On New Year’s Eve Elliott and Wendy went to a movie and ate a late dinner.
“Such a fun movie,” Wendy said as they drove to the Orange Grove Restaurant in West Los Angeles.
“Yeah, lots of laughs.”
The restaurant astounded Wendy. The room looked like a garden with many plants and flowers. Some hanging and many others were spread around the room.
“Love the décor.”
“Thought you might. That’s why I picked this place, a friend told me about it.”
“Your friend has good taste. Thanks. You’re always so thoughtful,” she said looking up at him as she clenched his arm.
“And so are you.”
They ate and talked. Wendy told Elliott about Pirate’s Cove, describing it in detail. In return, Elliott told Wendy about a show he may enter. They both had a lot going on and they discussed the excitement in both their lives.
Pirate’s Cove finally opened on a sunny Friday in January, two weeks after the New Year,1974. With the holidays behind them people relaxed. Pirate’s Cove became a new destination and hopefully, an escape for people.
On opening day, a large crowd gathered by five o’clock. Wendy didn’t recognize most of the people. She assumed there was publicity somewhere for the opening, or the partners spread the word. Three waitresses were hired and moved around from table to table, plus they served the people who sat at the piano bar, including Wendy. The bartender looked somber. He was Rusty’s friend.
Brad welcomed everyone and started to sing to a very enthusiastic audience. People were friendly, and Brad joked around more than at Hoffman’s. Well, why not? Wendy thought. He was co-owner. Lots of dancing and laughter around as everyone seemed to enjoy the evening. A great opening with people hearing the compelling voice of Brad Hanson.
Wendy’s weekend continued to be outstanding. She did call Mike about getting together, but he made excuses for any time she mentioned. Finally, she asked the question. “Are you upset with me?” “No. I’m sorry, but we’ll have to end our friendship. I’m going to try to make things right with my wife. We want to make it work.” Mike’s voice was determined.
Although surprised, Wendy fully understood. “I’m glad to hear it. I hope it does work out. We’ve had a good ride. Good luck.”
They said their good-byes and Wendy hung up. Her eyes drooped. She’d miss Mike...such a good guy.
She went to the den with a glass of wine to watch “The Waltons.” She was fond of this large, caring family who lived in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains during the depression. There were good times and rough times, but they were always there for each other, and any neighbor who needed help. They cared about others, so important.
As soon as the morning traffic thinned out Wendy headed for Fireplace Grill to meet with the bartender. Stan said everything there was going well. Many guests were now regulars. “They like the food, but they particularly like the cozy atmosphere. At least it’s what some of them told me.”
She liked to spend time there and mingle with many of the people who were all nice and loved to chat. Wendy always left feeling reassured about this new business venture and its continuing success. She thought the different atmosphere was a reason people came
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