Not Your Everyday News

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Another 'Veteran' is gone from the good ole days...

My sister and I literally grew up in the restaurant business, going there after school most days when we were little, working on weekends and during summer vacation. It was fun, because we got to play little bosses at the side of Papa, ate anything we wanted, had live lobster races in the big walk in fridge, having Mom organize pizza parties for our school, and much much more. There were times that we didn't see Mom or Papa much, as they were always working, but they both always knew how to make up for lost time, allowing us to be spoiled and never missing a thing. We also grew up with certain people who just always seemed to be there, day after day, loyal, reliable, hardworking folks who helped the restaurants run like a top. We jokingly called some of them 'veterans' as that is exactly what they were, veterans of the restaurant business, and some of them became like family. The veterans were numerous, from different restaurants my parents had, a few worked at multiple ones. Over the years, as my sister and I have grown, moved away, gotten married, and eventually come back, one by one most of the veterans have passed, and with each obituary we read, all the childhood memories come roaring back. Hazel was one of the first to go, brain aneurism and cancer. She was a real character, too vain to wear the glasses she desperately needed. We shared the same birthday, so we always exchanged gifts, so naturally I think of her every June 13. Elaine left us a couple of years ago, numerous health problems took her, despite her strength. And a couple of days ago, Alice's name and picture turned up in the obituaries. Alice could get a little moody with her co-workers sometimes, but her loyalty and reliability to our family was second to none. She worked for my parents for approximately 30 years, longer than anyone else (Elaine comes in at a close 2nd), and literally saw me and my sister grow up. She was always kind to us and Mom, and she didn't hesitate to give any guff that Papa gave her right back (a Hazel characteristic as well!). On more than one occasion, customers at the restaurant would mention how they were able to get a free show with their meal, especially when Hazel and Alice ganged up on Papa with various hijinks and commentary! One by one, the veterans have left us, leaving memories behind, and a whole lot of nostalgia...the good ole days. Yeah, there were some days that weren't so good, but for two young girls growing up and looking through rose colored glasses, they were the good ole days. And as I read each and every obituary over the years of these ladies and others who have gone as well - Christina and Billy come to mind now - I realize that life goes on, but unfortunately, it means that we are getting older, a reality that I am really coming to dislike immensely. RIP Alice, say hi  to Hazel, Elaine, and all the others from back in the good ole days.

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