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Showing posts from July, 2019

WHEN SINATRA SINGS

Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly in High Society (1956) DALLAS, TEXAS: In October of 1986, there was a huge event at the Hilton Anatole Hotel (which was then called the Loews Anatole).  It was the Princess Grace Foundation, and it would become the biggest event in the history of this hotel.  Several days prior to this event, all waiters who were scheduled to be working this function underwent background checks.  Though we weren’t told of any specifics, there were a lot of suits walking around and we suspected they were federal agents. In the afternoon, as we were setting up the banquet tables with wine glasses and silverware, numerous celebrities were rehearsing their presentations for the event later that evening.  As I was wiping and placing the dinner knives around the table, Diane Warwick was sound-checking the microphone from different locations in the back of the Pavilion room.  As a teenager in Holland I often played her LPs on my record player to the extent that my mother o

THE STARCK CLUB -- BEING THERE

Inside The Starck Club DALLAS, TEXAS -- 1985-89: My favorite place that I would frequently visit in Dallas was the Starck Club.  It was located in the old part of town, where the once life-sustaining warehouses were abandoned and crumbling, right past the forgotten railroad tracks of the forgotten Industrial Revolution.  But this one particular warehouse was adopted and remodeled by the French architect and designer, Philippe Starck. The Starck Club was owned by numerous people, and one of them was rumored to be Grace Jones but this may not have been true. Getting into the Starck Club wasn’t easy.  There was always a long line and the club’s doormen were very selective about who they allowed to enter. Since I was in my early twenties with bleached blond hair, I was hip enough to pass.  I also wore black parachute pants while standing in white leather shoes -- all very Duran Duran like. The first time I entered the Starck Club I was in a state of shock and awe.  It wasn’

Meeting Wolfgang Puck and Robert Duvall

Crescent Court Hotel, Dallas, Texas DALLAS, TEXAS -- 1985-89: Luckily, a new hotel had opened-up in Dallas, and I was able to work some banquet shifts there.  It was a 5 star hotel called The Crescent Court Hotel. Its banquet manager, Jorge, had previously worked at the Anatole Hotel as an assistant banquet manager with Charles Lorenzi.  The banquet facility at The Crescent Court Hotel was minuscule in comparison to the Anatole Hotel, but the money was much bigger. Jorge was originally from Bolivia, was medium built and had wavy black hair, which wasn’t bad for a man in his forties.  He also had a big black mustache and a very large oval head that seemed out of proportion to the rest of his body. Before the banquet commenced, Jorge was always nervous and overly serious.  But after serving the dessert and coffee, he became relaxed and charming.  And as a banquet waiter, the money was always very good and so was the employee-cafeteria food.  And I was always grateful when Jorge in

Pim Fortuyn: The Man Queen Beatrix Feared the Most

Pim Fortuyn: The Man Queen Beatrix Feared the Most Had Pim Fortuyn lived 9 more days he would have become the next prime minister of the Netherlands. Question: Who gained the most from his death? Many years after his assassination it was reported   that Queen Beatrix had told former Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, that she didn’t lie awake at night over the death of Pim Fortuyn. Beatrix knew Pim Fortuyn, unlike her previous Prime Ministers, wouldn't allow her to rule Holland The truth is that Queen Beatrix hated Pim Fortuyn. And the question is whether she was influential in preventing him from receiving secret service protection, knowing the death threats against him. It was Minister Klaas de Vries, as the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, who denied Pim Fortuyn secret service protection. But was Minister Klaas de Vries acting on his own in the Kingdom of the Netherlands? Or was he following orders from his boss Prime Minister Kok who climbed the palace stairs at le