The biggest issue with room 232, however, was the bizarre desire of some guests to remove items from the room. Over the years the shower curtain in room 232 disappeared from the bathroom innumerable times. Come on, really, people? First, a thirty-year-old shower curtain would just be disgusting, I don’t care how often it was cleaned. Second, who in their right mind would want an old (or even new) shower curtain? It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. But as I related to guests over the years, the fanatics will take anything even vaguely related, no matter how improbable, to the movie. Along with the perpetually vanishing shower curtains, though rarely, the toilet seat itself was known to disappear. As did the bedding, towels, and other sundries over the years. I realize it sounds odd, but literally, there are people, wherever they may be from, who have an overriding compulsion to possess something, anything, that they feel Patrick Swayze might have come in contact with, if even just momentarily.
A few years ago somebody actually took the time to remove the decorative room number plate from the hallway door of room 232. This plate had been secured to the door since the 1930s. One day it was there, the next it was gone. This took some effort, as the screws affixing the small brass plate to the door were quite long and deeply embedded. The front desk staff printed up a small strip of paper with the number 232 on it so guests could find the room and secured it to the door using Scotch tape. In less than half a year that little strip of paper had to be replaced at least six times. It is, after all, easier to remove paper and Scotch tape than a deeply secured brass plate.
But even that doesn’t take the cake. I brought some ladies up one evening to show them the room, and as we proceeded down the corridor, I kept thinking that there was something odd about the door, missing brass number plate notwithstanding. I couldn’t quite figure what was off about the door until we got to it. That’s when I realized that somebody had stolen the peephole. The peephole! Who does that? What could you possibly do with a peephole? Did they need one for their home? I assume the prospect of Patrick Swayze’s eyelashes brushing against it in the past compelled someone to take it.
Even without the original number placard, I still took numerous pictures of guests standing in front of the door, pointing at the strip of paper reading “232.” Ironically, the room still displays a No Smoking sign on the door, one of the few that still do at the hotel. It’s ironic because Patrick Swayze smoked cigarettes until he passed away, though when they were filming Dirty Dancing, smoking was allowed everywhere in the hotel.
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