As I was reading the business section of the Sunday paper, I noticed the Restaurant Quiz. There was a question about Uncle John's/Aunt Sonya's/Uncle Jack's. It made me realize how much I miss Aunt Sonya's. Not only was the food great, it was a great place to work. I'm not sure I can sufficiently describe the working atmosphere. Don't get me wrong, we worked our asses off but we always had fun. The staff not only worked together, we hung out together. We had a bowling team, sang back up to the band, Gator Alley (whether they wanted us to or not) and attended "Sunday night bible study with Reverend Blaine". Ok, it wasn't really bible study but rather Sunday night at the Rose Bowl. You see, Aunt Sonya's was almost always packed on weekends with a line out the door, so we deserved to unwind. Our bar of choice was the Rose Bowl. We referred to ourselves as The Rose Bowl Queens, often practicing our parade [a/k/a Rose Bowl] wave. You know, the ones beauty queens use (refer to above picture if needed). We even had sweatshirts made that said Rose Bowl Queen on them! I actually still have mine.
It just so happened that one night Blaine, who worked with us, started giving a sermon about pancakes which caused us fits of laughter. So it became "bible study" so we could talk about it at work and no one would know what we were discussing! And every time Blaine joined us, he was required to give us a "breakfast sermon". He always obliged. One Sunday at work, I came up behind Bonnie, who was busing a table and when I leaned down to help she accidently elbowed me in the eye, knocking my glasses off and giving me a black eye. I exclaimed, "Great, now I'll have a black eye for bible study tonight!" Some of our church-going regulars overheard me and told Rose, the manager, how impressed they were that we worked so hard all weekend and yet found time for bible study. Poor Rose almost choked on her coffee as she knew what bible study really was - one hell of a party!
If you've been reading this blog over time, you probably read about Wayne (posted 3/16/10), who always joined us out at the Rose Bowl until his untimely demise. There was never a better date than Wayne. Many staff came and went over the years but so many came back to honor Mr. Moen, Co-Manager and Rose's husband, when he retired. It was a true testament to the work atmosphere at Aunt Sonya's. So many good memories made with great friends. I really, really miss that place.