Tuesday, September 12, 2006
In Honor Of The Barkeep On His Special Day...
When you're in a business such as mine (and I'm not talking about what I do to make money, I'm talking about the frequenting of local drinking establishments), you make friends with many bartenders. You have favorites. Often the bartender of a particular place will become a definitive reason to visit a particular place.
Bartenders are not just members of the service industry. At least good ones aren't. They are entertainers, counselors, teachers, debate opponents, critics and friends. The fact that they are also providing you with alcoholic beverages is beside the point. It's a calling, almost a holy order, and I look back at the days that I tended bar with fondness.
At my wedding, my mother made the observation that "only my son would invite the owners of his favorite bar to his wedding." To be fair, they are old friends and we have visited them at home and hung out socially, but the fact of the matter is, we met them at their bar.
Now here's a new one. Saturday will be the wedding of one of our favorite bartenders. Mickey from the Belmont is getting married, and he has asked Nicole and I to honor him by providing the ultimate service - he asked us to bartend his wedding. After all the time that he served us drinks, to know that he thinks enough of us to ask him to return the favor for an evening, it's an honor and a privilege.
I hope I'm up to the challenge.