Thursday, April 15, 2010
Theme Thursday Lunch
When I was a kid, mom or dad made my lunch. I took it to school in a lunch pail. Did I have a special one? Probably, but I do not remember. What I do remember is having a thermos of milk, a sandwich, some cookies and an apple or orange slices. My father always made sure we had fruit. At some point I became too "big" to take a lunch pail and began carrying lunch in a lovely brown paper sack.
By high school, we were eating in the cafeteria. Not much memory of anything there except chocolate pudding. By 11th grade, my best friend I would sneak out of school at least one day a week to eat at a local coffee shop across the street. She and I would split a plate of french fries for 35 cents and we'd each have a cherry or vanilla coke. It was heaven.
I worked summers at my father's office on Hollywood & Vine. Once in a while, he'd take me to lunch. he loved going to nice places so we'd eat at the Brown Derby or drive to Chinatown or walk up the street to Dupar's. Hollywood was full of characters, derelicts, drug addicts and wanna-bes. We'd see famous people, crazies, and prostitutes and one old guy in a ten gallon white hat & bolo tie who drove an old Cadillac convertible with hand tooled leather seats and real steer horns on the hood. It might have been the famous boot designer Nudie, but I'm not sure.
Once I started my career in advertising, lunch was the silver standard for wining and dining the media department: me, my media director and the other buyer. While a national media buyer for Fotomat Corp., I purchased spot radio, spot tv and newspaper in eighty markets across the U.S. We spent many days and evenings meeting with radio management from all over the country. These guys (90% of them were men) were usually on a long road trip and they always wanted to eat in the best places. I grew very spoiled.
After I went into broadcast sales, lunch continued to be the event of the day. Clients expected to be taken to lunch at lovely restaurants. For many years, the stations had due bills or trade or barter with many fine restaurants so their sales people could entertain in style. And we were stylin' for a long long time.
The new millenia, corporate mergers, takeovers and acquisitions have replaced the independent owners of the broadcast industry. Cutbacks and changes to the tax code have removed the perks for all but the upper management types. Lunch nowadays is just lunch and I find myself coming full circle, bringing my lunch most days in a brown paper bag; having the occasional special meal with my husband and, once or twice a month, entertaining a client.
Ah but it was fun while it lasted.