“To look at a thing is quite different from seeing a thing and one does not see anything until one sees its beauty.”
–Minnie Driver, An Ideal Husband

Saturday. It was a nice day off. Don and I were relaxing a bit on the living room couch, enjoying a much-needed break from the hectic nature of our lives since opening the 192nd location. Sometime around about 7 o’clock, my cell rings. It’s Cheri, our Manager at 192nd. I can hear in her voice that she’s trying hard not to cry. “I need you to come down RIGHT NOW. There’s been a fire or SOMETHING, and the sprinklers went off and there’s water everywhere and we got all the customers out.”

“Okay,” I say. “We’ll be RIGHT THERE.” When we arrive at our pretty, new place, it is a scene full of organized chaos. The fire department greets us and informs us there was no fire, only a sprinkler mishap above the pizza oven. Good news, as good news goes in these things.

I don’t know what Don did after that, as we both went our separate ways trying to calm the troops and help where we could. I took up with some bar towels and a shop vac and guided the hosts, who were already busting bum getting things cleaned up and straightened out. Their composure and willingness to help any way they could was a thing of beauty. When we got that area visually free of water, I moved on to the bar area and did a visual on the other dining rooms. Pretty okay, save the water seeping from under the walls into the hallway and the blue room, which, ironically, we had monikered “The Water Room” only three weeks before this.

The kitchen was a bit more traumatic. People were everywhere, on top of equipment, wiping down walls, ceilings, sucking water up off the floor by towel, shop vac, or whatever means they had available to them. A LOT more water in there. It’s amazing the amount of water one small sprinkler can put out in 20-25 minutes–even with a 6’2″ Brazilian having stood on a step stool with a large trash can trying to single-handedly block the water infiltration. Yep, Flavio really did that. That’s a real man there–more integrity in his little finger than a lot of people have in their whole bodies.

Several employees’ families drove down and brought towels. I was fine until Stephen hugged me. Then I started to lose it, but realizing there was no time for pity or sorrow, stiff upper-lipped it and moved on. Then Nicole, our expeditor extraordinaire, having worked in an insurance agent’s office for quite some time, calls a restoration company and gets them down within minutes. Another pure gold rock star.

To say that we are EXTRAORDINARILY proud of the people we work with is an understatement. To witness what we witnessed walking into that mess–and seeing the tremendous beauty and ownership in the place that our team has–there are no words to appropriately convey our pride in them. Out of the ashes, or in this case, water, came a unified team. Something I’m not at all too sure we were before this. Hiring 40 or so strangers and putting them to task may get the job done all right, but these people are no longer strangers and they showed their strength beyond measure.

I just wanted you all to know that. To know that the person “serving” you takes incredible pride in what they do and that their profession is an honorable one, full of some really amazing people. That the guy throwing your pizza skin is a professional who when called to action, does it better than most CEOs. That the guys in the dish room washing nearly everything in the place that night never once complained, through all the extra muck–one even asking if we wanted him to come in the next day on a volunteer basis to finish cleaning up what might be left to do. After all that. You want to see character? Integrity? Just look any one of these people in the eye.

I wanted you all to know what they did, and in doing so, showed us who they truly are. This is family.

On a side note, if all goes well (and we believe that it will, thanks to our crew’s incredible efforts), we should be back open on 192nd on Wednesday, November 21st. I’ll update the website home page as we learn more. In the meantime, and any old time, feel free to patronize our 4th Avenue location in historic downtown Camas. The fact that we have Walking Man on tap with a beer tasting today (all from local breweries, too!) should ease everyone’s pain just a bit. 🙂

All the Best to You and Your Family
in the Coming Holiday Season!
Morgan, Don, and the whole Twilight Family