Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Travels with Mary Agnes and Trubey

The first trip I took with Trubey was to a TNNA market in New York City.  I was there to help Mary Duckworth, a designer from Northern Virginia,  in her booth.  Peggy Rente from the Naughty Needle in Miami Shores was also traveling with us.  We stayed in a suite at the Al-Rae hotel in the Germantown section of New York.  It was a great small hotel that offered personalized service and not long after our visit went condo.

My duties working for Mary were essentially to be a go-fer.  The first day I was sent to the deli across from the hotel (who knows what its name was, but it was a famous one--I don't even remember the name of the hotel where the show was held!).  Anyway, I was sent to pick up lunch for several of us.  At that time in my life I didn't really consider myself Southern--until this experience.  By the time I told the man behind the counter what condiments I wanted on the sandwich, I already had the sandwich.  Oops!  I'm not a coffee drinker, but I don't think that would have helped.  You had to specify black when you ordered, otherwise New York coffee came with cream.  Oops!  By the time I reached the end of the line at the cashier, I had no idea what I had or had ordered.  With a look of disgust, he charged me the max!

I still remember heading back to the show floor, going up on the escalator.  At the top, George Reagan (a yarn rep from Reynolds Yarn) spotted me.  He asked if I were okay, since I was white as a sheet.  When I told him where I had been, he remarked that they should never have sent me there, being a nice Southern girl!!  They didn't let me go again, not out of kindness, but because I screwed up the orders!  Black coffee drinkers definitely don't like coffee with cream!

The last afternoon of a show has always been slow, so Mary gave me the afternoon off.  Outside the hotel was a bus stop where I was told to take a bus that went all the way to the Cloisters.  I sat behind the driver, after making sure that's where the bus went.  It was wonderful riding through Manhattan looking at everyone.  I spent several hours on my own admiring, among other things, the unicorn tapestries before Trubey and Peggy arrived.

One evening we had dinner with Pru diVenzo, the original owner of Tapestry Tent and her darling husband Tito at Giambelli's about 40th street (there were two Giambelli's owned by branches of the same family--I don't know if they are still open).  It was a delicious meal followed by zabigione prepared at the table.  One other memory is that the bus boy was quite taken with the senorita (me).  I was embarrassed as everyone at the table enjoyed his antics, offering me bread and anything to gain my attention.

I've been wracking my brains, trying to remember what year this was.  It was the late 1970s since we opened the Vero Beach store in October, 1981.  The late 70s would make me in my mid to late 30s.  As the guys at Craigs Grocery in Blowing Rock would say--"a fine figure of a woman".


  1. NYC delis are notorious--don't ask for a bagel with butter unless you want the guy behind the counter to think you're an alien.

  2. It wasn't until I was no longer living in NYC that I realized I should have gone to the Cloisters. I'm sure I can get the dude up there someday...

    (Also, do you mean zabaglione?)