"Jan was the anchor," says Joan. "She closed it at night. She wrote the checks. She saw to it that the bills were paid." Almost all of the family worked in the bar at the beginning, and they all found where they worked best--and didn't.
"Something happened every day," Joan recalls. The furnace broke down or the refrigerator broke down or the sink plugged up ... Bill's mother came in to help me in the kitchen. Bill's father ran the grill, for a very short time. Then he took the spatula and threw it across the room, and said, 'That's it. I can do one order at a time! You throw me two or three orders, that's it!' Then we had to hire a cook."
Jan recalls those early years with deep affection. "My dad would sit at the end of the bar and entertain people," she says. "They came to listen to his stories. He was a real charismatic man.
"I didn't get to know my dad until" they worked together, Jan adds, her voice softening. "Being a milkman, he was out and about, and when we got home from school, it was like, 'Shhhh. Your dad's sleeping.'" (He had to get up very early to deliver milk.) Working with him, Jan says, he "became my best friend."