Today’s post is a sad one. This is for you Rev; I will miss you a lot.
The 21 Club, just the name says old school. The 21 Club opened in its current location at midnight on December 31, 1929 and it is the only former Speakeasy still operating under its name. I can write for hours about 21. It appeared in movies; hell it’s where Gordon Gecko told Bud Fox to get some new suits. I love taking new people to the 21, it makes me feel good to show these people what old New York really looks like. As we walk along West 52nd from 5th Avenue we pass by skyscraper after skyscraper and then all of a sudden you see the wrought iron fence and gate and three little brownstones stuck in between all the skyscrapers. I love the look on their faces when they see all the Lawn Jockeys. We turn walk down the steps and the doorman opens the door and says “Welcome to 21”. We step inside and are greeted with “Hello Mr. Schall welcome back”. We check our coats (and my hat) and the Matre D’ Aaron says, “good evening Mr. Schall your table is ready”. I walk through the Legendary Bar room give my waiter Silvio a hug and hand shake and they slide out Table 54, we sit and get ready for a special night. Later Phil comes over and selects a bottle of wine; we order the famous Steak Tartar and our dinner. After dinner and desert, we get a tour of the wine cellar (a whole separate post will be about the wine cellar). It’s almost a perfect, I am with friends or business associates, great food, service and just about the coolest place on earth. But it’s not perfect because I didn’t go to the bathroom yet and it’s the Men’s Washroom at the 21 Club that makes it so special. When you open the door you are met by Lorenzo “The Reverend” Robinson who has a big smile on his face and say to me “MY BROTHER MY BROTHER IT IS SO WONDERFUL TO SEE YOU” and then gives me a big hug. He talks politics and preaches Reaganomics and calls for world leaders to be more like Reagan and then he shows off the cuff links that Ronald Reagan took off his shirt and gave to him. He would tell stories of meeting Nelson Mandela, Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush (only the first) all in the little washroom of 21. If ladies were with me on the trip, I would bring the Reverend out to meet them (Because you haven’t been to 21 if you didn’t meet the Rev). I can hear him now “MY LORD MY LORD YOU LADIES ARE BEAUTIFUL, NOW I KNOW WHY BEYONCE’ AND HALLE BERRY CANCELED THEIR RESERVATIONS TONIGHT”. I would give him a hug say goodnight to the rest of the staff and be on my way and know that I just had the perfect night.
Those perfect nights will never happen again, because on Thursday October 24th The Reverend passed away. I was sitting getting my shoes shined and was reading the New York Post and on page 7 it read ‘CLUB’S WASHROOM LENGEND MOURNED, BELOVED REV FOREVER “21”. I sat shocked, when I got to my office I was walking around holding the paper open showing everyone who ever went to 21 with me. Someone said that I looked like I lost my best friend, I respond yea pretty much. I went to my office and shed a tear for my lost Pally. I thought about the time a few years back, when I was walking through Grand Central Station with some of my co-workers and the Rev saw me on the steps and ran over to me and gave me a Big Bear Hug. The people I was with were amazed, but it was just the Rev being the Rev.
Life is funny; you meet thousands of people and can’t remember most of them. I ask how many washroom attendants have you met in your life? A lot and I bet you don’t remember any of them. However if you just met the Rev once you will never forget. I know if I died today the New York Post wouldn’t even mention it. However, the Rev made Page 7. If that doesn’t tell you what kind of a Man the Rev was then nothing will. For over 20 years this man worked 14 hours a day never late always with a smile. If all of us with take pride in our jobs and the Rev did in his, this country and world would be a better place.
GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY LORENZO, I WILL MISS YOU FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. THE 21 WILL NEVER BE THE SAME….
GOOD NIGHT PALLY UNTIL NEXT TIME….