When I first visited Ashland in the early eighties, one of the first people that I was introduced to was Jay. Jay worked at a local restaurant and was kind of a celebrity. He was living in a small “house” affectionately referred to as the “love shack.” Jay knew all that was going on around town and knew where the people in the know were. I guess you could say that he was plugged into this community.
Jay seemed to know everyone and has friends in many places. I heard a story that when Meryl Streep was in the Rogue Valley filming “The River Wild” a friend of Jay’s spoke about him to Ms. Streep. Not long after, Ms. Streep stopped by the restaurant where Jay was working just to say hello. The guy has a certain je ne sais quoi about him!
For a while, I worked alongside Jay. He was a waiter and I worked in the kitchen making special desserts. One special memory that we share was when we delivered food to the Britt Festival for a special show that benefitted a local not for profit organization. I was asked to make a birthday cake for Jackson Browne which was in itself an honor. Then Jay and I were given backstage passes and were privileged to serve dinner to Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown and John Trudell. It was truly an amazing night.
It’s been a busy week and somehow I did not find out it was Jay’s birthday until a few days after the fact. Today, I made Jay a Quiche Lorraine and brought it to him. He’s been my friend for 25 years and we have shared a lot in that time. I want to thank him for his friendship, wish him a very Happy Birthday, and hope that he has many happy years to come.