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Monday, January 21, 2013

From my diaries: "January 1, 1990--started New Year by getting up at 8 AM to go to work--worked 10 AM to 8 PM--I'm working and healthy and still have a few bucks in the bank --so far so good."

"December 31, 1999--I worked--at midnight I was counting the money I made--started work at Big Louie's--good job--good money month--weight is okay--moved into Gateway."

A lot happened in that 10 year span: from bankruptcy to swallowing my pride to the deaths of two very close friends to Chuck getting me started on the Computer to making three moves.

I moved from my 1 bedroom apartment on Riverside Drive to a two bedroom apartment at 4431 NW 10th Court which covered a 4 block area, had two swimming pools and everyone minded their own business. I had plenty of windows which meant plenty of light which in turn meant a lot of plants. I had piles of books, loads of VHS recordings and a fish tank. It was sort of in the center of everything and very convenient. On this page and the next 2-3 seven decades posts you'll see pictures of the apartment.

There were problems with my car such as needing a new door! Also it was stolen twice so I had to get new (used) steering columns and it was time to redo the interior and exterior but didn't quite have the money but I did have credit cards!

I was still working at the Holiday Inn and Elaine, who I had worked with at Wag's had come to work with us. She, Grace (another waitress) and I would go out once a week to real upscale restaurants such as Windows on the World on the ground floor of a hotel. The portions were so small we went to Wag's after for a bite to eat but in spite of it being VERY expensive--about $65 each and we didn't drink--it was all worth it to the ladies because Cary Grant was there! One day I came into work and Elaine had quit having gotten a better job behind the desk in another hotel. She needed to take it because she was diagnosed with breast cancer but did come through with flying colors.

Mark Covington, who I had met in Memphis on one of those 3 day holiday invites, called me from Dallas where he currently lived to say he was possibly moving to California but he settled down in Santa Fe.

As always I was going to the movies every week and that January Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton and Shirley McClain opened in the movie version of "Steel Magnolias" and I loved it.

I was writing another book committing myself to 10 pages a day and was moving along. I was also sending out a monthly newsletter to my friends which caused a problem with my brother. I don't remember whether he said it by letter or through his wife (though I don't think she would have sent something like that) but he asked me, "Why did you think anyone would be interested in what you are doing?" I think that put the nail on the coffin as far as our relationship went though there hadn't been much of one anyone. All he had to do was ignore it!

"A Chorus Line" was being put on by the Ann White Theatre in February and her partner, Dorothy, invited me to the dress rehearsal on February 21. The kids really did an excellent job and I got tickets for Michael and I to see it on February 25, Ray and I on March 2 finally Grace, Shirley (Michael's Mother), Donnie (his aunt), (more about them later) and I went to the closing night.

Talking about closing, on Broadway after 15 years "A Chorus Line" announced on February 22 that it would be closing March 31. No matter how much I tried there was no way I could afford to go up to New York. As it was it postponed, due to demand, its closing to April 29. I did tape a lot of TV "Salute to 'A Chorus Line" shows such as those on Phil Donahue and Geraldo Rivera. In March, I went to see "Les Miserables" on stage for the first time--I have seen it 4 times since then and I will be seeing it again February 26, 2013, on stage in Miami, not to forget seeing the movie December 25 when it opened here and twice since then. The comments I wrote in my diary regarding that first time were "Beautiful songs--beautiful voices--I enjoyed it."

I got a call about closing night tickets for "ACL" and I was really tempted but the tickets were $500 for orchestra--imagine what they would be today!--which even with credit cards I couldn't do. Though I was depressed I knew that no matter what they did the performance would never come close to the one I saw September 29, 1983.

Though my writing was going good getting the books published weren't. I received 3 rejection notes in one day which isn't easy to handle but at the same time I sold an article, to a service magazine, entitled "Save the Jokes" about 'funnies', that aren't funny, that customers tell waiters thinking they are being original. Example: I couldn't count how many times a customer would say , "On a plate" when you would ask them how would they like their steak-- and you have to laugh if you want that tip! The article I wrote gave me the idea of doing a steady column about service from both the server's and customer's point of view, called "Service With A Smile". I wrote 10 columns and sent them off to a couple of syndications but didn't get a nibble. I did eventually sell the columns individually to magazines. Someone named Gayle Issacs asked me to send her my columns--I can't make out my own writing as regards to who she works for--but I don't have anymore mention of her.

I was having problems with the car, doing way too much charging on credit cards and I wasn't watching my weight which bugged me enough to do something about it! Things were moving along until I got into a fight with David, the assistant manager, and I was fired from Holiday Inn via the phone telling me not to come in. Well I had a two year run there and an "Employer of the Month" plaque so it wasn't a total loss. I had $3,000 in my checking account which allowed me to rationalize that since I was going to drive up to Disneyworld and meet Chuck there in June I might as well wait until I got back before I went job hunting!

I admit to many things but being logical isn't one of them!
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