Entertaining at Her Private Table
As Aunt Esther and I approach the piano bar at the Daniel Boone Hotel in downtown Charleston, West Virginia, the music and laughter get increasingly louder. Then as always, she takes my hand, and together we sashay through the open doorway. Another exciting Thursday evening begins. Aunt Esther dances off into the crowded room, and I see her friend Ruthie sitting alone at her private table near the piano. She waves and signals for me to come over and sit. I gallop through the sea of people to join her.
She lifts her martini into the air and gestures for the waiter. One of the three olives falls onto the white tablecloth, and she giggles. Harry, the bartender notices, and nods knowingly. Soon Calvin brings my Shirley Temple. It is just as I like - colorful and overly decorated.
Aunt Esther shimmies over to us, raising her sparkling water, and we cheer L'Chaim! Ruthie and I rise to join her on the packed floor and dance - dance - dance! It's hot, but Ruthie never takes off her oversized furry coat or removes her silk gloves - Never! Instead, she repeatedly claims, "I am a proud lady."
The band takes a break, and we return to our table. But, of course, I mean Ruthie's private table. She rarely shares it with anybody. We are her chosen companions. Aunt Esther prefers to dance rather than sit for long. However, I love to listen to Ruthie's tales. She talks nonstop about her glorious past, and I am her engaged audience. I do not care to differentiate between fact and fiction. Each story captures my imagination, as does she. Suddenly she stops mid-sentence, touches my hand, and whispers, "let's join Esther." My aunt greets us with a huge smile and whisks me off to dance. My Thursday evenings at the Daniel Boone Hotel are special - dinner, dancing, and memorable times with Aunt Esther and her eccentric friend Ruthie.