A NIGHT ON THE TOWN IN 1949

On November 17, 1949, Bernard Olcott and his dashing first wife Patricia Terry of Larchmont, New York spend the evening out on the town. It looks like the wide striped banquet seating of El Morocco but Pat tells me that no, they only hung at The Stork Club or 21.  In any event, this is one of my favorite pictures of Dad, earnest, engaged, and involved.  And looking sharp!

Pat was the first of 5 wives and 5 divorces.  The next wife was an import, a young lady from Quebec City, Canada, my mother Michele.  Number three was another import, this time Graciela from Guayaquil, Ecuador, mother of my sister Victoria.  Like Pat’s, that was another short-lived marriage, lasting about 3 years.  Dad returned to domestic varieties for the last two.  Gloria from Bay Ridge and Stony Brook, Long Island, mother of my sister Blair.  And ending with Rosemary from Washington Heights, NYC (and raised in Metuchen, New Jersey).  Dad was a romantic, to be sure, but he was worse than clueless after marriage.  In fact, there is a strong argument to be made that he was just plain misogynist.  For example, he never ever spoke about his own mother, a mysterious lady named “Patricia Regas.”  I use quotes because she was a Lithuanian immigrant (like his Dad) and I have no idea about what her real name was or anything.  At all.  But more on that later.

YES DEPOSIT AND YES RETURN

No matter the routine, things could get crazy.  Fast.

Lunch with Bernard Olcott at Olcott International in 1983 followed a familiar routine.  At around maybe 11:45 AM, after a few hunger pangs had already hit me pretty hard, I would head up to the top floor, the level that actually connected to the street, and ask if he was ready to grab some lunch.  He would typically wave me off for another 10 to 15 minutes while he finished up some correspondence.  Finally, he would call me back upstairs.   We would then spend another 10 to 15 minutes looking for a pack-of-cards sized contraption holding perhaps 50 keys for the car, the house, the office, the boat, and God knew what else.  Oddly they were never in the same place twice.  And if not retrieved, well, that would have been the end of the world, as we knew it.

The next part of the routine would be to drive over to the Shop Rite supermarket on JFK Boulevard in Union City, New Jersey.  This was located in a bustling area with a huge parking lot in front.  However, it was only sensibly approachable from the southbound lane.  This presented an engineering problem to Dad, the kind he loved to solve.