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April 2018 Ruminations & Ronnifications

What it means to be in the kosher deli business:

Going on a date and getting back so late, that I chose to sleep in the restaurant's bathroom with linen tablecloths as my mattress, so I could be up at 4:00 AM to start the next day's catering orders.

Having to open the restaurant at 4:00 AM on my wedding day, going home to Queens to put a tuxedo on, getting married (with about 50 guests), and then coming back to the restaurant to "make" the register (reconcile) and then making the deposit at the bank's night deposit drop (still with my tuxedo on).

Using about $900 of our wedding presents (representing about 60% of our wedding gifts) to purchase and install a new floor for the restaurant.

Not taking a day off for seven years except for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the eight days of Passover.

Having to walk three miles through a blizzard to open the restaurant.

Cutting my finger on a knife during lunch and, being the only counter person that day, I put a stack of dinner napkins around the wound with scotch tape holding it in place with a glove on the one hand as I continued to work.

Working through a104 degree temperature because I was the only worker behind the deli counter that day.

Helping the young employees with their homework (high school and college).

Mentoring a whole cadre of young people who worked for me, although I prefer to say worked with me (only a few years older than these workers), and seeing them become doctors, lawyers, judges, sheriffs, police officers.

Finding my wife in a Newsday ad for servers, and, as Newsday printed on our wedding anniversary, "She found her husband and her job through Newsday Classified."

Getting stuck on Sunrise Highway with my wife on New Years Eve after working 48 hours straight (in order to get hundreds of catered trays to the public).The van we were driving broke down!

Having to buy $25.00 worth of used furniture (plus a mattress on the floor) for our first apartment together because the deli wasn't exactly an overnight success!

There are so many more stories about this journey and as soon as I remember them (I am fast approaching 70 years of age), I will be happy to share!!!!!!

See ya at the deli!