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Thu Sep 27, 2018, 03:22 PM


One day, way back in my bartending days, I went to fetch a bottle of wine from the back room at the hotel bar where I’d just started working. Coming back into the bar I was startled to see Winston Churchill settling onto a seat at the bar. Very nattily dressed and somewhat soft-spoken, he smiled and ordered the first of several cocktails. There was no chance for any further conversation, seeing as how there were many other customers requiring my attention.

Several hours later the hotel’s restaurant manager and the head waiter approached “Mr. Churchill”, fished his keys out of his pocket, pinned a piece of paper to his lapel, then stood him up and walked him out the door. After closing, they explained that he was a regular, and that he had requested this routine: he would be placed in a taxi and the driver would be paid up front to deliver him to his front door, the car key would be held at the hotel desk, the note pinned to his jacket told him where to retrieve the key. Such was the kid-glove treatment for a particular federal judge back in the 1970s.


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