New Times Old Times
By Johanna Vanderbeek
The other night Georgette and I went to the Harbor Bistro, onThree Mile Harbor Roadfor a drink at the bar. We visited with our Perfect Manhattans, then I turned to a young woman, a few seats away to my left and said I was a Poker Pimp and asked if she played poker. She does, and gave me her cell phone number for weekends when she’s out inEast Hampton. We three visited until Georgette remembered Wolfie’s onFt. Pond Blvd.in Springs where we used to play after aten a.m.yoga class with Jackie Jackson at theRec Center inEast Hampton. We drove out toFt.Pondto see if Wolfie’s was still opened. It was there just the same as three years earlier, with the old guys drinking and kibitzing at the bar. The pool table was there too with a game nearly finished. I put a quarter on the pool table showing we’d play next. We played out amateurish way, laughing and enjoying ourselves ,when a young man came over and asked if he could take out picture! We joked that we’d end up in the East Hampton Star!
The evening, the Harbor Bistro, the fun all reminded me of thirty six years ago when Georgette and I had
just started our restaurant “ Georgette’s”, north of what was then called “The Silver Seahorse”. Harbor Bistro is many restaurants later. That night, thirty six years ago, after our second week opened, tired and thirsty we decided to stop and get a drink at “The Silver Seahorse” on our way home. We walked into the same bar, sat at the same corner stools. To our left, instead of the young woman from he other night, was Dan Rattiner of Dan’s Paper. We had met him a few weeks earlier in his office placing an ad for our restaurant. I’d had a crush on him before meeting him, loving his funny stories and wit. He was cute and attractive, long before his beard and various hats that distinguish him. We had drinks to quench our thirst while talking and laughing with Dan. Then he invited us to see where he was living for the summer
The owner of “Wings Point”, a restaurant next to “The Silver Seahorse” was letting Dan stay on her moored yacht in exchange for Ad’s in Dan’s paper . A great arrangement for both of them. We followed him to the long, white and brown , wooded classic yacht. He showed us around, we had drinks and visited. Then when leaving he offered to walk us to our cars. We said no thanks, not necessary and walked out onto an inky black pier and into an inky black night. We walked slowly. I suddenly hear a loud splash! Georgette , a step ahead of me had fallen off the pier and into the water! Fortunately it was low tide. She could stand and immediately, handed up her pocketbook with the restaurants night “take”. I pulled her up to the dock laughing. We rolling around, peeing with giggles. She had to follow my cars red tail lights to her home since her glasses had floated away! Later Dan would putt-putt up to our restaurant in his small boat for a slice of my Whole Wheat Chocolate Chocolate Cake. Eating and asking me what Georgette and I had been laughing so much about after we visited him…..starting a great friendship with many more fun times.
He visited me inMiami Beachwhen I was visiting my family, and he his mother who spent winter’s in Pompano. We walked to the Fountainbleu Hotel one evening . We perused the enormous opened lobby with it’s large recessed ,circular bar with a white grand piano near by. It’s 1950’s curving staircase designed by Morris Lapidus the architect, to display the gowns and furs as women descended, showing off their finery. Dan sauntered over to the grand piano and started playing a classical piece! I was astonished and loudly asked ,what and where and how did he know how to play the piano so beautifully? He said he’d been a child prodigy! Then he said “ If only my mother could see me now!