i guess everyone has their idea of someone they’d like to emulate. maybe a mother or father. a mentor. a rich tycoon. maybe it’s a well-curated mish mosh of personalities.
the past week i haven’t been able to get ROF’s and my friend louie out of our mind. he passed away this week – way too early.
we met louie through some very close friends of ours. his restaurant soon became our meeting place. after long days, before big parties, when wives were traveling or husbands worked late. the meeting place. unassuming – in fact almost obscure – louie’s didn’t have any windows but the minute you walked in, you felt at ease. the best pizza, best salmon and ceasar salad like no other – Louie’s in east dallas was the place to be. louie, the co-owner and bartender was always there to greet us, shake our hand and stop and talk to us for a while. he kept the place open late for us and always made us laugh. his trademark voice was scratchy, multi-toned and riddled with midwestern sarcasm. he wasn’t the overly friendly, cheesy type that grinned from ear to ear 24/7 kind of person (thank God!) he worked hard and had hard core conversations with all the folks at the bar that had an opinion.
when i moved to michigan, i came back to dallas and of course, went to louie’s. louie was asking me about michigan and he left a voice message for ROF who was not there. so i have the friendly “heyyyy robert…” message in my phone.
after reading all the wonderful articles on louie, i started to really think about what it was about him i liked. i realized that those attributes he has are ones i really want. when i think about my career and where i want to go and do in the future, i think about louie and louie’s, the restaurant. making people feel welcome and happy, serving good food and good drinks, working with family and making the people you work with family. what more in the world would you want?
my heart and prayers go out to louie’s wife, three kids, mom and brother. also to our good friends who loved louie so much and to casey, john, beth and all the folks at louie’s who i know are still working but without hearing that trademark scratchy riff of a voice we all came to know and love so much. the world has become a better place because of you, louie!