7 decades adventures/discoveries part 11 d   Leave a comment

I had an apartment and I rented a car until Chuck and Tommy brought my car down from Memphis. Next came a job which brought up questions. It had been a decade since I waited tables and I had a fleeting thought that I might not want to do that again. There was also the question of my ego–could I go back to being bossed by someone else, especially in the restaurant business where ‘servers are a dime a dozen’ was the attitudes of most owners/managers? I had some money so I could relax a bit, go out drinking as I was doing more frequently . I was lucky in the sense that I was still getting settlement checks from Bernie which would take care of all necessities. Tommy and Chuck were due to come down around August 27 so I figured I might as well wait until after they left to go job hunting. Meanwhile I was going over to Flo and Ritchie’s place having dinner most night. I’ve written about Flo in one of the other chapters but justareminder–she was the first person whoever showed me unconditional love. Of course she was bugging me to get a job yet yelling at Ritchie if he said anything– that was my Flo!

On November 21, 1979, I started work at a new restaurant called “Incredible Edibles” that was opened by two guys with their wives helping now and then. I was the only server also, sometimes doubling as cashier. There opening the week of Thanksgiving, and planning to be closed that day, sort of didn’t sit right with me but the job did offer me a chance to get back in the swing of things and it was like that old saying about ‘riding a bike’–it was as if I never stopped working as a waiter. I found I still loved doing it as aggravating a job as it could be. It took awhile before business picked up as they were sort of off the beaten path in a small shopping center. The owners were nice to work for and I was sort of pleased that they listened to some ideas I had.  In February they got a 5 star review in the Fort Lauderdale paper but they were having cash flow problems and I was wondering if they would make it. I came to work on March 11, 1980,tofind the place closed. They had left town owing me 2 weeks of wages–granted it wasn’t much as, if I remember right, pay at that time for servers was $2.03 an hour! This by the way is not remarkable in South Florida where restaurants open and close with regularity.

Hey, I worked 3 months and it was time for a vacation! I spent three weeks drinking, going to the beach, playing tourist and then went to work at The Fisherman’s Wharf on 441 on March 26, 1980, when I was 11 years old having celebrated my Leap Year birthday at the Sandpiper, but more about that later. Meanwhile I was busy making friends, having sex and getting drunk. In the picture on top there are a dozen guys who became my new family. The red badge I am wearing is my birthday badge.

Life was good. I had settled into my new old life–waiting tables, partying every night since I got off work at 10-11PM and didn’t have to be there until 4-5PM the next day. I was smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day, drinking almost a bottle of scotch a night and having sex 15-20 times a month. I was 44, life was good and Memphis was fading away.



Posted September 10, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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