In September 1987 this kid from Brooklyn was retained by Marine Design Consultants (MDC), a division of nationalized British Shipbuilders, to teach Japanese shipbuilding methods in various cities in the United Kingdom.
Because Rhoda was going to be with me I had asked Mike Goldie, the MDC manager who was planning the tour, to put us up at least one night in Linden Hall, a former estate outside of Newcastle upon Tyne that was converted to an inn. I had stayed there five-years before and wanted my wife to see it. Mike then got the bright idea to arrange for us to stay at equally delightful places elsewhere, including in Scotland’s Edinburgh and Langbank above the Firth of Clyde.
Mike, a true gourmet, had not discouraged shipyard managers from hosting fabulous dinners. After three such dinners in a row I jumped at an opportunity to cop out. I was one of the first of our party to learn that a shipyard manager had to reschedule the dinner planned for that very evening. Before Mike could make other plans, I went to the front desk in the Gleddoch House where we were staying and said, “I’m having pains from pasta withdrawal. Is there an Italian restaurant nearby?”
The clerk described a small family-style Italian restaurant in Greenock, just two-miles away. Mike was gracious about going along.
A waitress about twenty-one, having black hair and being slightly chubby, came to our table and silently passed around menus. I started the conversation.
“What part of Italy are you from?”
“I’m na Eye-tal-yan.”
“Oh. I thought you were.”
“I cud-da lye-ed!”
Copyright © 2006 (text only) by Louis D. Chirillo