07/08/07 - posted by Boris
I remember a restaurant around 32nd called the Garden Restaurant (if my memory serves me well) that was there for years and is now gone. But it wasn't on the corner, but not too far from it. We use to go there sometimes as a special treat. Remember when Celia's was only a shoebox on Judah? My mother is 92 and has known the family from way back. Perfecto was the cook and eventually got his own restaurant as did other family members. Great success story.

Rick---I can still see the french fry maker on the wall. I peeled so many potatoes in two years that it took about 20 years for my scarred thumb to return to normal. There were some great characters that hung out there after work everyday, played the horsed and swore at the pinball machines when they lost their last dime. Jim Pappas was the owner. He was always a gentleman with people, even when they wanted to kill him for stealing their last dime. The first trip I ever took without parents was when I was 15. Dennis Boyd and I purchased a trip to Disneyland for three days and Jim slipped me $100 cash as I was leaving. I never forgot that. He later opened a deli on Market near Castro and I walked in to find him behind the counter one day,

I'll never forget the day this guy wearing a ten gallon hat walked in with his family and proceeded to tell Jim that he was President Johnson's brother. Jim made me change my plastic apron that was covered in soap scum and grease and together we gave them the best damn service you could find this side of the Colorado River. They kept ordering plate after plate of food and the kids were all over the place acting obnoxiously and making a mess. I kept trying to tell Jim this guy was a fake, but he would have none of it. By the time they had left (after closing hours) the guy had managed to get a free meal and didn't leave a tip. I watched them drive away in their heap of a car and just shook my head. Jim was one of the biggest optimists I have ever met in my entire life, and I'm happy to say a bit of it rubbed off on me.
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