June 1979

The Vn Dyke Restaurant, Schenectady, NY from www.timesunion.com

The Van Dyke Restaurant (photo from www.timesunion.com)


Gino came back by himself to visit me, just as he promised.  It was a perfect day; this time, we got to be alone together. He wanted to do it in the car, in the front seat driver’s side. It was quick, but not easy; my back is bruised from the steering wheel. We didn’t argue about anything. We just talked; he told me about his plans, and we listened to his music. He gave me a copy of his band’s tape; I’ve played it over and over again. He drove right back home again the same day.

Lou called to ask me to return a book I had borrowed. I had hoped he wouldn’t even be there when I stopped by, but he was pretty nice to me, considering how we left things the last time. We agreed to part as friends, and he gave me his Long Island home address and phone number to keep in touch over the summer.

I’ve already started taking classes at SCCC, and found out that I didn’t even have to take the GED to go to college.  After taking a certain number of classes, they would have automatically given me a high school equivalency diploma. Go figure. Regardless, I’m glad I got the GED and that I did so well on the test.  It proves to my father that it was perfectly OK to take me out of high school.

I also got a job working as a hostess at The Van Dyke, one of the nicest restaurants around, located in the Stockade section of Schenectady. My parents used to eat there occasionally with a couple they met through the magic group.  The husband, who happens to love magic as a hobby, started a grocery business that grew into really big supermarket chain, and now the family is beyond wealthy.  Even though they are in a completely different economic realm, they really enjoyed hanging out with my folks, and invited them out often. It was always a big treat for my parents to go with them to the track in Saratoga, or to The Van Dyke, which caters to the rich and old locals. I audit checks and do general office work before opening, and then take reservations and seat people all day.  When it is busy, as it normally is for Sunday brunch, I also get drinks from the bar, and help bus and set tables. It doesn’t pay much, and I don’t get tips, but it is good experience, and it is a nice place to work. Some of the old-timer employees and customers can be grumpy, but I love it there, and my hours fit perfectly with my school schedule.   Everything is falling into place.

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