(Don't worry, if he busts you out he'll buy you back in, or buy you one more round for the road.)
Kathy introduced us all to Dan, as if he wouldn't walk right up to you and say his mind if he thought you were interesting (or he thought you needed a scolding). Usually a little of both.
Dan was Kathy's brother from another mother, and she his sister from another mister.
Now Dan is serving me brunch at Nighttown, and it is 1998. He sits down at an empty chair at the table for a moment, when manager Brendan wasn't looking, to tell a story.
Dan serves me many drinks over the years at many places. It's always a pleasure to see him standing behind the bar at Lola Bistro on E. 4th Street and Euclid. He's all smiles with his black shirt, slacks and tie, black apron and bartenders cloth.
He fires off a joke and a negroni. Dan is all class. Dan is charming, making my dinner date smile. Dan makes me look good, Dan is a stand-up guy.
Dan is telling a story:
An old proverb says: "In life you have two problems - whether you're rich or whether you're poor. If you're rich, you have no problems; if you're poor, you only have two problems: whether you're healthy or whether you're not, if you're healthy, then you have no problems, if not you only have two problems: whether you live or whether you die. If you live, no worries. If you die, you only have two problems, whether you go up, or whether you go down. If you go up, no worries, if you go down, look me up and I'll buy you a beer."Dan Rogan told me that toast. I'm sure there's no Hell and if there was I'm positive Dan isn't going there. I do wish I could share one more drink with him.
Safe travels, good sir. You will be missed.
Daniel Martin Rogan, 7th September 1962 - 22nd November 2013.