"Ze Black Forest" By Richard Hill

"I hef just zold a story about my fawzer to ze Reader's Digest!" enthused the red-faced Teutonic gent with whom we'd been "tabled" at San Fran Int'l Airport. This was the last Thanksgiving Day snack I'd have with my wife before putting her on a plane back to Utah and resuming my tour of west coast Catholic schools as Lord Fauntleroy. Ours were the only 2 seats left at ANY table - and our cherubic dinner-partner, with his half-table full of empty shots, seemed welcoming enough. He told us his RD tale - how: he and his brother had wandered away from their sleeping father after an afternoon hike in Germany's Black Forest; Dad's whistling had brought them back to him after nightfall; he'd denied whistling at all when they woke him. When our waitress asked us, after he'd staggered off, if we intended to pay for his drinks, we shook our heads and assumed we'd seen the last of him.

The following April, as my 2 fellow actors and I were in Seattle searching for a promising eatery between parochial "Fauntleroys," I spotted a German deli and pulled in. The friendly, dark-eyed hostess called our orders back to a bull-necked cook with a familiar-sounding dialect. "Doo potetto pen-cakes!" he answered, waving his thick forearm and spatula, not turning around. I asked her if her chef had been in San Francisco last Thanksgiving. "Yes!" she enthused. "I was working at a United stand that day; he came up, drunk; called me gorgeous; asked me to follow him to Seattle and marry him!"


in San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA

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