The Test of Time

The Best of the Best

No greater group of servers ever graced this universe.

Pictured here is one of the greatest assembly of servers in the history of fine dining. I’ve often compared this picture to that of an elite professional baseball team from the past. It has all the essential characteristics (including a few members of legendary stature) that you might find in one of those classic team shots on an old baseball card or in a collectible program guide.  Tonight, one of those legends, Joe Roman, joins many of his former teammates, including my father, Miguel, at that big 5 Star Restaurant in the sky. Joe was a true Hall of Famer, not only in the service industry, but as a husband, a father, and a friend as well. He will be remembered by many as the singing waiter and Ambassador at Tampa’s historic Columbia Restaurant. But I will always remember him as a warm, loving godfather, who did his best to make me feel special whenever he’d see me.  Coincidentally, his passing comes right before the holidays. Back in my younger years,  the December 24th gatherings at his home in Ybor taught me my first lessons on what it meant to revere Christmas and Family. God bless you, Joe, and may your soul rest in everlasting peace.

Young Joe

Honorary Ambassador at the world famous Columbia Restaurant
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Downtown Tampa …

ImageDowntown Tampa through the eyes of Cherie Diez…Click on this beautiful photo to see images of Tampa’s past and to hear the Tampa Natives Show theme song, I Remember Tampa.

The System In Control Of Tampa

I just read my freind’s blog in the Huffington Post, Tampa: City Under Siege or Control, and it appears that The System is alive and well, flexing its muscles, and definitely in control of Republicans, Democrats, Independentts, Indifferents, and everyone else on either end of the political spectrum in my hometown of Tampa.

The System

What’s your name
Where’s your id
I need to check you out to see
If you’re in the System
The System
No SSI, you’re MIA
I hate to say it, but no way
That you’re in the System
The System
He is in the System
She is in the System
They are in the System
And me…
I’m in the System with them
Where’s the nation we replaced
How’d the whole damn human race
Fall into the System
The System
And where in God’s name will it end
Feel the emptiness within
When you’re in the System
The System
He is in the System
She is in the System
They are in the System
And me…
I’m in the System with them
We’re like zombies walkin’ thru a desert land
Where the spirit is defeated by the greed of man
The System
Oh, the System
Once you’re in, you’re in for good
Needless to say, misunderstood
Laughing at The System
Ha, the System
Locked up in the System
Trapped inside the System
Fall into the System
Crawl into The Sytem
I’m in the System with them.