“For a while, I was full-time in the nightclub scene in Boston. But I got the bug and wanted to own my own place. I grew up in Colonie, so I moved back here to see what I could get going. This was ’73. I met another guy who wanted to do the same thing, so we opened up a place in Guilderland called The Mad Hatter.
One night, this guy Billy came in, had a few beers, and on his way out he realized he didn’t have any money on him. So he called me over and said, ‘This baseball hat is worth 5 beers.’ I was like, ‘That piece of shit’s not worth one!’ We settled on two beers. He got his free beers, and I got out my ladder and nailed his hat to the ceiling. Guys started coming in and pointing out their hats out to their friends. We got a little following like that. Two years into that venture, I found my partner doing some unscrupulous things, so I told him to buy me out and he did. Well, the very last night in the place, in walks Billy with this girl—she’s got every curve you could possibly imagine. But she’s way too hot for Billy to hold on to.
Fast forward a few months. I sell the business, party for a few months, travel to Hawaii for a few weeks, and when I get back, I take a sales job. The end of that very first week on the job, I’m driving from work thinking, it’s Friday… what am I going to do this weekend? I’m going to happy hour. I’ve never been to happy hour! I’ve worked happy hour for the last six years, but I’ve never just gone to happy hour! And who do I meet as soon as I walk in the door? Miss Shapely… she’s now my wife!”