Friday, September 18, 2009


One thing that I have always loved about our employees and regular customers at Jake's is their ability to have fun. One of the most prominent things that you will hear after the clinking sound of people eating their food is the sound of laughter.

One day, as I was pouring coffee, I ran across a man who informed me that it was his first time in at Jake's. He told me that he loved the atmosphere that he felt when he walked in. "Do you pay those guys to sit at the counter and laugh?", he asked. He was referring to the group of guys who come by from time to time in the morning to have coffee and just hang out. There is always some sort of banter going on between them and our waitstaff.

I remember one such time where the guy at the counter was giving one of the girls a hard time so she took out a napkin and wrote on it. 'Today is serve yourself day'. The quick witted customer wrote underneath that 'Today is tip yourself day'.

Wednesday, as I walked through the waitress station, I found both waitresses in tears laughing. "You need to reign in your other waitress", said one, "She is asking men of the cloth if they are wearing underwear.".

I looked at the other waitress, Penny, whose laugh is one of the most infectious that I have ever encountered. Between cackles, Penny explains, "I walked up to the table and asked if they all had silverware. One of them said, Underwear, of course I have underwear.".

I looked out into Penny's section to see the two Catholic Priests along with some of their parishioners. One of them asked Penny if she always asked people if they wore underwear. Penny's quick wit brought back, "I usually wait until their fourth visit before I asked that.".

Having fun while you work definitely makes the job much easier.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Clam Chowder and Precious People

Yesterday, we participated in the local Clam Chowder cook off event for support the troops at Bend Villa Court. It was a very interesting experience for me as I watched the various restaurants vie for the Clam Chowder title. Last years proud winner brought his trophy with him to show us all who the defending champion was. He also was vocal in his anger that the radio station had mentioned that they thought last years winner was us. He accused Jim of paying the radio station for that comment.

I went to the event to support Jim primarily. After all, he was doing this all on his own and other than the cost of material, I did not have allot invested in it. Competition is always a funny thing in that it brings out things in people. I remember someone saying that I should be trying to get people to go just to vote for us. I said, 'No, if we win, we win.". There was not allot of interaction going on between contestants except for one young girl from one of the restaurants who seemed to be there not because of her culinary skills but because of other assets that she had. Another of the Chefs there assisted her in her set up and she just served and smiled.

Local celebrities voted along with people who came and paid to sample the various fare that was laid out and then was give one vote to put on their favorite. Jimmy was the only one there who brought two types of Chowder, Manhattan and New England. This came to be our bane, however, in that we ended up competing against ourselves. I believe this might have been the thing that kept us from the people's award. I believe our votes combined would have out shadowed the winner and from my assessment of the ticket cups, we were very close to being second and third in the running. I think Jim will rethink this one next year even though many people seemed smitten by his Manhattan. We are considering putting that same Manhattan on the menu from time to time, however because of it's high praises.

Through all of the competition, there was a vision before the event even started that hit me the most. And it did not have anything at all to do with the conversation, but a whole lot to do with friendship. Two dear sweet ladies who obviously lived there, were in conversation in front of us and that conversation was so incredibly sweet that Judy just had to capture it in picture form. I am affected by this picture every time that I look at it. We must get it blown up and reprinted to give to both of this sweet ladies.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

End of Summer Cruise

The day started out like many of those days do. Lots of small problems that seemed to distract you from getting everything all together. One of the biggest was when our bookkeeper, Summer called me to inform me that there was a virus in her computer. I stopped by to see what I could do but it became quite evident that this one was way above me so I had her call our computer guy in. I figured that it could not be that bad. It ended up costing us almost what it would have cost us to purchase a new computer. Who ever created this virus is attempting to force people into purchasing their software. Shouldn't there be a crime against something like that?

Anyway, I focused on the event and let the computer guy do his job. Mid afternoon, I was pretty tired so I stopped by the house and took a power nap. Refreshed after just a few minutes, I headed down to the diner in my new Model A and put it in the line. Shortly there after more and more of the A's showed up and we had ourselves a pretty good looking line.

We decided to run the BBQ outside this time to help with the flow of things and it turned out to be a very good decision. Judy did an outstanding job of assigning jobs to the various members of the High Desert A's and Jimmy set up his BBQ and started cooking. Everything seemed in place for a pretty good evening.

Five thirty came along very fast and the line began to form for the BBQ. The line went almost all the way to the entrance of the parking lot. The feeding soon began with BBQ Sirloin and Chicken, Corn on the cob, Chili beans, French bread, Salad, and Watermelon. Some of the guys were serving while others ran drinks. Still others sold 50/50 raffle tickets. People were eating all over the place, inside, outside on the deck, and around their cars. As I walked around, all seemed to be quite happy with their meals.

Shortly, the band showed up. I stopped to say hi to Richard Taelour who always sets up the bands for our events here. I dubbed them the Taelour project as he has brought a variety of musicians who have played for bands such as Steve Miller, Three Dog Night, and The Righteous Brothers. He informed me that my friend Jeff Ingram who sometimes drums for Meryl Haggard was going to be there. And then he said that he had a special guest. One who has played in many bands, has won a Grammy award, and is considered one of the best steel guitarist in the world. His have is Ken Emerson and the is his my space which states his playing at Jake's on that night.

Everything seemed perfect as the band began to play and the food kept being served. And as a matter of fact, it was. This was the first event that I have ever had where there was absolutely no problems to solve. My job is to walk around looking for those problems and solving them as I see them. I ended up just walking around and talking to people all night long.

As the sun began to set and the moon shown brightly, the night was a complete success with people staying on after dark just to hear the bands last sets before they closed up for the night.

A good night benefiting a good cause, a scholarship fund for automotive students at COCC. I believe this to be the beginning of many years of good end of summer cruise ins with the High Desert A's and Jake's.

Coming up real soon, the World Series of Holdem for Habitat. October 5 & 6. The main prize of two nights on the Oregon Coast at the beautiful Sandcastle Motel and two passes to the Marine Discovery Tour in Newport will be given to the winner of the main event on the second day.