my thoughts here.

Happy Birthday Terry!

YOU!

Teren (Umphress) Lawler
Marinite27@aol.com

Teren and Terry Part 2

There was a party on a beach near Point Reyes. There were a bunch of Trident people there, though I think it might have been Terry’s chef/friend Joaquin who threw the party, (he would collect mussels at low tide, and use them in the Paella he cooked right on the beach). It had been a windy day, and the waves were quite choppy. Terry however, jumped in to someone’s kayak, and started paddling around. After a little while, we noticed that Terry was waving to us. It became apparent, as he kept going further and further out, that he was caught in a rip current, and couldn’t get back in. Someone (it might have been Richard) hiked back up to find a payphone to call police. The Coast Guard came down, and said it was too dangerous to go out in their zodiac, so they radioed out to a big tanker off shore. It seems it was a Turkish ship, and no one spoke English. They did eventually get the message, and plucked a shivering Terry out of the channel, and dropped him off at Treasure Island after they docked, sometime the next day. What a story he had to tell. There were certainly angels watching over Terry Lawson that day, as I am sure they are now.18TridentTerrenTerryPartTwo

Teren and Terry 1974 North Beach Photo Fair

 

Michael Toomey Checks In

My name is Michael Toomey. I worked at the Trident from 1970 until the last days in 1980. I found this site by accident. I don’t know where to begin, except up to this date it was the best job I ever had.
In one of the pictures you’ll see a North Bay Produce truck and that’s where I’ve been the last 24 years. I still have one friend that I stay in touch with. That’s Jones Pollard. He was a busboy at that time. Above my bed I still have the Trident menu framed.
I started off on the broiler and was making $5 an hour. It was a decent wage for the times. I worked with Jim Susana and Big John. I remember the Trident closing briefly in 1976 by Ron, the owner, for repairs. Shortly thereafter Jim Susana died in a motorcycle accident. We were all across the street in a meeting when Jim’s brother walked in and told us the horrible news. We were all in shock. It gets worse. In 1974 Pierre was diagnosed with cancer and that’s when I became Chef.
I think I was 25 years old and had no idea what I was doing. Add to the fact that I was doing one hundred cross tops a day and all the other stuff that was going around then, I don’t know how I managed to get through the day, or should I say days? I didn’t have a clue what food costs were, and all the other responsibilities that went along with running a kitchen. If it weren’t for the kindness and the compassion of Lisa Sharp I don’t think I would have made it. Lisa, I just want to take this opportunity to say, “Thank You!”
Between the years of 75 and 76 it was apparent that Pierre was losing his battle with cancer. One afternoon he looked at me and said, “Goofy, come into my office.” In his office he handed me a folder with all the Trident recipes. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “the management will try to procure them, whatever you do, keep them to yourself.” He also gave me all his knives and other apparatuses. He came in less frequently until his death in 1978.
Pierre lived about two blocks away from the Trident at the time, and after work I would go to his house periodically and talk about what specials I’d served that day. It’s so devastating to see a man deterorate so rapidly. As predicted they did come after the recipes, and I never did give them up. In the last two years the menu started to change along with an era. I was fortunate to be a part of it, and the memoirs that parallel.
Yes I worked with Robin Williams. We closed the restaurant for the Rolling Stones and the mighty Led Zeppelin along with many famous people that passed through.. the women were something to die for. I was married at the time and swear I never touched one but came pretty close.
Sundays were always coke night. My wife at the time was working down the street at a T-shirt place called Stevens. We’d go back to my place and pull all nighters. Before you knew it, here comes the sun. The Trident was closed on Mondays, and was a prep day. Anyway, I’m 55 now but look back on those years as the best days of my life.
Mike Toomey can be emailed at: toomboom@comcast.net

Cirque De Soleil Remembered by Bryan Yim

Eric, glad to see you are well and thanks for your detailed thoughts on the
Trident years. I was working on the dishwashing shift when you
performed your streak dance. I remember the ‘buzz’ among the staff
whether it was going to happen or not. I googled ‘Trident Restaurant’
after telling a few co-workers of my three years working in this cool
restaurant where I trained Robin Williams on his first day as a
dishwasher. Of course, the rookies were always initiated on the ‘wet’
side. I was very surprised to see myself in the ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ photo
and remember the event and photo. I always felt like the younger
sibling working at Trident since I was 19 when I started, living at home
and attending College of Marin. It seemed as though the majority of you
were 5 years older and forging a living out on your own. How did you
all support yourself working at the Trident and living in Marin, Sonoma
or the city? My parents used to pick me up after work and we gave many
employees rides home or to the Bridgeway
101 North entrance if it was not too late. After my dad bought another
car, I was able to drive the station wagon and work the later shifts
till 2am. Dagny and Lou were my favorite shift managers to work for.
And the waitresses/hostesses were not only beautiful but very nice to
me. It was nice to see photos of Monica, Lisa and Susan – and the
Russian River outing. Do you remember Summer Brown, Leigh, Sunny, Flip
and Josie? I was known to give good shoulder and neck massages at work
for everyone and was invited for after-work massages by some of the
girls. Nothing kinky or sleazy, only therapeutic massages, friendly
conversation and sometimes a home-cooked meal. The last time I saw
everyone was at Robin’s farewell party in Mill Valley before he left for
Juilliard. I left a few months before to attend school at UC Berkeley.
Visited the Trident just after it changed to Horizon and met a guy who I
used to wash dishes with. He was now a line or prep cook. I think his
name was Hal.
Anyhow, back to work. Thanks again for the blast from the past. I will
look through my photo collection to see if I have anything to
contribute. Ciao. Bryan Yim

