On the Passing of Shirley Hite
Earlier this month, an obituary ran announcing the passing of Shirley Ann Hite. Not too much was mentioned of her impact or her contribution to this area, especially in the foodservice industry.
You probably knew her if you were in Glendale during the era of Bengie’s operation. Professionalism and a powerful work ethic were paramount. No matter what life threw at her, she was there, working – and working hard, giving nothing less than the absolute best possible. Her philosophy was that if customers were coming in, spending their hard-earned money in her establishment (and wherever she worked was “her” establishment), then they were entitled to – and they deserved no less than – a stellar dining experience.
Her methods of customer care and service are all but passé in this generation. Oddly, her perfectionistic approach to cleanliness and order was most notable in its transparency, only noticeable now in its absence. Subtle touches such as: spotless condiments, as though it was a brand new container – no gunk on the lid or bottle; salt and pepper shakers felt as clean to your touch as if no one had ever handled them before.
This letter would need to be much longer in order to explain how these simple little touches can enhance your dining experience, but a trip to any diner where her hand is not evident will clarify the lack of that kind of attention to detail. She dreamed of founding a technical school designed to train latter day youth in what she believed to be a lost art: customer service.
Dedication and pride in a job well done were ultimate goals for her, and she instilled this drive within her children and grandchildren, as well as in all of her employees.
Again, space precludes me from going into greater detail, but – for all of those idiosyncrasies detailed above, and for so very much more – simply: to know Shirley, truly was to love her.
A memorial service will be held beginning at 11a.m. on Saturday, April 20 at Central Christian Church, which is located at 5027 New York Ave. in La Crescenta. All who knew her, and whose lives were touched by her, are welcome and encouraged to attend.
The Family of Shirley Hite
Applauds CV Jazz Band
The Crescenta Valley High School Jazz Band played at the open house at 12 Oaks Lodge last Sunday afternoon. The band was terrific, all good-looking musicians, performing great music. It brought back happy memories of 1968 – 1970 when my son Chris Bowman was in the school band, playing trumpet under the direction of Sid Knowlton.
Be sure to go see and hear them if they have a concert. They’re really good.
Norma H. Bowman