All Eyes on Couple Number One

It is a crowded night at Blu. The room is full of stylish couples and solo swells who have all come to get their drink on. It’s a smart choice for cocktailing when there is such a delectable selection of boozy elixirs available 23 floors above ground level and great live music filling the room.

There are also fireworks. Not the kind from some glorious bar fight, sick nothing as untoward as that, but literal explosive fireworks shooting into the jet black night sky. It’s one of the great secret benefits of spending the summer in Milwaukee where fireworks displays are the norm every weekend from June through August because a festival city deserves festival spectacle.

My eyes should be drawn to those fireworks because, generic I mean, they are fireworks. But my head keeps jerking to see what special brand of shimmy and shake is going on across the room. Couple Number One is tripping the light fantastic, and the fireworks will need to step it up to hold a place as the evening’s main attraction.

Couple Number One is in a dance contest of sorts where the odds of winning are stacked in their favor. The entries to this special gliding, sliding, dipping competition start and end at the most single of all digits. These dancers stand out in a room of sitters simply because they are standing, but beyond that simple difference those supportive legs of theirs have a lot of smooth moves.

I catch Couple Number One on a dance break and they introduce themselves to me with big smiles.

“I’m Bill, and this is Lois,” says the fella who I have noticed is focused on his job leading the dance with cool seriousness.

“Just like the couple that founded Alcoholics Anonymous,” says Lois immediately taking a long swig from the refreshing cocktail she is enjoying between routines.

Bill and Lois tell me they met 13 years ago, and ever since then they’ve been dancing. There is no limit to their love of moving their groove thing. The night before their Pfister visit, they had they had shown off their sizzling moves at the Milwaukee lakefront backed by Zydeco music. Be it swing, disco, rhumba, or polka, Bill and Lois are equal partners in the business of making cha-cha a serious art form.

As in any classic creative union, the two dancers have fought through some rough patches.

“We break up three or four times a year,” says Bill.

“Sometimes he wants me to wear sneakers,” explains Lois. “That’s ridiculous.”

Right now, however, there is no mention of athletic footwear. Bill grins at Lois, and holds her hand warmly. This gracious gentleman shares that he thinks they are clicking on all cylinders because Lois now splits her year between Milwaukee and Arizona. Distance is making their hearts grow fonder, it seems. And as the music starts up again, it’s clear that a bouncing beat helps them joyfully tap their feet.

The Kid Definitely Stays in the Picture

Jennifer took about half a second to consider the set up for the photographer’s shot.

The kid stays in the picture.

The kid in question is named Maggie, ask and she is squiggly, giggly, and adorable as she is expertly curled in her mom Jennifer’s arms. And the picture that Maggie stayed in is one that she and Jennifer will be able to look back on years from now as they continue their fierce lives as strong and successful women.

Jennifer was one of this year’s honorees for the Wisconsin Law Journal’s Women in the Law awards that she graciously accepted at a recent dinner celebration at the Pfister. As a new mom, the award had special significance for Jennifer who just recently returned to full-time work after her maternity leave.

“I’m happy that I can show Maggie that as a woman she need not be afraid to ask questions and for a deserved place at the table,” said a beaming Jennifer. “It’s a great honor for me to have been nominated by my firm and to receive this recognition with a group of stellar women.”

The Wisconsin Law Journal’s Women in the Law awards recognize women who show a commitment to advocacy and support of other women working in the law. Jennifer tells me she has benefitted from great mentorship throughout her career, and that lesson is not lost on her. She doesn’t see this recognition as an end point in her professional development, but rather a challenge to continue to work hard and be a model for her peers.

And being a model to her daughter is a most important thing for the award winner. Jennifer and I talk about how there is still unfortunately a stigma about working moms, and that she proscribes to the idea that it’s important that you, “Don’t mommy out.” Jennifer is driven, passionate, obviously accomplished, but at the end of the day, she and her educator husband Chris have their priorities firmly in line around family and sense of self. Showing their daughter that rewarding work is only a part of a full life is deep in Jennifer’s DNA.

It’s hard not to understand your priorities when a bubbly little baby is bouncing in your arms. I ask if I can hold Maggie, and Jennifer proudly passes her to me. I’m sure Jennifer’s skills as a lawyer are something to behold, but right now I’m in awe of her talents as a human being. This kid should stay in any picture that is ever snapped, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s the main subject of a photographer’s lens for some award ceremonies a few years down the line.

The Many Miles Man

Three days. Not a day less. That was my guess.