Play It Again Sam

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Youth As Seen Through The Rose Colored Glasses of Middle Age

Early spring 1972. Welcome to the dumping ground—the dark end of the kitchen—the place where high and mighty busboys sneer at you as they dump another bin full of dirty dishes on the bottom shelf. But I had done this kind of thing before the Trident, before the Army, before this dishwasher heaven where you got to do it and watch the soft parade of beautiful young women as they came into the kitchen where Pierre would drill them with his disdainful devil eyes as though every one of them was bad, and just barely tolerable. I looked at them somewhat differently. After all, there I was backstage at a hippie playboy club, and how bad could that be? And, oh those girls. Wearing everything from the diaphonous to the skin tight. The impossible to miss hundred pound party girl Nancy MacAllister in those shiny pink pants—the impossible to forget Kathleen Delahanty in her well fitted, subtle but sexy I. Magnin gabardine slacks and crepe de chine tops—Noreen, the sweetest woman since Donna Reed in “It’ a Wonderful Life”, floating unflappably above it all, and Lynn, the cool, imperious cocktail waitress in her tight cowgirl jeans that none of us could help but notice after she walked by. So many wonderful women.

But I was still just one of the trolls toiling in the shouting and clatter of the bright white cave. The busboys got to follow these goddesses out into the rocking and rolling rounded wood and draping greenery of the big sun-splashed room, where the customers were merely the necessary extras who had to pay to watch the show. I wanted to watch too. So when the time came, and I got the chance to go out and bus the floor I took it, thereby disappointing Pierre, the chef, and one of the greatest and most indelible of all the characters cast in that particular play.

Pierre, who addressed everyone as “goofy” in a low and ominous tone, had moved me up to food prep and chief pot washer. I used to peel a quart of garlic and field strip 50lbs of frozen prawns in the morning and then deal with the cascade of pots and saute pans that flooded my station when we opened. It was in the morning when I witnessed Pierre do something at age of 65 that I, small, fast, and coordinated as I was, would not have even attempted at my prime of life 26. The big rice pots were kept on a shelf above my head and Pierre needed one. As he tried to grab it, I could see that it was just out of reach (Pierre being even smaller that I was) so I reached up to grab it for him, only to see his hand snatch it before I could, and turned to see him jump back off the edge of the steel garbage can beside me, give an almost imperceptible smile with the inevitable accompanying, “goofy”, and walk off leaving me in drop-jawed astonishment. Quick as a cat, he had jumped up onto the edge of the trash can with kitchen slick shoes, grabbed the pot and was gone while I still had my hand in the air. We all knew he was a Kung Fu teacher (or something like that) but that doesn’t begin to explain how he could even think to do something that dangerous and actually pull it it off. Thirty-four years later I am still amazed. So there I am working on the tech crew while all the actors are out on stage performing in a full on musical with dancing girls. (Did I mention the girls—God, what beauties) Being an actor myself, but stuck backstage, I couldn’t resist when I got the chance to get out there on the floor and do a little dancing of my own. Besides it being a lot more fun, then I got to work for Lou, and Lou was definately worth working for. So was Pierre, but for him the floor was a necessary evil, and any work worth doing was done in the kitchen. Fun? “Humph!” It was like I had given up a chance to play Hamlet on Broadway so I could play a low rent gigolo in Hollywood. Pierre never quite forgave me.

The Trident had a distinct dual identity, as do most restaurants, but at the Trident that duality had a more theatrical quality because of the personalities of the two crowned heads who ruled their separate kingdoms in such completely opposite ways. Pierre, in the kitchen, like some demented devil with his unblinking baleful blue eyes, and Lou, on the floor, like an affable angel, smiling indulgently upon his little harem of naughty cherubs.

