As a young man studying at UT in 1972, I was hired to to seat customers during the gigantic lunch hour rush (at the old #1 location on the north side of First Street now Cesar Chavez), and, to a much lesser extent, to fetch drinks and serve food.
In 2007, some 34 years later, I walked into the "new" restaurant and saw, for the first time since 1973, Janie seated at a table in the front dining room. I walked up to her and asked her, "Janie, do you remember me?"
Without missing a beat, she replied matter-of-factly,
"Yes, your name is Ray and you used to work lunch." She was as sharp as they come, to the end.
Recalling the Martinez family, tears come to my eyes. Matt used to make small loans to me as advances. Both of them were always kind and encouraging to me, though they demanded attentive work. What I didn't earn in money there, they made up with simple kindness and sincerity.
In a small but still meaningful way, I get the sense I have lost a parent. Rest in peace, Janie.