A reflection on 2017 and the preceding memories:
Happy New Year to All! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.
The New Year continually inspires me to reflect on some very interesting stories that have taken place at Ben’s through the years, all of which have been hard to forget.
When I was first in business, I had little money to decorate my very first Ben’s, in Baldwin Harbor. So, I used whatever ingenuity I had and asked local painters to hang their respective works of art on the walls of the restaurant. At that time, we also had a very good patron, Captain Arnold, who operated a shark fishing vessel, who asked me to hang his shark jaws on the restaurant’s wall. The request was so unique, how could I say “no?” So, he proudly displayed nearly one-dozen shark jaws on the wall of our Baldwin restaurant. And, when patrons were taken aback by the display, I would always ask them if they liked my mother-in-law. Most people laughed, but my newlywed wife wasn’t so thrilled!
It was 1983. I had just opened a Ben’s in Suffolk County when a long-time patron called me from Baldwin and told me that the new Baldwin Manager was an idiot. I asked him to calm down and explain what had happened. He said he ordered a hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut. So, I asked him what was wrong. Well, he arrived home, ready to enjoy his hot dog and, as he unwrapped the hot dog, there was the hot dog roll, the mustard and the sauerkraut, but no hot dog! When he called the Baldwin store, the Manager said it was impossible! Immediately, I said, nothing in this world is impossible (except maybe a trip to Venus). I apologized profusely and then, aggravated, I called the Manager at Ben’s of Baldwin. I reiterated what I relayed to the long-time patron, to wit, nothing is impossible (except maybe a trip to Venus). Sure enough, as they were closing, in a corner behind the deli counter, a cooked hot dog was found. Clearly, the hot dog slipped out of the roll! The moral of the story then, and one that holds true today, is that nothing is impossible (except maybe a trip to Venus).
See ya at the deli,
Postscript: Cindy and I were very happy to see all our friends, family and loyal (and new) customers during our visit to Ben’s of Boca Raton over the holidays. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!