By Eric Shuggare

Youth As Seen Through The Rose Colored Glasses of Middle Age Part 2

Lou Ganapoler.
You say, “Mr Ganapoler?” He says, “Call me Lou.”
I say, “Fall in! Hats off! Glasses high! Wipe that tear from out of your eye. Here’s to Papa Bear—Best Boss Ever.”

It’s actually possible that someone didn’t like him, but it ain’t bloody likely. If you didn’t like Uncle Lou, you probably didn’t like dogs or children either, and you were gonna need a lot of help in your particular pursuit of happiness.
I remember when I was still on the dirty side of the dish room, he stopped and peered through that forest of glassware on the top shelf, and asked me if I’d gotten a raise yet. Sure, I was a really hard worker, but I’d only been there for two weeks, so I wasn’t even wondering when I’d get a raise. “Well, you’ve got one now,” was all he said. And sure enough, there it was in the next little brown envelope. (when’s the last time you saw one of those?)

For some reason (that actually made a lot of business sense) Frank and Lou encouraged individuality, and even a little eccentricity, in their employees. The Monday I first went in for an interview I was wearing a beard, hiking boots, tights, and a big poncho. Nothing else. They took my picture, like they did everybody’s, and said that they’d let me know. It was almost like an audition, and they were looking for interesting characters to play parts in that slightly skewed little movie they were always making. And just like Easy Rider, they made a lot of money.

I once spent a little time multiplying the number of tables by average checks by three hundred something days a year, and came up with about one million dollars. (that’s five million in today’s money) So very casually one morning I ask Marshall if my estimate is about right. That harried and not-quite-really-listening demeanor of his changed completely. He looked at me carefully. “Where’d you get that figure?” he asked, with a little edge in his voice. I realized I’d wandered into a classified area, so innocently I answered, “Just simple multiplication.” He wasn’t really happy with my response, but considering that the Sunday night skin divers robbery had occured about a year before, I didn’t mind when he said, “It’s not really any of your business, now, is it?”, and walked off. I wonder what Lou’s response would have been. He probably would’ve told me we’d have keep that between ourselves, and given me another raise for being smart. And I would have. Lou made loyalty feel like love. And, in a way, it is.
1974 was the year of the streaker. Someone even did it at the Academy Awards
while David Niven was at the podium. In his imperturbable British fashion, he commented, “The only thing he’ll be remembered for are his short-comings.” Meanwhile, at the Trident, someone had cruised by completely naked in the cross-trees fifty feet above the deck of large yacht. He got a round of applause, and generated some wild talk. The gist of it was that we needed an in-house streaker, and since I often took a swim after work I was considered just crazy enough to do it. Small, dark Scottish Ed, who looked like Paul McCartney, came to me with the idea. I agreed on one condition—five shots of tequila upon completion of my mission. Buzz, buzz with the bartenders—Bobby just shrugs; big smile, and a thumbs-up from Terry, and it was show-time. I went behind the juice bar, stripped and told espresso bar Gary to watch my clothes, and launched into space. I landed on the carpet beside the hostess, Cathy Civale, and looking right at Lou. He was standing between the employee table and that first big table in the 80’s section. I bounded up and did a little dance around him. He had a slight slanted smile, a twinkle in his eyes, and a general expression of “it would have be you, wouldn’t it?” Once around was enough (I may be nuts, but I’m not crazy) and off I went down to the main floor, out through the sliding door, up onto the rail, and with a wild cry of triumph did the dramatic dive into the bay. I swam around to the north side, and happily for me there was Ed with a towel and a tray. Drank the five shots, and went in to face my uncertain future. Had Marshall been on duty that day I probably would have had no future at the Trident, but we were all smart enough to know “if t’were done, t’were best done quickly”, and only when Lou was there. Like I said before—best boss ever.

Youth As Seen Through The Rose Colored Glasses of Middle Age Part 3

Well, I checked with my lawyers (Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe—same firm
Tom and Ray from Car Talk use) and apparently it’s OK to write an unauthorized
autobiography as long as it’s your own. And so, faithfull reader, it’s time for our humblehero to explain how an ex-paratrooper, motorcyclist, and general adventurer, joined the ranks of the few, the proud, the beautiful, becoming the only man waiting on the open mouthed masses at the Trident. (Well, Clint Eastwood wasn’t impressed, and Alan Bates just took a nap on one of the benches out on the deck, but, a short, self important, “shoulda woulda coulda been” is so common in their world as to be virtually invisible) Where was I? Oh yes, back in 1973 repeating my mantra, “me me me.”

