“Garfield, Our Patio Maitre d’,” by Stephen Willey

By Guest Contributor December 15, 2016 17:06

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Garfield

Garfield

Garfield, Our Patio Maitre d’

By Stephen Willey

Garfield was an incredible employee of the National Hotel & Restaurant in Jamestown. For 14 years, he worked the six months of the summer season, never missing a day of work from lunch to dinner.

Garfield would place himself in the patio at the beginning of service at 11:30am, waiting for the first customers to arrive. As the patio would fill, he would stroll from table to table greeting the guests, generally by rubbing against their legs. He would spend no more than three to four minutes at each table, before moving to the next. As more guests would arrive, he would run to the podium in the front of the patio and help in greeting them, before returning to his stroll again. He always worked until the last customer left, often at 11:00 or 11:30 in the late evening.

Many a customer would try and feed Garfield a morsel or two, which he always refused. The would ask: “Stephen…why will Garfield not accept my offer of some fresh salmon?” I would respond that he has a very strong work ethic and does not generally take breaks. Indeed. Garfield would come home each and every night to his residence which is my home, located behind the National Hotel & Restaurant. Then and only then, would he enjoy his dinner and again his breakfast in the mornings.

After 14 years of continuous work, and upon his death, we had Garfield cremated and his ashes were spread throughout the gardens surrounding the patio. Today, he has a memorial stone with his picture on it and it too, is placed in the patio area. We also have left Garfield on our restaurant page with his photo acknowledging him as our “patio Maitre d’ ” while wearing a black bow tie. Many are the customers who still remember him and ask continually about him or just share some of their memories.

 

By Guest Contributor December 15, 2016 17:06
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