Pee Wee, our brilliantly nicknamed bartender who you may only know as Dave, tried to escape once. A couple of years into what is now an eight year tenure with us, he just up and left. Moved to Austin, Texas, which, I think, already shows how difficult it was for him to make the separation. To just go find a bar in another neighborhood would have been too difficult, he had to find one in a different state. Fine. In the modern world, people come and go, nothing is permanent. We tried to let go of him as he was letting go of us.
But it was too much. About a year into the rift, our dear general manager went to Austin, ostensibly on other business, and set up a casual dinner with Pee Wee, because she was in his neighborhood, she says. Only they know what passed between them that night, what tales of shared pain and mutual longing, but back he came.
And why, you ask, did we find him so irreplaceable? Well, maybe instead of asking me, you should ask one of our regular guests, who has Pee Wee take his, the guest’s, guitar home to his, Pee Wee’s, house when said guest goes back to his own proper home. Or any of the others, guests and co-workers alike, who trust him, not with their guitars, but with their life’s ambitions and secret loves. Pee Wee’s casual generosity and easy confidence are huge assets to the general project of this hotel, which is to make a genuine community out of a business. So, he was worth the fight.