Jul 2, 2008
Serendipity doo dah...
In my ongoing quest to confuse people from my past by contacting them out of the blue (some to whom I haven't spoken in almost twenty years), I may have found a little of what I've been looking for. After a Google search and a couple of emails, today I spoke with David, my boss from my first job out of college. I worked in the marketing department of a liquor distributor, and David was The Don of Fine Wines. I grew up in a really small town, and my college experience in St. Louis was a four-year game I couldn't win because nobody bothered to tell me the rules. David was everything I wanted to be, and I was completely infatuated with him. He was older; he knew wine and food; he was effortlessly dapper and cultured; he had traveled; and, to top it all off, he was funny rather than boorish, which wine people can tend to be. He also provided me with a shitload of free wine (gotta know the product) and took me to fabulous parties, wine tastings and all the hottest restaurants in St. Louis. He put a mini-fridge in my office and brought me lunches he had cooked himself, introducing me to the idea that Italian food can taste good even when it's not smothered in gooey sauce. And he turned me on to cooking, for which I will always be most grateful. I can quickly and easily julienne basil, de-vein shrimp and peel tomatoes thanks to time spent as his sous-chef, and I will never be able to stand inferior olive oil or overcooked poultry. Hearing his voice this afternoon, I felt like it was just yesterday he pounded on the wall between our offices to get my attention.
What does this have to do with the little pirate above? Just that I appreciate the influence he had on my life, the ripple effect of having known one person for a short while. Working for David for one year was like getting paid to go to finishing school. But had he managed to convince the bobble-head running the company to pay me more, I might never have left St. Louis, moved to Chicago, met John and had this kooky little girl that makes me laugh every day. I wasn't my best self when we knew each other, but he put up with me then and sounded genuinely happy to hear from me today. That's pretty wild if you think about it. Thanks, David, for that and for the David's Old World Brand Pastrami I'm going to pick up at Elephant's tomorrow.
As for Rachel, David's wife and business partner, I had a feeling he had met his match the day she came into the office wearing leather pants. She was smokin' hot. Lucky man.