Lost Dog for the Holidays


In the area of shenanigans, I am never at a loss.

My dear friend Cheryl and her husband went to Africa for 3 weeks. Two days into their departure their dog escaped the house!!! My son and a few other friends were in charge of the dogs, two Great Danes and two smaller ones. One of the dogs escaped! We all went into panic mode. Someone had the bright idea to call them in Africa and let them know the dog was missing so they are freaking out, trying to get back to the US!

Being the 30th of December and a Sunday vets and the SPCA were closed. It started to snow. I went to help in the search. Keep in mind it is Sunday, the busiest day at Rue Lafayette so I would briefly stop my search to do my work!

I assembled a team of neighborhood kids. I might have gotten carried away and told them I was a government agent and the dog had a special microchip so they could not steal it or hold it for ransom. The kids were on foot but piled in my car for brief searches as the car was warm.

We looked all day. At one point as I was searching alleys by myself when I saw a dog that fit the description. A medium sized grey dog. I had only seen the actual dog once, a grey schnauzer so I didn’t remember exactly what he or she looked like (I forgot to ask the gender, or if it was wearing a collar, things happened too quickly). I chased this grey dog into someone’s back yard. I opened a gate and carried m out in my arms. As I was putting it in my car a neighbor yelled “stop, you are stealing that dog!” I said “NO it’s mine!” The lost dog’s name is “Little Dog” so I said: “it’s Little Dog, he belongs to my friends”.  As I’m shoving the dog in the car I notice his tag says “Jack” and has a different address! So I had to explain the situation. Meanwhile the kids see me and tell the neighbor that I am a government agent, not to worry. I left as fast as I could….

Happy ending: this morning my son went out at 5am and using his Army skills he looked for tracks in the snow. He followed some fresh tracks and found Little Dog curled up in a nook. Little Dog tried to run but he threw his entires body over him, well, it turned out it was a SHE. Little Dog is home as for New Year’s.


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Accidental Kidnapping


~ One of my dear customers gifted us a Suite at the Lumiere Hotel. I decided to have a girl’s night out with Chef Perry, Nicole and Katie. The plan was to meet at lobby of Hotel Lumiere. Chef Perry called me and told me that she had arrived but as it turns out she had gone to the wrong Hotel.  She was at the lobby of the Four Seasons instead of the Lumiere a misunderstanding because that is where we had gone last time. Typically she wears VERY high heels so I told her to stay there and I’d send a car for her.  I walked outside where the Hotel Bellhops stand and asked a woman if she could send a car or shuttle to pick up my friend, I explained the misunderstanding. I told her that is was cold and dark and I didn’t want her walking.

She hesitated, then she said:  “I guess I can take you” and I said: “Well lets go honey”. As we drove off, I noticed that she was looking at me out of the corner of her eye, very uncomfortably and serious. She starts going in the wrong direction, so I corrected her and was wondering why a Bellboy wouldn’t know how to get to the Four Seasons, which is about 4 blocks away! While gripping the steering wheel and looking at me from the corner of her eye (I call that look “Bunny-Eye”)  she quietly says: “I don’t work for the Hotel, I’m just a guest….”  I think she thought she was getting car-jacked, I mean, she WAS in St. Louis and all…………

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I was put in a Nunnery and I’m not even Catholic!

It was the 80’s, I was attending Loma Linda University, nice but out in the suburbs, not my pace or my style. My passion was Fashion. I wanted to attend FIDM in Los Angeles. The school did not have dorms so my parents told me I could not attend, I was too young to have an apartment, apparently (and rightfully so)  I needed more supervision. I’ve never been the type to give up, I ALWAYS find a way. When one door  closes, a picture window with sky light will open! I looked for “adequate, suitable” living arrangements near the school and found a Nunnery! Perfect, that should be fun-free enough to make my parents happy, no male guests allowed beyond the Lobby…Perfect (for them).  I looked into it, made the proposal to my parents, they loved the idea so I checked into the nunnery AND to the Fashion Institute; they were thrilled. The lobby came fully equipped with Chapel, beige couches, crucifix art and fully costumed nun at the front desk, strict lock-down hours, it was fabulously safe, a teen parent’s dream! A great contrast to the ensembles I modeled coming down the staircase on a daily basis as I headed to school. One challenge  I had overlooked, a 10pm curfew!!! WHAT?!  Ah, that’s the time I headed out. That would put a huge damper on my LA style. I could have snuck out but they locked the gate to the parking lot. Again, always full of optimism, I concocted a plan. There was a Nun, Sister Nell, elderly, she had to be in her 80’s or more, but she still had that spark in her little nun-ish eye, the stark of wanting more fun, she also liked to eat, a lot… One day I invited her to go out with me, a test. I said: “Sister Nell, why don’t we go out to dinner, and some sightseeing?” She agreed immediately. So I got Sister Nell in my top-less Jeep and we headed out, habits flying in the wind (hers tangible, mine symbolically). We went to Canters Deli on Fairfax, ate with some hipsters. I pushed our outing until 11pm to see if we would be able to get back into the gate-guarded nunnery. When we returned she called on the intercom and we got in.  Great plan, like Batman and Batnun into the Batcave!  Next: Keith Haring and Andy Warhol were having an art opening, I couldn’t miss that, it was 1986!  I invited Sister Nell, I was wearing a backless white one piece linen halter pant suit with black super high sandals, slicked back hair, deep tan and red lips, like a Robert Pant girl, Sister Nell complimented my look with her classic black and white nun-i-form!  I strutted in as if on a runway with nun in tow. It was a great night,  Sister Nell hovered over the wine and appetizer table but the best part of the night was  when I met Keith Haring, he pulled me aside and said: “You are SO F***ING COOL, YOU HAVE YOUR OWN NUN!!!!” We were all the rage. 

