Lyle's Blog

Band of Brothers Spaghetti Feed

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday started out as any other Sunday. I arrived at work around 8 or so. Business got brisk around 9 with both rooms filling up and all of the cogs moving as they should. Trinity was anxious to get off of the register and get to moving into her new apartment so Judy took over for her shortly after arriving.

Somewhere around 10 or so, Ron (one of our dish crew) and I left to go over to Trin's new apartment to deliver her TV that we had found for free on craigslist the day before. It took four of us and a hand truck to get it to the top of the stairs and into the apartment. By the time we finished, my back was beginning to ache.

One of the local churches had called in to reserve a space in the back room for their seniors who were coming in after their service. I had told the greeter to insure that they had a table for 7. When I arrived back at the diner, I asked him if he was ready for the group and he said yes. Shortly thereafter, I saw the same group waiting in the entry way so I asked the greeter why. He said there was no place to put them. Now this frustrated me as we had just gotten through talking about them. I lectured him and told him to go personally apologise to the group. I then looked to see what we could do. There were two tables open in the back but one of them was higher than the other so while it was fine for 6, it would uncomfortable for 7. The group was extremely gracious and said the table would be fine. I then asked the greeter if he had learned anything from the experience and he said yes. As I walked away, I wondered if yes meant he had learned to keep his options open when I set up a group ahead like that.....or that I can be a bit of a jerk at times. I do like this young man who can be quite creative. At lunchtime, he said that he was in love with my daughter so could he have the family discount. He is 16......Carrie is 30something. I brought that to his attention and he returned, "Well, I don't mind if she doesn't.".

Around 1, Judy asked me if I would help Trin take a load over to her new place. I reluctantly agreed and drove over to the house to help her load. Although it was cold outside, I worked up a pretty good sweat along with gaining more on the ache in my back. I tried to take small loads but that meant more trips up and down the stairs. I arrived back at the diner shortly after 2 and started getting ready for the feed.

Zin, Linda, and Andy from the Brothers showed up early and our last customer left around 2:45. I was glad for that as it gave us the ability to convert over quickly. We set up a table for the silent auction items and we began covering our table tops with some red, white, and blue covers that Jimmy had found.

Soon, the helpers arrived but my back was hurting so bad that I could not concentrate on where I should put them all. Linda was good at that sort of thing so I gave her that chore. She asked me where I wanted them and I started blurting out the different areas of need while she kept up with me as I worked at the various set ups. I brought the group together and thanked them for their help and turned them over to Linda. I then went out to the office and attempted to stretch out my back but ended up just sitting in my chair in a position where it did not hurt. My eyes dropped and minutes later, I was awoken by someone banging on the door. Zin needed something for the auction and off we went.

The crowd arrived before 4 and filled up the main room. I directed Linda to set up someone at the door to start sending them to the back room. I knew that we need to get things rolling so I asked Dick Tobiason who is the President of the Bend Heroes Foundation to make his words brief and then told Zin to jump in and take over if they weren't as we needed to get the feed started.

Dick was brief and I am not sure how many people heard him as the din was a bit loud in the room. Zin then got the room started on the feeding, breaking the room up so that the line would be more manageable. I made my rounds checking on people while Judy got her camera out and shot some pictures. The harder I worked, the less I noticed my back and I took note that the line was going down so I told the back room to go ahead and join the line. The problem was that there was still a section in the front who had not joined in yet. So......we soon had a line out through the entry way and into the back area. When I said something to Zin, he just laughed at me and said, "I told you that I didn't have all of the front room going yet, but you either didn't listen to me or didn't hear me.". Both was probably the case as when I go into my place in my mind for events like this it is kind of a deep focus where I don't always hear everything around me. I call it my zone.

5PM came quickly and then line was still quite long. Jimmy asked me to spell him at the spaghetti so that he could get some more ready. I served for a pans worth before switching in one of the helpers into the line so I could go back to my job of walking around solving problems (and I guess making more).

Everyone seemed quite happy with both the food and what we were doing. Richard was busy taking in the money and stamping hands, various members and their spouses were serving including Bob and Jane Pfiefer of Lazy Boy who always bring in the spumoni ice cream for the event.

We soon run out of bowls for the salad and ice cream and Jimmy brings out some small plates that didn't hold the ice cream well so I darted down to Costco and picked up some more bowls. 5:45 and we still have a line. Jimmy pulls out the last pan of spaghetti. We had gone through what he made for the event and were now into our diner back up supply. The line was subsiding so I told the help to break away and feed themselves. When all had fed, I found one last scoop by scrapping the pan, dished it up along with the last two chunks of bread and ate my supper while still on the run.

I noticed a group of highly colorful youth come in the front door and find themselves a seat in the diner that they probably thought was open for business as usual. I informed them that the diner was closed and that they could have joined us for the event but.....we were out of food. They seemed to grumble as they walked out the door and I hoped that I had not lost a potential customer.

I began to count the money as others helped to clean up and break down. The till came up to over $2700 and the 50/50 brought in another $200. I had the lady who had sold the tickets draw from the bucket and smiled as read the name, Dorthy Ipock (my cousin). David (her husband) was who I got to take over at the spaghetti and he was walking by at the time while cleaning up. He smiled and quipped how she was always so lucky with things like that.

I quickly added up the silent auction items and informed Dick of the grand total of over $3700 while handing him the bag of cash. I retreated to post a couple of pictures on facebook and was just posting the amount when Zin and Dick came back to see me. Dick informed me of additional checks that had been given him and Mike Genna so we quickly discerned that although we did not have an exact figure, it was over $4000.

Our back up plan of sending the extra food over to COVO was not needed as all of the food was consumed along with nearly 10 gallons of ice cream. By 7PM, Jimmy, Gene (the dishwasher), and I were all that was left and we closed up shop and set the alarms.

Trin called me as I got in the car. She could not get her new TV to work. I drove to her new place and helped her hook up her stuff. She had two dvd players and two vhs players but only one of each worked. I looked at the back of her working dvd player and it looked as if their was only outlets for more high definition cords instead of the typical three cord hook up. I then tried taking her other dvd apart finding that the motor did not work right. I took note that both her TV and her dvd had Svideo so I drove back to the house and dug through my boxes in the garage that I thought contained a cord finding none.

I drove out, purchased her a svideo cord, and drove back to her place. As I hooked up the new cord, I noticed something that I had overlooked before. A three plug outlet off to the end of the player. "You are so stupid sometimes!", I quipped at myself. I felt like I did the day before when I had videoed Jayden playing basketball. I had taped him cutting to the middle and hooking a perfect shot into the hoop only to inadvertently delete it from the camera when I tried to clear off all of the junk shots.

Trin's new TV worked perfectly and I drove back home arriving after 9. Exhausted, I climbed into bed and dropped off to sleep quickly. I slept deeply until Judy came to bed. As she got herself situated, her knee went into the small of my back right where the tenderness was. I tossed and turned trying to find a spot that did not have a dull ache. Finally, I retreated to my room and the pillow behind my back that often gives me relief in these types of times. I am telling you about my day in the middle of the night. My back feels much better and tomorrow is Presidents day along with the Band of Brothers and then capped off with the weekly holdem tourney for Habitat. Tuesday, I drive to Portland for surgery so maybe Thursday I should take the day off.......?

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