Aka: Sean Davis. Sean used to work at the cafe, starting way back in 2001, I think. I knew him from before that, from my cop days. Sean never got in any trouble, let's just say that I was at his house a number of times when he was a kid because of the adults in that house and leave it at that. When he started at the cafe, as a buser, I think he was around 17. We had hired his friend Kluthe around that same time, both of them were in a punk band called Backwash with a couple of other kids, one of whom, Joel Hixon, is now the front guy for Absent Minds down there. At that time smoking was still legal in restaurants here and the owner then was aggressively pro-smoker. The restaurant is tiny, but even if it had been larger I don't think John would have created a smoking area. If someone asked, they were told that the whole place was a smoking area. And that included behind the counter. Everyone smoked. I think that the one waitress (John also had a rule against hiring women, an attitude acquired from the first owner, and one that he eventually softened on) and I were the only two out of a summer staff of around 14 who didn't smoke. John did have to tighten up on the smoking a little bit though when one day Sean and Kluthe were both working as busers and were filling an ice cream order. Kluthe was bent over the ice cream freezer, his eight inch multicolored spiked hair threatening to knock all the junk that immediately fills any blank spot at the cafe into the open freezer. Sean was standing behind him, holding two ice cream cones, waiting on the third to take them to the table, all with a lit cigarette in his mouth with about an inch of ash hanging. I can still picture him standing there, this awkward and shy kid, trying to portray to the world a toughness that I don't think he's every really had. Sean lives in LasCruces now and runs a small restaurant there and plays punk as Sean Bond Goon and his Psychological Voodoo. He's a true one man band, playing guitar and drums all by himself. Hit the link up there and give it listen. It's rough and it may not be your thing, but it's all him.
I've known Joel for around the same amount of time. He was already balding at 14 or 15 and has Tourette's which causes his head to rock to the right. So, of course, his friends dubbed him Tick Tock. Joel eventually ended up working at the cafe as well, as a prep cook and then pizza cook. He's funny as hell but slightly exhausting because he argues about everything just to argue and is extremely opinionated. He and I have had an ongoing argument for about six years now about the historical origins of cheese. Once, a few years ago, we were both on the line and there was this very pretty girl sitting at the counter. Joel kept looking back toward her and then leaned in, his head bobbing from side to side, and said, "Dude, that chick is totally into my shit, she wants to fuck my brains out." This was something Joel was convinced of any time any female showed him more than any passing interest or, in some cases, none at all. He said that exact line so many times that Brett and I still say it from time to time when an especially pretty woman comes into view. Later that night, when I mentioned this to the waitress who had been taking care of the young woman, she snorted, "No, she told me that she couldn't stop staring and him and asked me, 'What the fuck is wrong with his head?'" After high school Joel moved to Portland and got a bachelor's degree in a field he'll probably never work in. At least I hope not. I hope he keeps playing music and living his dream. He's been playing with Absent Minds for a few years now in clubs around Portland. For the past couple of weeks they've been touring, playing several shows in California, before moving on to Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and finishing up tonight in Denver, CO. And Kluthe, their spiked friend and former band-mate? He's traded his spikes for sideburns and is starting his second year of law school and is brewing some pretty damned good beer in his house. Like Joel, he is opinionated and argumentative...so I think he'll be happy as a lawyer.
Sonja left to do grownup stuff, like go to college and live with her fiance. She'd been with me a long time, off and on for about five years. Before that I used to take runaway reports on her when I was a deputy.
She can drink far more than her size suggests and still cook, she curses and talks shit on a level that few teenage boys can match, loves to talk about food, and is always down to start a fight.
She can also name the designer of a pair of sunglasses (or any other accessory) in low light from a block away.
Farewell Sonja, the place is a lot less pirate without you.