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Grosvenor Properties Ltd had invited us to the opening of Grosvenor Towers, a new, high-end residential building.

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind..."

And so goes Edward Bulwer Lytton's opening phrase except it wasn't any of those things; well, perhaps the wind. My husband and I huffed and puffed up California street on a partially sunny San Francisco evening in December, 1975. The temperature was a mild 60 and we couldn't wait to arrive at our destination atop Nob Hill. Grosvenor Properties Ltd had invited us to the opening of Grosvenor Towers, a new, high-end residential building that featured the S. Holmes Esquire pub and Mama's restaurant.

We were young. We were energetic. We were thirsty. We were hungry. COURTESY PHOTO: PAT PERKINS - The invitation to the opening of Grosvenor Towers is seen here.

Our faces dropped, however, when we entered and saw hordes of people who were thirstier, hungrier and earlier than us. We managed to elbow our way to get two glasses of wine, pulled ourselves away from the food lines and noticed a small, round table across the room. Standing, we sighed as we plunked down our wine on the white tablecloth, straddled briefcases on the floor and unbuttoned our winter coats. We'll wait and get food when the line shrinks, we thought, but then realized that Mama's would most likely run out of her delicious pates, cheeses, crab rolls, tiny pizzas, crudités and meatballs before then.

Ten minutes later a server bearing a huge mound of prawns and a bowl of cocktail sauce headed to our empty, lonely table in need of sustenance. He was closely followed by a bunch of freeloaders, balancing their already full plates and drinks. But big smiles were on our faces as he placed the platter in the center of "our" table. Bravely we stood our ground and for over 30 minutes satisfied our hunger with those lovely, plump, fresh crustaceans.

Yes, hold those meatballs.

Pat Perkins is a member of the Jottings group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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