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Friday, October 24, 2014

The "Faces of Strangers: #23" Story

Raymond quizzing us during the
Forrest Gump trivia contest.
Foreword - At times you meet strangers who just brighten your day.  While on vacation in Hawaii I met a few extraordinary strangers who made my vacation a bit more memorable.  Two of them happened to  share the same name: Raymond.  One was a server at a restaurant in downtown Lahina while the other was a groundskeeper at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.  My story today will tell you about Raymond the server.  Tomorrow's story will deal with Raymond the groundskeeper.

It was an ordinary day.  Calling out answers to the trivia questions that Raymond is quizzing the 20 or so patrons sitting along the water at the Bubba Gump Restaurant in Lahina, Maui.  Carol and I, along with traveling friends Jerry and just Sue were searching for a place to have our evening meal and finally decided on Bubba Gumps along the north end of the waterfront shopping haven known as the town of Lahina.  We were seated quickly with an ocean view table and shortly this exuberant young man visited our table and began what would be one of the most interesting meals we would have on the inland during our visit.  The tall, thin young man with the bushy hair and diamond stud in his left ear was a true character in all the good ways.  We got to talking with him and found he was born on the mainland, moved when he was in his early 20's to a few different locations and ended up in Maui.  Has been here for almost four years and just loves it.  Took our drink orders and returned in a minute with two large glasses of ice water, each with two straws in them.  Placed them on either side of the table for the four of us and told us the story about a young couple who he had waited on who asked for one glass of water with two straws.  He saw how much in love they were and decided he would do the same for all his patrons seeing how romantic it was for the two lovers.  He was a constant blur as he waited on the tables around us.  Made sure our meal was enjoyable as well as entertaining.  Then, as we were talking together, we heard his voice above the din of the restaurant.  He was announcing a trivia game for his patrons geared toward the movie "Forrest Gump."  Question after question he gave with clues until he shouted "Yes" to correct answers.  20 questions later he declared we all did a great job and thanks for participating in his game.  I enjoyed my dining experience with Raymond probably more than the food I was served.  He arrived at our table with the checks and questioned Sue if she wanted him to wash her Bubba Gump special glass she had received with her drink.  Suggested she give it to a friend or grandkid.  Sue told him she had two grandchildren so she probably didn't want to take it with her.  Just as quick as that he produced another drink glass, washed the used one and packed them in a bag.  Most all our dining experiences from our vacation will be soon forgotten, but I will NEVER forget the dining experience I had that night with Raymond as our server.  A truly great young man who illustrated flair, charm and the knack to entertain while doing his job.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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