December 1966, right before Christmas, Al and his wife Lynne, attended a Cotillion at the Garden City Hotel.  White tie and tails for Al, a white formal gown for Lynne... and lots of white snow for Mother Earth.  

There in the midst of a snowstorm, standing in six inches of slush... was Al... covered in grease.  His beautiful, debutante wife stood nearby.  Their car, as luck would have it, would start... then conk out.... Start... and.... conk out.  Poor Al, I was in there trying. What am I going to do?!  My wife is in her gown...”

The car would not cooperate... his white 'knight in shinning armor’ dream was more of a nightmare...


The next day, still in his tarnished attire, he showed up at Pacer’s.  The marred clothing told their own tale... a tale of woe... without a word spoken, “Charlie thought it was the funniest thing in the world!  There I am, dressed in white tie and tails, which I literally slept in - my white vest was covered in grease.  I even had white gloves... they were ruined.  I thought I was going to be able to do something (to get the car running), though I know nothing about cars... He thought it was so funny.”


One would think this is where the ‘insults to injury’ end, after all Al had been through enough... but no.  Prankster that Dad was, he had an ulterior plan.  As his car was being worked on, Al stood nearby, (an act Dad - and the sign on the wall - threatened to charge more for ~ "Watching is extra!" :)  “Your father said ‘Go make yourself useful.  Go get us coffee and cake.”   


{This is another fond memory of my Dad and Pacer’s.  He sure enjoyed his coffee and cake breaks!  I can still see him leaning back, in his big grease covered chair, literally kicking his feet up.  He would pull out the hidden shelf from his desk as a footrest.  Many a times, the office was filled with stories, laughter and friends... and smelled not only of car fluids, but of coffee and cake.}


Al, with requests in hand, headed to the local deli, “I walk in with a list and everybody was starring... Here I am, looking like Fred Astaire, all dressed... and covered in grease.  Of course, that's exactly what Charlie was trying to do!  It didn’t dawn on me till I was standing there and everyone was laughing.  I get back to Pacers and your father is hysterical.  They must have called him.”


Sounds like Dad... Sure miss his humor!  Of course, they got the car working.