Father’s proudest moment

No, it was not when I terrified the poor neighbor.

I went to grad school and got my Masters.  And after the graduation ceremony we went out to dinner.   Now, there was, in those days, a very nice restuarant that we had eaten at a number of times when the folks came down for a visit and I always took my girlfriends there.  It was an old-fashioned steak house with an illuminated pond in the center of the main dining room, very good food and martinis that, well, two of them could knock out an elephant, which meant that while they were just right for Mother, I had to be a bit careful with them.  So, of course, we planned on eating there.

This place did not take reservations, it was first come, first seated.  We knew that and planned an early supper to avoid the crowds that were going to pile in.  The restaurant, unfortunately, had the same idea–about the crowds.

We arrived, almost the first people there, and the hostess leads us through the main dining room, to a second main dining room, both virtually empty, to a third-er-dining room, a plain room with card tables a folding chairs set up!  We were horrified!  After all, we were well dressed, had bathed and had no small children in tow.

As my father reached in his pocket to draw forth money with which to bribe the hostess, I looked at her, froze her with a glance that would do credit to the basilisk, and, lowering my normally high-pitched voice a good three octaves rumbled, “Surely you have something better than this.”

The poor woman was clearly not expecting that.  She turned around and lead us back to the main dining room where we were seated by the pond, which is, of course, where we should have been in the first place.

I think that was the best dinner my father had in his entire life and when I picked up the check he nearly burst.  In one day he saw his son get an another degree, overwhelm the hostess and buy him dinner on top of it.

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