Freedom must be fought for

I’ve just spent an inspiring week in Historic Philadelphia.  It brought to mind this quote from one of our presidents, Ronald Reagan.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan

Janelle Meraz Hooper
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Red Meat on a Friday Night in the Restaurant Business

Red Meat on a Friday Night
(blog only)
Janelle Meraz Hooper

See my books and short stories

Friday nights could be rough in the restaurant business. Working couples were overstressed, overtired, and emotionally numb from not having the energy to communicate during the week.

Oh, joy. Before Rod ever seated the couple at their table, he knew he was in for a rough night. The woman was already sniping at the man—Rod guessed it was the woman’s husband because no date would put up with her vitriol. Between the few feet from the front door to their table, she jumped on the man for not making reservations for where she really wanted to eat and told him his tie looked like hell. Without taking a breath, she then accused him of smoking behind her back. The man didn’t deny it and he didn’t look remorseful, either. Ding! Round one.

This kind rancor wasn’t unusual between couples on a Friday night, a certain amount was even expected, but this couple was the worst in a long time. Rod seated the two, handed them menus, quickly told them about the specials, and ran for the protection of the kitchen. He told them he was going after water but he lied. He was afraid if he gave them anything they could throw at each other, he’d have a big mess to clean up. Instead, he brought them the wine they’d requested. He was pretty sure they wouldn’t throw their wine. They obviously needed it.

He kept an eye on them, avoiding their table until their glasses were almost empty before he cheerfully approached and offered to take their order. Waiters knew that unhappy customers were not only bad for business, they would hurt their tip. If their bickering continued, they might even argue more than they ate, which would tie up the table longer than usual and delay him getting happier customers who would be better tippers.

By the time they’d each emptied two glasses of the house chardonnay, the two had quieted down and were eagerly watching the food come out of the kitchen, each hoping it was their order. When their plates were ready to be delivered, Rod raced to the couple’s table, threw the red meat in front of the two, and stepped back. Red meat and baked potato for the man. Red meat and salad—no dressing—for the woman.

Rod thought it was a good sign when the band came back and the dance floor started filling up. Maybe the music and the dancing would distract them. He was wrong. The man’s wife zeroed in on a couple who was happily dancing around the floor.

“Why can’t you dance like that?” she griped.
He calmly glanced at the passing couple. “Why can’t you look like that?” Ding! Round two,” Rod whispered to a passing fellow waiter.

Halfheartedly, Rod offered a dessert menu. All he got from the two was sneers. Desperately trying to save his tip, Rod brought two complementary chocolate truffles wrapped in gold foil wrappers to the table. With a smirk, the woman unwrapped both candies and stuffed both into her mouth at once. So much for the diet.

The waiter almost had to duck to avoid the man’s credit card as it flew across the table in his direction. Before it landed on the tablecloth, the woman looked at her man with a challenging expression. “I think I would like to see a dessert menu,” she smiled, never taking her eyes off her husband. The man got up from the table, threw his napkin on his plate, and said he was going outside to have a smoke, ignoring the smoke that was already coming out of his wife’s ears. Ding! Round three.

Rod knew there would be no tip tonight from the two. By this point, he was praying that their credit card went through. A credit failure was all this couple needed to complete their disastrous dinner. If only the card went through, maybe he could at least avoid Round four. Even so, it was getting late; most likely, he’d not get a chance to fill his table with another couple. The cashier sent Rod a barely concealed thumbs up. The man came back inside long enough to sign the slip and left again, leaving his wife to fumble with her coat alone.

Back in the kitchen, the other waiters laughed and each contributed to their fellow waiter’s tip jar. It had happened to all of them. The good news was the next Friday night was a week away.

The end

If you like this story, please share! My thanks! Janelle

Check out my books and short stories on Amazon! I write in a variety of genres! Paperback and Kindle. See my books on my book site!

A Contemporary, Western Romance


The third book in my Turtle Trilogy. In the first book, Glory is five-years-old. In Custer, she’s a grown woman relocating back to her Oklahoma home from Seattle. She’s facing a lot of problems, including a divorce, childlessness, and pressure on her mother by the New Jersey mafia to sell her land so they can build a casino. Her biggest problem of all may be Soap, a life-long friend who wants to help her solve her childless problem…

Sprinkled with Spanish phrases and Comanche words,
Custer & His Naked Ladies is full of Southwest Oklahoma flavor. Suitable for New Adult* & up. Paperback and Kindle. (New Adult is the rating that comes right after Young Adult.) Published by iUniverse.

*Note: Naked Ladies are flowers in Oklahoma.

Kanab, Utah, one of God’s little secrets

Rudy will be back for 2 more performances in 2018!

Geronimo, Life on the Reservation, starring Rudy Ramos, had two amazing performances at the Crescent Moon Theatre in Kanab, Utah. What a jewel of a theatre–it would have been worth the trip to see the theatre alone! A special thanks to Jeffrey Turner, manager, who made us feel so welcome and for finding my glasses that I lost during the performance!

Going to the Kanab Western Legends Roundup and Film Festival turned out to be one of the best trips of my life. Who knew? Actually, my main intention of the trip was to see Rudy perform his Geronimo, Life on the Reservation two more times, but I truly fell in love with Kanab and the other participants in the event. Right next door to us were the Wyatt McCrea’s, Joel McCrea’s grandson, On the other side was Rudy Ramos and his wife. Don Collier, Neil Summers, and Jeff McCarroll were on the end of our row. I could go on and on. The morning we left I woke up about 3:30 AM thinking I have to stay at least two more days. I NEED two more days! I feel a book here.

It’s the same feeling I got in Tombstone (It’s in my latest book—A One- Way Cruise to Africa–still without a cover! Hopefully it’ll be out by Christmas on Kindle.) As I’ve said before, as an indie-writer, it’s just me behind the curtain here–these things take time!

See my books on my website

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Geronimo is coming to Kanab, Utah!

Western Legends Roundup and Film Festival

 Tickets for Rudy’s Geronimo show
in Kanab, Utah

Rudy Ramos

The air sizzles after a Geronimo, Life on the Reservation show. Rudy will perform his show again at the Kanab Western Legends Roundup and Film Festival on August 25 & 26th, 3:30 PM. TICKETS: The Roundup runs from August 21-26 in Kanab, Ut. Go Kanab! 

I wrote this show specifically for Rudy. He has gotten rave reviews and Standing Room Only crowds wherever he goes. Go see it when he comes to your area! Janelle