Used to work for this old guy named Al Grasser that refused to drink coffee out of a paper cup. Said it contaminated the taste and I am afeard that he was right. Hadn't thought about him in years until right now.
At 11 Al was sick of being the housekeeper and cook on the family farm so he literally packed his belongings into a bandana slipped over a stick (swear to gawd, just like the cartoons) and lit out for greener pastures. Interestingly enough he never looked back. Never saw his parents or family ever again.
He worked on a road crew in Montana in the summer, did some fry cooking in the winter, and eventually ended up in frontier Alaska in the 1940's.
He made his money on failing coffee shops. His schtick was a simple one. Buy out a bankrupt coffee shop, give away free coffee to lure in the clientele and then sell it. Years later he ended up in So Cal and then he was off to greener pastures in the Pacific Northwest and I lost track of him.
He gave me an inside tip once. Told me he was going to sell his shop and put me in touch with somebody else who offered me a good deal. I guess he liked me because his justification was that every other employee here had a job when they came, they'll be okay.
Mike, you go, work your deal with Marlene, she'll cut you a break and if you play your cards right you can buy her out. He was right. I did buy her out and the terms were good. That was moons and careers ago but it was a big break and Al didn't have to point me. He was like that though, always taking youngsters under his wing. Maybe what goes around does come around.