We were on a business trip to Vancouver, BC last year. Let me define “business” trip: Beloved Husband has the odious task of actually working and being pleasant to customers, while I am unleashed to pillage a new city as I see fit. This arrangement works swimmingly for both of us. It is a small luxury in life to have exactly as much time as I like in a used-book store, for instance, without fretting about taking up too much of someone else’s time.
In between various meetings, we had time to tour gorgeous Vancouver and the jewel in its crown, Stanley Park.
Stanley Park is also where BH had to fend off the attack of the vicious Canadian Black Squirrel. You may have heard of it. No? Consider yourself warned.
Our last morning there we had trotted from our hotel over to the neighboring Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel for a quick breakfast before flying home. The last morning in any city I am officially out of tourist mode. I’m steeling myself for whatever horrors might be ahead in a day of air travel and am not anticipating having noteworthy happen at breakfast. But this day I was wrong.
Apologies first for the quality of some of these photos. People were having their breakfast, after all, and I didn’t want to be too intrusive with my photo-snapping: (“Excuse me, might I just lean over your omelet for one moment?”) This was long before I started blogging, so the photos were really just for me. Here we go with the rest of the story:
It seems there is a courtly gentleman named Mr. Harold Cross, age 91. Every day for 35 years he has come to this hotel for his lunch, dressed in a jacket and tie. Bless his heart, I just love him.
Now a widower, he and his wife, Jeannie, began having their daily lunch at the hotel when he retired. After his wife passed away, Harold continued the tradition, feeling it a way to still have a connection with his late wife.
Evidently Harold is a prince. The hotel staff just love him and if he doesn’t appear by 12:15 p.m., somebody phones to see where he is. And when time came to renovate the restaurant, which I guess needs to happen every 35 years or so, guess what they did?
That’s right, they renamed the restaurant “Harold’s Bistro.” Even better, they created an homage to Harold in their wall graphics hanging throughout the restaurant. Have a look at these iconic Hollywood images which have been only improved by the addition of Mr. Harold Cross:
Harold had a birthday recently, so the restaurant threw a little bash in his honor.
OK, there is the remotest of possibilities that hotel management considered the benefits gained from Harold’s Bistro and the ensuing positive PR. But to me, the picture says it all. If it could make one lonely old widower this happy, then more power to them.
I will restrain my urge to go on and on about the ripple effect of kindness in this life. If only we hadn’t had to rush off to catch a morning flight; I would have loved to stay for lunch.
And thanks for reading,