Monday, December 07, 2009

An email from a former Dubrow's employee

I love how people come out of the woodwork to share their Dubrow's connections. The fact that so many people are sitting at hoe Googling Dubrow's Cafeteria, 24 years after the last one closed, tells me how much it meant to people.

This one comes from a woman named Sonia Valentin:

"I was so surprised to Google Dubrow's Cafeteria and find this blog...wonderful...I was a 15 or 16 yr old Puerto Rican student in high school in the Bronx who got a part time job in the Manhattan cafeteria. I worked for four hours from 2-6 pm and was paid $1.50 per hour, and I worked Monday through Friday, and all day Saturday. I was in charge of the "freebies" station where customers got their juices, cole slaw, and applesauce. I was next to Ruth, Jewish, the cashier...and on the other side was Al Tabenkin, Jewish, another cashier...who became a dear friend for many, many years...i went to his 70th birthday party with my husband some time ago. I remember Joyce, African American, who bussed the tables with her daughter - whose name eludes me. I remember Bob, the manager, with the dirty blond hair and beautiful blue eyes - I had a crush on him. Another was Ben the hot meats and sandwich slicer - I was right next to him, and Angelo. This was the first time I ever tasted brisket of beef, and I recall there were some meats the employees were not supposed to eat but good old Ben, a Puerto Rican, always let me have a taste and made small sandwiches for me. I love eating matzo ball soup since this is where I had it for the first time. Angelo, another Puerto Rican, worked behind me and used to take orders for broiled fish, he was so kind to me always in those days when I first started there. Chen was chinese, and the manager of the food department and I remember when we went to the second or third floor to change into our clean, and crisp white uniforms with white shoes and white nylons, everyone was always cooking under his direction -- I was told he had many children. Felix, African American, was a counter man and was the fastest food server in the union and was always so informative about the foods, etc. I think the floor manager was Joe, Jewish....not sure of his name. I got this job via Maria, another Puerto Rican who went to school with me, had long blond hair, freckles, and lived in the same neighborhood as I did, and she worked the soda station.

I remember the day I came to work and found out that Irwin Dubrow killed himself. I believe it happened on a Saturday night and I found out when I went to work that Monday. It was a sad day, and people at work did not want to talk about it, and we were shocked that someone so vibrant, and young was gone. But I recall Irwin was always the quiet type, had wavy dark brown hair, and always said hello.

Sonia would very much like to hear from other people who worked at Dubrow's from 1965-1968, when she worked there. Contact me via the blog and I can put you in touch with her.