The second thing to be done was to make sure Diana would be a stay-at-home mother in our new life in Santa Monica. I went into town and registered with the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union. And from my experience with the Union in San Francisco I knew I had to do it this way.
While it wasn’t mandatory, it was what I knew at least back then, as the way to protect my job, wages and get medical insurance right away, much needed also for this new family of mine.
Everyday I’d go into the Union Hall to see the day’s posted jobs. Right away I went out to the Hotel Miramar as a banquet waiter. I saw it posted everyday that week and I went there everyday.
The job was comfortable, all the people were nice to work with and I of course had become quite experienced in dining room service, so it was a natural fit. The clientele who frequented the Miramar were fun people as well as great tippers!
Hey that counted for a lot as I have a new family to take care of; tummies need filling and rent needs to be paid. We hadn’t yet bought a car, we really didn’t need it at this time. Whenever she needed to grocery shop Diana’s father or his girlfriend would take her to the market or what have you. Otherwise she didn’t mind walking or taking a bus to run any other errands.
There were many different groups who frequented the Hotel Miramar while I worked there, although before and after they came too I’m sure.
The airlines’ stewardesses and pilots were arranged through their respective employers to stay there when on stopovers in Los Angeles. Boy did they know how to have fun, spending much of their time out at the cabañas by the pool. Happy news for all, there were no restrictions on pool hours, it was open around the clock.
Some other of the many groups frequenting the Hotel Miramar all year around were the Santa Monica Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club, the SM Chamber of Commerce, and many various Jewish groups -they’re definitely a joyous bunch!- just to name a few.
I recall a few times where the partying members would get me out there dancing in their celebrations and I learned some of those famous songs of theirs. Ha ha – sometimes a line or two of those songs would escape my mouth all these years later and my kids just look at me like, “Dad you’re not Jewish! Where did that come from?”
It wasn’t long before I was hired as a full time staff member of the hotel and made the Banquet Captain. Better pay, naturally more responsibilities like calling up staff request for each separate banquet and paying said staff via pay vouchers and division of tips.
I too of course worked my share on the floor and when there were no banquets booked I turned my attention to room service. One time I remember so clearly as I was on room service week, rolling up with a breakfast cart, I knocked on the door of one suite and Richard Nixon opened the door. He was there with his family, vacationing I guess. I was motioned to enter and I set up the meal in the dining area.
There you have it, not so much a great celebrity story but a very brief tale out of nowhere.
With cash in my pocket every night, I always made a very good salary working there at the Hotel Miramar of the early sixties and I was able to comfortably support my new family.
At the time, this was my greater goal.