Tuesday, April 13, 2010
russel settle 1918 - 2010
As you know I've worked at the Red Key Tavern for eight years and adore it and the owner Russel Settle.
Russ died on Easter Sunday. He was 92.
I could tell Russ stories all day - and have been all week. After he retired at age 87 from working six nights a week, ten or so hours a night, Russ would still come to the bar and make sure we were doing it all right. I didn't feel like I was working unless he growled " Spitznogle did you turn on the light....ring up that beer....have them hang up their coat.....?" or whatever caught his eye.
He started getting a hamburger to take home. I took great delight in drawing pictures on the paper bag that I'd put his sandwich in. If you've ever seen me draw you know that I can goof up a stick figure. Often I'd have to write a note explaining what I was trying to draw. For his birthday and holidays I'd get extra-fancy and add glitter or cutout photos. His daughter told me that he had a stack of those bags and would let anyone use them.
I loved walking Russ out to his car. Sometimes I'd need to give his bum a little boost to walk up the tall back step. I walked him out on Saturday and we chatted in sunlight. I asked if he would wait while I grabbed my camera. I fully expected him to have driven off in the time it took me to run back in to fetch it. He was still standing there and I snapped the photo above, gave him a kiss on the cheek and sent him on his way.
Click here to read the NUVO piece I wrote about Russ.