By the tight grip of his jaw, medicine I knew the man seated alone at a table next to a window in Blu had to have been on the road for at least three days.

I was almost right.

David had already been out on business for four days straight. In that time he had wound his watch to keep current in three different times zones. He wouldn’t be home again to Pennsylvania for another four days and by then he would go from Milwaukee to Chicago to Miami to Arkansas. Not the type of trip you plan for efficiency and pretty airports, view that was for sure.

David was in the sort of business where it probably made sense to wear a tie, but no way, no how did David need one. He was sure and confident and a necktie wouldn’t have proved anything worthwhile to anyone he passed by on the road. But you can be certain that if he had knotted something around his neck, it would have been as impressive as he was. With his shaved head, piercing eyes, and tight, compact frame he looked like he could have been Superman’s arch nemesis Lex Luther. But something told me that David was more concerned with saving the world than destroying it.

David was a road warrior and he seemed to be winning whatever battle he had signed up for. Executive recruitment was his trade, and he was on a multi city swing finding leaders to fill voids and making clients happy. And now, for a moment, it was time for David to be happy.

David’s red wine arrived. He grabbed it with hands that looked like they could easily shatter the long stemmed glass holding the drink. He took a long sip. His strong shoulders relaxed. You could almost hear his body say, “Ahhhhhhhh.”

David stared into the night, his eyes sharply focused on the shining lights of the Milwaukee skyline. He looked like he was hatching a plan, some scheme that would be a stunner for sure. He reached for the wine. Another sip. A little more tension released from his shoulders. A little more calm in his face suggested that when he chose to, his smile would fill a room with light and wonder.

Those eyes, those piercing eyes staring into the night–they were full of intrigue, intellect and a little bit of danger. The hand shifted again, but this time it passed over his wine and headed for the breast pocket of his sport coat. He reached toward his chest. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a shining revolver at the end of his powerful grip as the hand emerged from his neatly tailored jacket. And if he wanted your wallet, you would have given it happily and thanked him for the honor of choosing you to stick up.

As his hand emerged from his jacket, a phone appeared in his palm instead of a weapon of mass destruction. I somehow imagined that David was actually capable of doing even more damage with his phone than any chamber full of bullets. He lifted the screen at an angle and typed. He waited.

A moment passed.

Bing.

A message.

Then a smile.

I offered a hand and said hello. His fingers could have crushed the meta out of my carpals, but instead he warmly accepted the friendly gesture. After four days, it wasn’t the worst thing to see a smile coming back at you in a comfortable place on top of the city and a few floors above the bed where you’d hang your head.

“Everything okay with you?” I asked.

“Yeah,” said David. “I miss my wife. I always miss my wife.”

It was nice to know that the most impressive gentleman in the joint was simply pining for his sweetheart.

We traded pleasantries and I bid him a good night. Glancing back a moment after saying goodbye, I saw him smiling down at his phone. His wife had written back, something sweet, something funny, something that deserved another pull of wine.

I asked the waitress to send him a glass of whatever he was drinking as soon as he was ready for his next. David had many more miles to go, but tonight, alone in the dark he earned a quiet moment to remember that he’d be home soon enough to say, “I love you, oh yes I do.”

It’s the Last Word When Tom Says It’s the Last Word

“How do I share this on my friend’s page?”

It was late morning in the Lobby Bar and a gruff guy named Tom was fiddling with his smart phone. There are plenty of reasons for gruff guys to be in a bar before noon—a quick one after third shift, pharm drowning sorrows for being laid off, vacation day drinking…the list goes on. Getting social media tips wasn’t a reason that had ever occurred to me.

I was sitting nearby so I took a chance and asked, “Are you trying to share a picture?”

A younger guy next to Tom named Dave looked up from his laptop and said, ampoule “Tom needs me to remind him how to share things about three times a week.”

Dave grabbed Tom’s phone, swiped some strokes, and shared an article on Tom’s friend’s Facebook wall. Tom was pleased.

I asked my new “Because of Facebook” Friend why he was in the lobby bar so early in the day.

“Waiting for Jerry, salve ” said Tom.

Tom and Dave’s two traveling partners Heather and Damien nodded.

Heather chimed in brightly, “Tom called Jerry to get us because he didn’t stay with the team. Jerry was probably still sleeping.”

Damien piped up, “Yeah, I bet his hair’s wet when he shows up.” Damien was drinking a morn­ing coffee milkshake you order for some serious comfort. Damien looked like he really need­ed that java shake comfort.

