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.


Granny Annie said...

Nora, you are achieving phenomenal success in this lifetime as you befriend so many people. You enhance their lives and they enhance yours. That is why you are such a gifted writer. Your drink in the beauty of all the people around you and share it with the world. Look how many of us now know Russell Settle.

Ralph said...

Sorry to hear about Russ. You wrote a great article about him. I especially liked the part about sitting the man's beer down at the other end of the bar.

Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much said...

What a great post Nora! I love to hear great stories from guys like Russ (Heck that is why I handpicked my father in law...) Thanks for letting Russ touch our lives in blogland.

The Red Key Tavern family will be in our prayers.

Cliff said...

Great, great writing Dear Nora, You're the best and it's fitting that you are 'top shelf' in my book.
Details were great and I feel I knew Russ. You have spoken about him to be before and I'll miss him even though we'd never met. A good guy. We need more of him, Spitznogle.