36) 14 Minutes of Fame on Nob Hill

In the previous post you read about my new job as Manager of The San Francisco Residence Club on Nob Hill. In this post you will read about my date with Mrs. Williams, the mother of the proprietor (who was my boss) of the small hotel.

The Long Hallway

On a rainy Saturday afternoon – there were many of them during December in San Francisco – I walked down the narrow, dimly lit hallway carpeted in red and approached the rental office of The San Francisco Residence Club.

Mrs. Williams, the General Manager was sitting at the desk, shuffling index cards. Each 5 x 9 index card represented one of the 83 rooms of the residence club, carefully inscribed with guest information, which included room rates and the like.

Bee-Hive Hair Style

Mrs. Williams was in her late 70’s, wore her hair in a bee-hive, not a spec of make-up and didn’t take crap from anyone. Her daughter, Gwen, owned the hotel and let Mrs. Williams reside on the property in exchange for her services.

We liked each other, in a professional way, so I asked her out. “Hi, Mrs. Williams, would you like to go to a Christmas party with me at The Stanford Court Hotel?” I asked. After finding out more of the details she said, “Are you sure you want to ask me out?” “Why don’t you give me some time to think about it.” By late Monday afternoon, she had agreed, and the “date” was set.

Our Night at an “Exclusive” Nob Hill Party

Christmas Eve arrived, Mrs. Williams dressed in black, white pearl necklace, and me in my “Miami-Vice” style borrowed suit and black wing-tip shoes, walking up California Street, arm-in-arm, across the cable-car tracks on Powell Street and through the understated yet elegant courtyard to the entrance of The Stanford Court Hotel. Perched on cable-cars and automobiles ascending the steep California Street grade to the peak of Nob Hill, a steady stream of tourists and revelers were getting an eyeful.

Most likely, people thought we were Grandmother and Grandson (possibly from a very wealthy San Francisco family). We didn’t care and probably created a good laugh for the other guests in the ballroom that night.

Mrs. Williams has long since passed away. I’ll never know why she accepted my invitation for our “date” that night. Perhaps she was just being polite.

Did you ever have a date with someone of vastly different age?

Next: Nadine

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