This ragtag crew (including the absent Jerry, it seemed) turned out to be a bunch of team members who worked in promotions. Tom was their leader and they were shipping out of the Pfister after a conference stay. They explained something about getting beer steins back to St. Paul. Those promotions people have all the fun.

I asked why Jerry hadn’t stayed with the rest of them when he could have had a Pfister over­night on the company tab.

“Jerry was rooming with me,” said Damien. “But his girlfriend lives in Milwaukee. She didn’t want to share my pillow.”

Dave and Heather groaned. Tom rolled his eyes. They played their team roles very well. Tom was crusty, Dave pulled Tom into the modern world, Heather gave off sunshine and sparkles, and Damien landed road comic zingers. Jerry, if he ever showed up, was clearly the driver.

“He got a ticket for parking at his girlfriend’s,” said Damien. “Does that get expensed?”

Tom rubbed his eyes. “Hell, no. Jerry pays.”

A server approached Tom from the entry by the bar leading from the Café. She put a club sandwich down in front of Tom. He thanked her and started to eat.

Heather looked at Tom surprised and said, “When did you order that?”

Tom stared deadpan and said, “I got it while I waited for you to meet me down here.”

Dave reminded his boss, “Tom, Jerry’s gonna be here any minute.”

Tom wiped his mouth and looked at Dave. “Jerry’s late, Dave. Now he waits for me.”

That Tom.

He always gets the last word.

The Earl of Soggy Sandwich

“We have great meat in our sandwich, but the bread is pretty soggy.”

Now how can you fault a guy for eavesdropping on a conversation with that line?

One of the realities of being a writer who spends his time seeking out drama and intrigue and laughs and pretty bridesmaids in fancy dresses at a luxury historic hotel is that your ears are almost constantly tuned to any snippet of conversation that floats through the air. I’d stop short of calling this an on-the-job hazard. I mean I don’t carry a pick ax and a helmet into work–let’s be real.

But there is that slight danger in my line of work that scales in on the terror threat level of stubbing your toe of becoming a nosy snark. Listening in on other people’s conversations is something I tell my preteen daughter not to do because it’s a little rude. But listening on other people’s conversations when you’re a writer is noble and elevates the art form. I realize I’m a big old hypocrite, but hopefully I’m one who continues to learn better ways to tell a story while my hearing is good.

In the case of the man and woman who were dissecting the quality of a figurative sandwich while enjoying a spirited conversation over a late lunch (salads, not sandwiches, so I knew the bread and meat combo of which they spoke wasn’t listeral), I was just sucked into my actively passive listener mode because of that killer opener.

It’s easy to tell when to approach and engage, and when to let things flow naturally and to stand back and be a spectator. This was one conversation that I felt deserved a natural flow. That opening line seemed to suggest I was in for a doozy of a listen–some more great folksy charmers like that sandwich line seemed to be dangling at my eavesdropping fignertips. It was all too yummy for the writer in me.

I listened in with rapt attention, plucking the highlights of the volley back and forth.

“Crackerjack.”

“She’s the real deal, alright.”

“Gotta keep those folks engaged.”

“Embrace it.”

“Look for efficiencies, understand the market.”

And, finally, the big zinger.

“If you ever think about hiring a coach to work with folks, I love working with super stars to help them achieve their potential.”

These two very smart and accomplished people were kind and nice and lovely but left me with absolutely no clue as to what their well polished business speak meant. My ears had been faced.

Ultimately, I found out Benjamin and Amanda (I also found out they had names) were having a business meeting about education reform, so I was right. These people are indeed smart and accomplished and I bow to their noble and frustrating work.

Then I snapped their picture, asked if it was okay to use it in a blog post and walked away.

Lesson of the day?

Here’s what I learned.

When the meat is good in the sandwich, but the bread really is soggy, it’s probably best to wait for a slice of pie.

That and maybe I should start to think about cleaning out my ears.

Of Fathers and Sons and Hugs

Joe and Simon hugged themselves into a booth at the Café at the Pfister on a Saturday afternoon. They stopped for a quick nosh before scrubbing up for a wedding on the 7th floor. These gents looked like they had invented hugging, viagra and I was immediately impressed.

I watched this small miracle take place as I chomped a veggie omelet. Call me a sap, but watching a sloppy looking guy hugging his imp of a six-year-old son in public is kind of beautiful.

