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Thursday, May 23, 2013

OH LAWD chapter 50

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Cajun Bistro
For the next two months part of my time was taken up with remodeling the new Bistro. I wanted it to be an authentic restaurant from the inside out.

Pa and Noonan set the food offered similar to the one in Gulfport. Meanwhile I had done some research into recipes that hadn’t been included and we discussed adding some of them to the bill of fare.

Noonan said he was aware of these dishes but the trade they had in Gulfport couldn't afford them so they stuck with simpler meals.

The kitchen required some big pots that weren't in the French Restaurant but much of it didn't require much reworking.

We stored most of the furniture because it was too fancy where Cajun decor needed to be a little cruder. The front was redone with a new sign that got the attention of anyone a block away.

Lastly the upstairs quarters was made into comfortable rooms for sleeping, bathing and resting.  Because of the high humidity it was necessary to change and shower during the shifts.

They hired two more servers and a bus boy. Opening day finally came and with a lot of fanfare the doors were opened. There were some dignitaries who showed up, and a band was hired to play Cajun music.

There were no meals served, but samples of the food were given free. The whole of New Orleans knew there was a new Bistro in town.

That was it for me, I stepped aside and left it up to Ma, Pa, Noonan and the crew to sink or swim.

Mille spent some time offering some tips on taking care of customers and keeping the books straight.

Noonan knew a couple of young men who worked in a fish camp, and he put them on part time until they had mastered some of the simple dishes on the menu, thus giving him and Abdul some relief.

With a little time on my hands I found myself watching Mille as she went about her duties, and I sat and admired her beauty. Her long dark hair, her eyes of almost green, and her skin slightly tanned with a natural touch of color in her cheeks.  

As I watched her I thought, “I'm so in love with this beautiful woman, and from all indicators she is in love with me.”  These moments I treasured without ever telling anyone it was unbridled joy within.

Something unexpected happened, and my partner in the restaurant wanted to talk to me. I thought it might have something to do with my spending time getting the Cajun Bistro going but, he had something else on his mind.

While I seldom saw him anymore he said he wanted to retire and go back to his family in France and die there when his time came.

He went on telling how much he appreciated what I had accomplished; taking a failing business and turning to a very profitable establishment.

He wanted to sell me his share of the restaurant for about a fourth of what his share was worth. I objected and wanted to pay him a fair price but he wouldn't relent.

He said when you get the money together you can send it to me.  
He went on to say, “You may have noticed I didn't give you and Mille a wedding present.”   I lied and said, “No, I never noticed.”  He said, “I waited until now and I want you to have the house I live in.”  This was a large home worth a great sum of money and with several bedrooms.

He said I have far more money than I can ever spend, and I look on you and Mille as my children. He knew me for several years, but had only known Mille for few months, but she had won him over in that short period of time.

I tried to thank him but he wouldn't hear of it.  He just said I want you and Mille to be happy, and this is a way I can contribute to your happiness.

A few days later he was packed up and gone.

Oh Lawd!      To be Concluded

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