RIP Geraldine Ferraro

The Core Belief

In 2005, Geraldine Ferraro and her husband John Zaccaro walked into the Park Ave. Café 3 minutes after the kitchen closed.  They had driven in from upper Westchester County and had run into a traffic jam that had kept them near but not on the Tappan Zee Bridge for three hours.  “I know the kitchen closed but do you think you could fit us in,” Ms. Ferraro asked?  They were regulars so of course I offered to see what I could do.

I called back to Tom the Sous Chef who was more than happy to cook for the Zaccaro’s.  “Anything for Ms. Ferraro and her husband,” Tom cackled.  Earl the server was none to happy.  “Aren’t we closed,” he asked Tom when he came to the bar a few minutes later to check on our new and only diners in the joint.

“Earl don’t you know who that is,” I said.  “It’s Geraldine Ferraro.  She was the Vice Presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket in 1984.”

“So we stay open late for the VP candidate of a losing ticket, scratch that, a ticket that got solidly whipped by Reagan?  How many states did they carry,” he asked.

“One,” I replied.

“Earl, she lives in the building.  We always do favors and stay open late for our neighbor if they ask,” Tom said.

“She’s still a fucking loser,” Earl mumbled.

They were in and out in a matter of 45 minutes after leaving a generous tip for all of us for staying open late.  Earl still mumbled about keeping him on the job a few extra minutes every time the couple came in to eat, usually with children and grandchildren and always around 7.

Ms. Ferraro was quite friendly with everyone.  Even former Sec. of Education Bill Bennett, as hardcore a Republican as there is (and another regular) would always make a beeline to her table whenever they had the good fortune to be in the dining room at the same time.

Geraldine Ferraro, a groundbreaking politician as there was in the 1980’s, died this morning at the age of 75.  To her husband John, children and grandchildren whom I met several times but never got know well, I am extremely sorry for your loss.  Rep. (ret.) Ferraro will be missed.

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