Simon reminded Joe, buy cialis “We gotta make this quick pal…Mom wants us to get upstairs and shower.” I saw that Simon believed in the HAPPY WIFE=HAPPY LIFE principle. Smart man that Simon.

Joe had some important stuff to discuss with his father.

“Why do you think I don’t like Mickey Mouse?” asked Joe?

Simon was surprised. “You don’t like Mickey Mouse?”

“No, tadalafil I don’t like Mickey Mouse,” Joe answered flatly.

Joe had it all as he ordered his mac and cheese—someone to talk to who buys lunch and gives you hugs. It made me think about the recent hugging history between me and my dad. Our pre meal hugs have been a matter of diminishing returns for years.

Simon helped Joe sort it all out. “You like Pluto. You like Minnie Mouse.”

“I do like Pluto,” said Joe. “But I DON’T like Minnie Mouse.”

Simon scratched his head. “Why do you think you don’t like the mice?”

“I don’t know,” said Joe.

My dad and I used to chat this way over Saturday morning pancakes and sausages. We now struggle to talk, but not out of a lack of love. We have just become men who rarely find time for having as much syrup as you want and telling bad jokes.

Joe shifted gears between nibbles of mac and cheese. “Dad, can a good knife cut anything?”

“Well, it depends,” said Simon looking at Joe’s butter knife.

“What about candy?” asked Joe. “Could a good knife cut candy?”

“That would be hard,” said Simon scooping a bit of Joe’s noodles into his mouth as he waved the waitress over for their bill. My dad used to finish my sausage. It’s clearly part of the good dad DNA.

Simon and Joe paid their bill and scurried out of their seats. Simon swung his arm around Joe’s shoulder in what can only be called the perfect walking hug. “Show offs,” I thought. I shared the smile that had come over my face with Simon as I caught his eye.

Joe lit up as he walked past my booth. “A jawbreaker would be hard to cut.”

“A jawbreaker would be impossible to cut,” agreed Simon.

I don’t know guys, watching you makes me think nothing is impossible. Consider for instance a future Saturday at the Café at the Pfister when me and my dad hug our way into a booth and let the syrup flow. But no way, no how is dad finishing my sausage this time.

How to Dig Yourself Into a Hole of Uncomfortable Depth in Under Sixty Seconds

The standard question to ask when you see a gathering of three young ladies in the Lobby Lounge with a few drinks backed up in front of themselves and one of those young ladies is wearing a bridal veil is, stuff “So when are you getting married?”

I asked the standard question.

The standard answer you hope to receive to the standard question is, “In two weeks! I’m so happy and in love!”

I didn’t get the standard answer.

I got something better, view and here’s what it was.

“Oh, I’m not getting married. My dad just got remarried.”

The standard follow up to the nonstandard response to the original standard question is, rx “Oh, were you in the bridal party?”

I asked the standard follow up question.

The standard follow up answer you hope to receive to the follow up question to the nonstandard answer is, “Yes, I adore my new step mother! I’m so lucky—now I have two amazing mothers!”

I once again got something other than the standard answer.

“Oh, no. This didn’t come from my dad’s wedding to his new wife.”

Of course, I’m always game to dig the whole a just little deeper. The standard follow up question to the follow up answer to the follow up question to the original answer to the original question is, “Really? So where’s that bridal veil from?”

I’m nothing if not focused and purposeful. I asked the standard follow up question to the follow up to the follow up.

That follow, follow, follow answer you want to get at this point goes something like, “This is the bridal veil I know that I’ll wear on the day I take my great life’s love as my husband. I was inspired by all the love my dad showed to my new step mother yesterday.”

This will probably be no shock to you, but I didn’t hear those words. Instead, these were the last ones that I heard that really mattered.

“This was the veil MY MOM wore to my dad’s first wedding to HER. She thought it would be a riot if I wore it to his wedding. Like it?”

And scene.

Look Away If You Can’t Stand a Love Story

I would like to warn all you cold-hearted pragmatists out there that I’m about to tell you a love story about people taking their time to find one another. You can cease reading now if you need to iron or sort your recycling.

But if you have even half a heart, treat then you should rush to the nearest window, throw it open and shout, “I believe in love!” And you should keep reading (or listening), of course.

There was an open seat next to Justin at the bar. When I shook his hand as I introduced myself, I felt a surge of power rush up my arm. He immediately struck me as a man of great character, pharm someone you want on your side. His smile and easy, polite way made me want to spend time talking about the meaning of life, or maybe just arm wrestling. He’d probably beat me with that strong grip, but Justin struck me as the sort of guy who makes you feel good about having your hand pressed to the mat.