Thank you Sister Nell, I’m sure you are eating a great buffet in heaven.

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One cold afternoon, a white Rolls Royce pulled up to Rue Lafayette, like something out of a movie, a couple of guys got out of the car looking like John Gotti and his gang. They were gentlemen. As I served them, I asked the owner of the Rolls if he was some kind of “Godfather, a Wise Guy?” he laughed and introduced himself as “Jelly Roll”. His friend was the Geese and the other the Moose (I guess I didn’t need to know real names). They were upbeat, polite, very friendly and were very complimentary. After having coffee and pastries they went on their way. A week later, they came back. Jelly Roll brought a box of books with him, the book is called: The Big Book of St. Louis & Southern Illinois Crime. At this point I’m thinking that I wasnt’ too far off with the whole Godfather thing. It turns out Jelly Roll had been a bank robber, and he had done many years in prison. He almost went to Alcatraz it if hadn’t been shut down the very year he was scheduled to be sent there! He took hostages during his bank robbery and had a police chase that can easily beat any De Niro/Pacino movie car chases! He’s a good guy now. The best part of his story is that when he got out of prison he BOUGHT the bank that he had ROBBED and that’s where he ran his business out of until he retired! We’ve become fast friends and he told me his entire story, I produced a documentary on his story. Filmmaker Michael Lynch did an amazing job on it.

I’ve had great conversations and lots of laughs with Jelly Roll but I have a few favorite memories with Jelly Roll, one: he came over to Rue to bake with us one cold winter morning. He taught me how to make Pop-Overs. The oven door was not shutting properly so he stood next to the oven and held the door for what seemed like an eternity. I was so embarrassed and told him that I felt bad that he had to stand there. He told me “It’s nothing, I did a YEAR in solitary confinement!”.

Another very memorable day was when Jelly Roll, the Moose and the Geese wanted to meet my husband to see if he was a “good guy”. They came over and invited him for a “ride”. Rick was so scared! ALL of the stereotypical gangster movies came back to him. He thought they would “Wack him” or “make him sleep with the fishes” or “put a tail on him”. Lucky for him, they approved.

The story of Jelly Roll is in the book, sold at Rue Lafayette. I have autographed copies:


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007 – K9 Activity

After closing the Cafe on Sunday, Rick and I were debating what to do for dinner. We decided to grill at home so one of us had to go to Culinaria (a local supermarket), we could not go together because we had Ms. Bella. Rick attempted to take her home but she refused to go with Rick by straightening her legs and putting on the locks like a petrified taxidermied animal. He couldn’t deal with her stubbornness so, yes, she won, as usual and came to the store with me!  I had a baby sling  in my car that was a gift for Bella from a STL City Police Officer. So I put on the sling, put Bella in it and proceeded to enter the supermarket and shop with the stowaway. All went well, she knows the word “hide” so she tucked her head in and not a peep, not even by the butcher. We paid, and just as I was almost free from my K9 criminal act, the Manager yells from behind her counter: “Let me see your baby” as she heads over towards me! My eyes instantly went into “I love Lucy mode”. I said: “Ah, she’s sleeping” and she continued to head over reaching as if to open the sling. So I took a step back and panicked, when I panic I tend to go into crazy-talk so I said: “No, don’t look at her, she’s ugly! She looks like Tori Spelling” and this woman gave me the “you-are-the-worse-mother-in-the-world look”! She said “WHAT?! That can’t be” so having gone too far I let her peak and Bella’s little flat snout peaked out like a baby seal and she started laughing hysterically.

Another close call………………….

Another 007 disguise:

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