Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Free Drinks Here

One free chit ticket for anyone who can identify who would be tending bar the year they were issued. Comment away.

10/27/10: we have a winner, we think. The bartender in 1970: Rich Umdenstock

Bill Stilgebauer attests:
Having spent a large portion of my Summers as an employee of the SYC from !960 through 1966, I thought I would add my memories to the various prior emails. In 1960 I was the club janitor usually cleaning up after the weekend drunk fests( the ladies restroom was the worst). I believe this was just before the tenure of Jim O’Conner and his wife , Terrie. They were the stewards of the Club for several years in the early 60’s and were actual bar type pros. Jim was hard of hearing ,but heard better than he let on; so he could ease drop on what was being said at the bar. Terrie was a good cook and a hard worker and they taught me how to bartend and run the club. There was a lot of money to be made in those days, a small weekly salary plus 15% of the take and the free apartment at the Club. The drinks were cheap even in those days and people DRANK A LOT .The chit book system made accounting easy and fostered spending money. Some members ran tabs and this could at times cause collection issues which were left up to the Board and the Commodore and not the stewards. I started working on weekend nights as a bus boy and then became an illegal bartender

For several years before I was 18. I was paid off the books for most of my services until I became the Steward in 1966 . Larry Marcus was the Commodore and I interviewed with him at The Harvard Club in NYC the Christmas break from college in 1965.I hired a fraternity brother , Bob Hill, to work for me that summer and we had a good experience. An active social life was nil because the bar was open every night of the week ,but Monday. It was not hard work except on the weekends, but you had to keep up with the liquor and beer orders and other bar supplies. We used to make up Stingers in gallon jugs on Saturday afternoons as this was a very popular drink. It also allowed us to get the ants out of the white Crème De Mint bottles prior to having the members in the Club. The big dinner weekends like the Steak Dinner and others were always busy and the booze flowed like water. Many patrons stayed well after the entertainment was over( Ken Thompson on the Piano) and bought several drink prior to closing ;so they could continue to party. Saturday nights ran well into the early hours of Sunday morning and then it was time to get up , clean the bar up and be open again at 5 in the afternoon. Usually I met with Dino Veronse to square the books for the week on Mondays and then Monday night would party with many of you. Larry Marcus was a great boss who allowed us to use the Club’s liquor when not on duty and let us smoke the cigs we sold at the bar, again not while working. Every few weeks the company that owned the vending Pool Table and Juke Box would come from the mainland to collect their money( you know who ran those businesses on Long Island). He was a nice guy and would give Bob and I any change he could not wrap and a carton of smokes. Unfortunately I had to give the job up the following summer because I had to go to ROTC summer camp. In 1969 I was going to run the Club again with Walter ,but my poor grades in law school forced me back to Richmond for summer term. I was able to get one of the Lem boys (sorry cannot pull the name back) to work with Walter that year. I got married the following year and that was the end of my years at the SYC. I have fond memories of many of good Saltairians who are no longer with us and a few stories I wish not to repeat. As I said it was a great summer job ! Bill Stillgebauer

Jeff Weinlandt: “I was serving Uncle Sam. not drinks, from June 9, 1969 to June 8, 1971. I was the bartender at the SYAC with Rich Umbdenstock (current President & CEO of the American Hospital Association...and longtime close family friends of the Cunninghams) in the summer of 1971.” --Jeff

Now we know Jeff W., fresh out of the Army, worked the bar in 1971. Earlier than 1970 Walter Schleinitz, Bill Stillgebauer had similar duties. Phil Keane sometime prior to 1970 helped out Wally,

1970 is the year of the unknown bartender.

Was it Eric Breslin?

I am sure each and every one of those tarbenders will certify thar Oliver Hull, George F. Sr, Larry Marcus , Alan Scott and Skinner were all tea toatalers

I remember a bartender/steward from around that time who was also the tennis pro. I don't remember his name but perhaps Jon L or Danny W would. I remember he was a short guy and got along with everybody. He also lived in the Yacht Club which was the custom at the time.

Was there really a bartending head lifeguard that went to college too? You guys did it all back then. George Fontanals

Ann Marcus Golub sez: “Russel & Charlie- Russ taught tennis”

COSMO: I lived at the SYC when I was steward. The Commodore always thought that I would get up at 4 am to drink all the free booze.


Phil Keane Jr.: George Sr. was one of my favorite all-time Saltairians and yes, you're right I don't think he ever drank a non-alcoholic beverage in his life Some of those booze-a-thons he had with Larry Marcus, Oliver Hull sr., Allen Scott and others were memorable.
-Phil Keane Jr.

Phil Keane Jr: I tended bar there on weekends helping out one of the head lifeguards, cant remember his name, teacher, blond hair.
Chits only. Before 1970 though.
Mostly keeping George Fontanals supplied with Stingers, and drunk parents telling me what disappointments their kids were. –Phil Keane

Jim McCann:
I ran the yacht club for the summer of 1980......the bartenders that summer were Geoff Meluso, Laurie Mihaly, Teddy Friend, myself....and what a fun summer it was....that was the summer Dr. Bob started in Saltaire
Frank Mina: I'll take my money off Greg Kimmel to win and put it on Rich Umbdenstock for 1970. Both Rich and Greg were friends of mine from my earliest FIFI days and both worked at the SYC at one time or another. I knew that Rich's mother (Eileen) and father were very involved as trustees of Good Samaritan Hospital and Southside Hospital respectively.
Capt. Frank


frank said...

I'll take a dark-horse wild guess on Greg Kimmel. I have a chit book from that year stashed away from when the Saltaire ferry captain and the two padres (chocolate and vanilla)were honorary members. Couldn't afford it otherwise on Capt. Pat's salary.
Capt. Frank

Anonymous said...

Jeff Weindlandt

Anonymous said...

Chip Hull? Didn't start bar tending when he was 12.....

Derf said...

Any of these folks born before 1951 could have been: Al Franken, Anjelica Huston, Beverly D`Angelo, Bootsy Collins, Randall Adams
(Innocent man in The Thin Blue Line), John Belushi, Keith Carradine, Lynn Dickey, Pablo Escobar, George Foreman, Bruce Jenner, Linda Lovelace...

But I think I'll go with Captain Franks's Greg Kimmel guess. By the way I think this is another Saltaire couple to add to the list. Didn't Greg marry Sue Galt?

Alfred Lapp said...

Alfie Lapp here. I was a stewart at age 17 (yea under aged) working under Jeff W. Fantastic time. Learned alot and the girls loved us.
A year or so later , around 1973, I became Chief Stewart which I held for 2+ years. Great times but alot of work. Members wanted more amenities and better food.

I recall that Rob MacAdam's dad provided what was later to be know and a 'microwave' where we could heat up meatball or chicken sandwiches. We sold them by the boatloads. and for alot of $$.

Also remember will when Frank Mina showed up one day with not one but 2 watches on his wrists. so cool but no idea why. Sad for him, chicks didn't bite...

Then we came to the end of summer. Of course, yes of course we needed to get rid of any residual booze so I would arrange a night (or 2) where locals, after Labor Day, and renters left over to enjoy a little end of summer party. All booze was free until we poured it all out. Cosmos will remember how long it took.. A wonderful time and memory.