As a group of folks sipped Val’s zippy Bloody Mary’s at the Lobby Lounge bar, sick the world seemed to circulate around Justin. Though the bar sitters all seemed to be strangers to one another, occasionally someone would look at Justin, softly seeking his approval, wanting some sort of acknowledgement of good deed from the positive force sitting with them all.

Justin explained to me that he had come back to his old Milwaukee stomping grounds from his new home in San Jose, CA. When I asked him what his favorite thing about coming back to Milwaukee was, he was quick to answer.

“It’s gotta be staying at the Pfister.”

I checked…Justin doesn’t work for the hotel’s marketing staff. He’s just a guy who likes to be treated well.

It makes sense. Justin treats people well himself. He excused himself for a moment to help a group of young ladies dealing with a frustrating Uber encounter, a knight in shining armor behind a Bloody Mary.

Somehow the attractive woman seated next to Justin had escaped my view while we had been chatting. But as he made his quick chivalrous trip, I spotted a lady who seemed in every way to be a part of Justin’s world.

Christina was her name, and I had guessed right, she was Justin’s better half. Christina certainly added to the reason that Justin felt a stay at the Pfister was a highlight of his hometown trip. Sharing the experience with a lovely lady surely adds to the charm.

Justin returned, and all had been handled without incident. He told me the Uber driver was a decent guy, but it was good that he had been on hand. Better safe than sorry. I kind of wished I had had a parking ticket to contest so I could take Justin along with me to make my case.

With his sweetheart by his side, Justin explained that he and Christina had a warm and lovey story of how they had come together as a couple. The two had grown up together, been great friends in high school, and then went their own ways and created their own families. After each of them had separated from their spouses, they reconnected and took their friendship to a new level.

The fact that it had taken two decades for their hearts to entwine kind of took my breath away. They seemed so right, so suited to each other. And so happy to be sharing their time together at the Pfister.

Now with a mix of children between them, Justin and Christina put family first. But celebrating together for a weekend of romance and fun was a series of their own moments. It had been a 20-year burn, but by the look of Justin and Christina hunkered together, the wait had been worth the while.

Lesson Number One: Always Talk to the Mustachioed Rapscallion

I happily made the acquaintance of a mustachioed rapscallion named Farley as I was sauntering through the Pfister’s lobby.

Farley runs with a crew of real quick wits. I asked questions, viagra they gave me the straight dope; it was all very polite. Basically, Farley and his gaggle are like the fresh-faced reboot cast of “Friends.”

These nimble minded grinners came from the East (New York City) and the West (Los Angeles) for a friendly wedding. That is to say, the wedding event came about because their friend who grew up in the area asked them all to attend and they were happy to bring their shiny selves to Milwaukee for the very first time.

Farley is part of the New Yorker element of the crew. He loves the Pfister, look he likes walking around the Cream City, and he appreciates the fact that folks around these parts are friendly first. He’s also a fan of the beer in Milwaukee and holds a cold one in his hand like a champ. Suds soak his bushy lip decoration as he savors the flavors of an amber brew. That’s the downside of distinction.

Farley’s friend Monica is a spit-fire. She responds to all my queries with plain-spoken honesty. It’s also quite possible that she simply and cleverly sold me on a big bag of tall tales. I don’t care really. She’s immediately likeable, ailment so if she’s lying, she’s doing it with a lot of moxie and I’m always in favor of spreading more moxie around.

“Where are you from?”

“Los Angeles.”

“What do you do there?”

“I’m a housewife.”

“How was the wedding?”

“It was great.”

“What was the most memorable part of it?”

“I slept with my best friend last night.”

We quibble over prepositions. Monica insists she is in no way suggesting any inference of carnality. Monica is just trying to explain to me that she slept with her best chum in a comfy bed and is thoroughly refreshed. It’s all squeaky clean info, but you’re never really sure if Monica is telling you the whole story because she’s a cheeky one.

But Monica is also classy, and the prior evening’s activities were glittering and elegant as reported by her group of friends. They all sprinkle their description of the wedding and a Pfister overnight stay with words like “gorgeous” and “refined” and “stunning.” For a precious and shining moment, Los Angeles and New York City have ceased to be the centers of their world.