It was a Saturday afternoon, just beginning to slow down at almost five o’clock, and those who could sit for a moment were in varying stages of collapse at the employee table. Nancy MacAllister, decidedly one for dramatic emphasis, was almost lying down when the hostess came by (I think it was the always unruffled Monica, student of Japanese manners and mores, with three feet of straight blonde hair) and apprehensively gave her a little signal that she had yet another foursome. Nancy’s jaw practically fell into her lap (well it would have had she been sitting up) and in a tone of righteous indignation and outrage, cried,
“But it’s five minutes to five!!!! Can’t you give them to somebody else?” Monica gave her a sympathetic shrug, and said, “‘There’s nothing I can I do.” I had come by just in time to witness this exchange and Nancy turned her ice blues to me filled with a look of almost incomparable suffering, exceeded only by the plaintive note in her voice as she said, “Eric, would you take my table for me, pleeeze? I’m sooo tired.” Well, eternal boy scout that I am, I said, “Sure” “You will??? Oh you sweet heart!!! OK”, she said, all awake and excited now, “Here’s how you do it…” And proceeded to hand me a check, explaining about drinks, and sending me off with an encouraging, “Don’t worry, we’ll help you,” roping her room-mate, Ellen and a couple of others into the plot.

So I approach the table (the four-top just to the right of the door to the deck) and try to sound natural as I repeat that famous line, “Hi there, can I get you anything to drink?” I am greeted by a look of slightly bemused suspicion from the men (where indeed was the glamour-puss they were hoping to get a closer look at) while the women seemed relieved that they wouldn’t have to endure watching their husbands reduced to gibbering idiots by some glamously indifferent flower child with no idea of just how quickly fades the bloom of youth. Tentative smiles all around. Drinks are debated, and decided; soto voce instructions about bar order from Nancy hovering behind me, and a slightly bungled exit as I turn and bump right into her on my way to the bar, where Bobby gives me a gimlet eyed look of “what the hell do you think you’re doing?” while Nancy explains and tries to convince him that it’s another one of those great Trident moments when we break the rules because we can and it’s fun.
Bobby doesn’t really buy it, but he goes along, and with a sigh gives me the world weary bartenders crash course on how not to make his life any more unliveable than it already is. Bobby had a touch of Pierre in him. Nancy, of course, would just roll right over anybody who was going to be a stick in the mud and didn’t appreciate just how important it was to have fun at work, and so, blithely ignoring his general disapproval gave me some hurried intructions and sent me back to the table.

By the time I was picking up the food from under the withering gaze of Pierre, pretty much everyone was aware of what we were doing, right on up to Dagny who sized up the situation with a slightly raised eyebrow, and decided to let it run its course. Those of you who remember when Dagny was promoted to floor manager, and watched how gracefully she stepped into her new role, will understand why I have to stop now and explain to those who don’t, and didn’t, just how wonderful she was. That said, it occurs to me that anyone reading this blather about cartoonishly drawn characters from a distant and misty past will have one of about four possible reactions:
1) I don’t know who you’re talking about.
2) I knew her on sight, but not well enough have any particular reaction.
3) Oh, I remember her, all right. Silly bitch. (or bastard) and,
4) She was great; I loved her.

Well, for me it’s number 4. Fer sher. In a just and proper world Dagny would be queen, and we’d all live happily ever after. Dagny had this way about asking me to do something that made me want to do it fast, do it right, and make her happy. And if I had a problem or a question, she’d bend down from that redwood height of hers, fix her calm, penetrating blue-grey eyes on mine and listen, and not just with one ear either—even when she was trying to deal with three or four things at once she had a way slowing down enough for each single thing to make everything seem to go a little faster. She reminds me still of certain officers I served under in the Army, who understood that rank conferred certain automatic rights, but respect is what makes people want to do what they have to do. Perhaps she wore her cloak of authority lightly because she’d come up through the ranks, and perhaps being a woman she knew it was the only way to look good wearing it, but whatever it was, she wore it well. Not everyone does. So I say we kick out our current clown king and put in a real regal queen. But, I digress……

After all the fun was over, and our mischevious little prank had been told and retold to the point that in some versions I may have been dancing on the table by the end of it, I had to get Dagny to sign my timecard. I knew I wasn’t gonna get spanked for being naughty, but I wasn’t exactly looking forward to what I was gonna get. What I didn’t expect was an offer I could hardly refuse. “So, Eric, you think you want to be a waiter?.” “Whew” I whistled under my breath, imitating the sound of the bullet I had just dodged, but then I almost fell over anyway when she said, “I’ll talk to Frank and Lou and see if they’ll go for it.”
Well, that Monday while I was doing the weekly inventory, Frank came up to me with smile and said, “I hear you want to be a waiter. You know you’ll have to wear something a little more dressy than when you’re busing, so go get some duds and we’ll see about giving you a couple of shifts.”
And thus, thanks to two of the unforgetables, Nancy MacAllister, and Dagny McCloskey I became waiter in a fancy joint full of fancy women. Needless to say, I was as happy as the proverbial pig in shit. So here’s to Nancy and Dagny, where ever they may be. And if you know, tell ’em to get in touch.