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Autobiographical stories by Dick Whitney

Look what I found in my peas!!!

In October 1966 my Father, Mother and I traveled to California where we visited San Francisco and Los Angeles. Dad was traveling on one of his many AO business trips, but this time was unusual for we came along. When in Los Angeles, Dad met with on business with Russell Stimpson. In the evening, we all planned to go out to dinner at a Restaurant that Mr. Stimpson had selected. What happened that night is something that none of us would ever forget.

The night began by being taken to the center of Los Angeles, and taking the elevator to the top of the Occidental Petroleum skyscraper. When the doors of the opened we entered very exclusive and pricey French Restaurant with a beautiful panoramic view of the city at night. I especially remember Mr. Stimpson telling me that I should take a matchbook as a souvenier, for not many young people my age would ever be able to afford such a Restaurant. I recall seeing flaming dishes that were very impressive to me. I also vividly remember the large menus (without prices), and selecting my meal from a list of dishes that I did not recognize. Upon entering, Mr. Stimpson said to me that I should take a matchbook as a souvenir, as this Restaurant was very exclusive.

We ordered our meals from, and while I can not recall what I had that night, I remember Dad ordered Alaskan King crabs. I am not sure what Mom had, but I do recall that they both had peas as a side dish. During the course of eating, I distinctively remember Mom suddenly looking rather startled. She had obviously bitten down on something that was not to her likely. She then put her fingers in her mouth and pulled something out! After glancing at it, Mom exclaimed "Look what I found in my peas!!!", at which point she raised her fingers to show a rather large machine bolt. Needless to say this caused some alarm and consternation by everyone at the table. Mr. Stimpson called the Manager over and showed this object to him. After hearing there apologies everyone settled down and tried to make the most of the evening. Looking at Dad, I suddenly saw a curious expression on him, and a re-enactment of the scene for he said "I got one too!!!".

With that, a flurry of activity occurred. I don't recall if we stayed for the remainder of the meal, but I do remember that Mr. Stimpson left in disgust. I am not clear whether the meals were paid for, but I do know that he never went back there again! Dad later told me that when he found the second bolt, he gave thought to not mentioning it but decided to "joke" about it in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Another restaurant experience I will never forget!

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