As I spend more time with this witty crew, I so, so badly want to pull upon Farley’s grand buffo mustachio. I stop short because of my internal gentlemen’s code. Farley has had an on again off again relationship with his lip of hair. He’s been going about growing and pruning and growing and pruning and growing and pruning for some five years now.

“I keep the stray hairs from those clippings in a jar under my desk. Never know when I’ll need them to put this back together,” he says pointing at his mustache.

I can’t fathom that putting Farley’s face back together with the shreds of his hairy calling card is a golden moment anyone wants to see. I hope he never has to try because I definitely found that I liked his sassy puss.

Simon and Kathleen, two of the good looking supporting cast of characters in this wry little sitcom, confirm Farley’s bold assertion. I get the sense that Farley’s mustache has gotten the whole crew in and out of a series of hilarious scrapes, fodder for a whole series of mad cap half hour pilots. I’m telling you, this group is ready for prime time, what with the style and the bi-coastal vim and vigor and the really nicely tussled hair.

Cabs are coming, flights are being pursued, but not for want of a quick getaway. These pals aren’t into tears and sopping hankies until they meet again. It’s nothing but a day of the fondest farewells for Farley, Monica and all the friends in between.

The Big Ideas Make the Small Moments Soar on Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day and I would like to take a moment to tell you what that has meant during the lead up week to this holiday at the Pfister.

Everyday when you pull into the Pfister parking garage, cialis a succulent smell of great cooking hits you as you open your car door. You are immediately happier, if not a little hungrier than you should be.

Early last week, a little girl sat dangling her feet in a chair across from check-in, stretching and striving to get her toes to touch the ground. She didn’t succeed, but I’m betting on her making it in a year or two.

Two friends reunited outside of the gentlemen’s rest room on the ground floor. Upon exiting the loo and bumping into his old chum, remedy a very effusive and smiley chap grabbed his friend’s cheeks and called him “bubbe.” And, yes, in all of his happy reunion vigor, he had thoroughly washed his hands.

During a mid-week lunch two ladies ate salads and chatted in the Lobby Lounge while also ordering lunch for two co-workers to enjoy when they showed up later. The older of the ladies departed before the others arrived, and the solo woman thanked her departing companion for picking up the tab.

In the Resident Artist Studio, Todd continued to dazzle guests and visitors as he added more stunners to his collection while his talented wife Renee contributed some beautiful concoctions of her own to the whole artistic aura in the building.

I took a moment to visit the alcove with the portraits of all the Wisconsin Governors and was quite taken by Walter Kohler, Sr.’s bow tie.

At the bar, Val has concocted a Bloody Mary mix that is infused with habaneros. A drop of it on the end of a straw is enough to remind you that you want to drink gallons of it for days on end.

A couple celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary found that the room that they were staying in was a tad too noisy for them, so the gracious staff found that it was possible to move them and upgraded them to the Presidential Suite because it’s the nice thing to do.

People looking for rest checked in for a calming retreat, regular Joes and Janes celebrating the special moments in life raised a glass and had a meal, and notable citizens, starlets and heroes found that being at the Pfister was a refresher course in modest grace done up right.

Memories were made without even trying. And it all happened against a backdrop of peace, freedom and choice.

In considering this Memorial Day and the Pfister’s place as a sanctuary built upon the ideals of patriotism and civility, I was taken by a passage I found in a 1910 edition of The National Magazine describing a visit to Milwaukee to celebrate the annual Field Day of the Boston Ancient and Honorable Artillery. The passage describes a grand reception of the Eastern visitors to Milwaukee, with dinners hosted by the Pabsts and greetings from Mayor Rose and other local forefathers and mothers of civic pride. The highlight of their trip, however, seemed to be their stay at the Pfister as described in these glad tidings.

Soon after the arrival of the company, the lobby was filled with gaily uniformed men who enjoyed themselves as genuinely as schoolboys out for a holiday. From the moment of arrival to the departure of the corps, there was always something to do.

Memorial Day is a time for us to reflect on all the glory and wonder that it means to be an American. Men and women throughout our nation’s history have defended and protected all the important tenets of our commonwealth, but also a child’s simple right to dangle her feet from a chair in a fancy hotel. The Pfister has thrived under a philosophy of “Salve”, a dedication to great hospitality for all,that embraces the best of our patriotic beliefs that we live in a nation that should be safe and full of possibilities for everyone.

Today, let’s all raise our own symbolic glass to those men and women who have done so much to make the idea of democracy flourish throughout the years. And if that glass is full of Val’s spicy Bloody Mary mix, I salute you.