BROWSE BY:     Title Number Subject Creator Digital Content

Interview with Guy Ferreri, and  Justine Ferreri,  February 7, 2008 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

pdf icon Get PDF Version
Interview with Guy Ferreri, and  Justine Ferreri,  February 7, 2008
February 7, 2008
Interview with Guy Ferreri and Justine Ferreri.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Ferreri, Guy and Ferreri, Justine Interviewer: Hayes, Sherman Date of Interview: 2/7/2008 Series: Arts, General Arts Length 120 minutes

Guy Ferreri: My given name?

Sherman Hayes: Well why don't you let me start by telling us where we're at. We're at downtown Wilmington on February 7th, interviewing Guy Ferreri? Did I?

Guy Ferreri: Ferreri.

Sherman Hayes: Ferreri, good. And this is Sherman Hayes, University librarian, and it's February 7th, 2008. Now your real name.

Guy Ferreri: My given name was Guido.

Sherman Hayes: Guido.

Guy Ferreri: It was changed to Guy, which I believe is English for Guido. Gui would be French, so forth and so on. And the reason for it, when I was going to school in New York, I guess in the 30s, if your name was Guido you're in trouble.

Sherman Hayes: Oh my goodness.

Guy Ferreri: So my sister said Guy, and it's been Guy but officially it's Guido Ferreri.

Sherman Hayes: So Ferreri, Guido, Italian background, you said New York. Is that where?

Guy Ferreri: I have a mother and father from Italy. My father from Rome, my mother from Sicily. They came here and got married here and I arrived on April 1st, 1924.

Sherman Hayes: Were they that wave? That's what I was thinking. Did they come over in that wave just after the 1900's from?

Guy Ferreri: Exactly. They spent time, I guess it was at Ellis Island or wherever they go.

Sherman Hayes: But they stayed in New York?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah, in New York City. Manhattan.

Sherman Hayes: Manhattan.

Guy Ferreri: I was born actually in the Bronx. I guess when the '29, 1929 took place it really set my family back so we moved in with my grandmother, who lived on Astor Place in New York City.

Sherman Hayes: What were your parents' names? That would be interesting to know.

Guy Ferreri: My parents, my mother was Theresa-

Sherman Hayes: Theresa.

Guy Ferreri: And my father was Ernesto.

Sherman Hayes: Ernesto, yeah good. But they didn't change to something. I guess they were-

Guy Ferreri: No.

Sherman Hayes: And was it an Italian community that you lived in? I mean a neighborhood?

Guy Ferreri: Manhattan, you've been there I'm sure?

Sherman Hayes: Yeah.

Guy Ferreri: In those days, I don't know what it is now because I haven't been there in such a long time, was a combination of so many different things, certainly Jewish, Polish, German, Irish, Italians, and some Hispanics. Here comes my little baby girl.

Sherman Hayes: That's good.

Guy Ferreri: My little Maggie. You can sit with me if you want, Maggie.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah, Maggie, you can sit there. That's alright.

Guy Ferreri: Get up here. You want to be in the movies, that's it? She is a female.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah. (laughs)

Guy Ferreri: But those were wonderful days actually, Sherman. You know, you look back, I think those are the best times for all of us because we learned how to survive, and today I don't think we know how to survive.

Sherman Hayes: So you grew up in the '30s? '40s? '30s?

Guy Ferreri: Well I was born in '24

Sherman Hayes: '24, so--

Guy Ferreri: And '29 was the big terrible thing brought on the stock market which sent my parents to live my grandmother, and that was really incredible because I think we were eight people in one apartment and one lavatory, and everybody slept in different rooms with little partitions of (inaudible) used to do. But anyway our divertissement was looking out the window, you know. It was kind of interesting. But I love those days because we'd all set down at the table at one time and our enjoyment was conversation. This is, I don't think the radio was, I don't think we had a phone at that time and if we did it was probably a phone that a lot of people were involved with. I forget what they call those phones. Anyway. You could be talking online and somebody else--

Sherman Hayes: Oh, a party line.

Guy Ferreri: A party line.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah, yeah.

Guy Ferreri: So anyway, there were great times. We enjoyed it.

Sherman Hayes: So you finished high school? Did you do high school?

Guy Ferreri: No, I did not. I did not finish high school. What happened was I was in high school during the time that we were invaded by Japan.

Sherman Hayes: In '41. So you would have been 17 or so?

Guy Ferreri: I think I had a year left but please remember that in those days it was very necessary to make money to survive. So when that took place all of a sudden a lot of different positions came up with some decent money. So I quit because I knew I was going to go in the service anyway and I helped my mother out and my family out. My father had died when I was younger, many years ago, and I went to work for, I forget, a warehouse or something like that.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Guy Ferreri: Because that's where the bucks were and then eventually I went into the service.

Sherman Hayes: So you served in World War II?

Guy Ferreri: Yes I did.

Sherman Hayes: In what branch?

Guy Ferreri: I was an infantryman. I did make First Class Private.

Sherman Hayes: You're proud of that. That's good.

Guy Ferreri: And I was very proud of that. I actually fought in Italy but my first involvement in Europe was in Africa.

Sherman Hayes: Wow!

Guy Ferreri: And from Africa we went to aid the invasion at, what was the name of that place, not Anzio. Salerno. We made the invasion of Salerno and then worked our way through the middle of Italy to the point where I was not shot down but disabled to a certain degree.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah. You got wounded.

Guy Ferreri: No, I never actually got, I got, I was sort of covered with a lot of dirt. Sort of like an avalanche I got myself into.

Sherman Hayes: Oh, wow.

Guy Ferreri: I think what happened was, and I really don't know for sure, I've been told is that near the Anzio area, are you familiar with the Anzio area?

Sherman Hayes: No I'm not.

Guy Ferreri: That's where the Monteccino is. I'm sorry, Anzio is where they made the invasion but in the Monteccino area, a lot of our own planes were bombing the area and some sort of a thing bounced, completely covered me. I came in and out of it. I was in and out of it the whole time. I was taken to the hospital then.

Sherman Hayes: Have you recovered from that or do you think?

Guy Ferreri: Oh yeah.

Sherman Hayes: It didn't affect you later in life? Many people carry something for an awful long time.

Guy Ferreri: I might have a very small disability. I get a check every month for about $100, something like that. It started off at $10-$15 then we got it to $102 or so a month.

Sherman Hayes: Were you fluent in Italian at that point?

Guy Ferreri: I was.

Sherman Hayes: So was that to your advantage ever?

Guy Ferreri: Well yeah. Matter of fact, what happened was, I don't know if this is interesting or not.

Sherman Hayes: That's fine. That's fine.

Guy Ferreri: The fact that I did speak Italian, I was attached to the ranger battalion for a while. We had to find a way getting across some kind of river or something like that and that sort of for me, I got into a situation when I was traveling with two other people, three of us together. That's about it.

Sherman Hayes: That's fine. That's fine.

Guy Ferreri: Then they sent me back to Africa to--

Sherman Hayes: Recuperate you mean?

Guy Ferreri: Well no, this is before they knew that I was coming back to the United States. I couldn't fight anymore but I guess that was a place where you'd go first and then you'd get a ship to come back.

Sherman Hayes: So was this about, what, '43 by this point?

Guy Ferreri: '44.

Sherman Hayes: '44?

Guy Ferreri: '43 is when I got in. This was the end of '44, beginning of '45. I guess I could look at my separation papers. But the interesting thing is I was always interested in music. I used to play--I was a drummer, or I thought I was a drummer, not a very good one. Then I got with a little bit of a group in Africa and we called, we did a show called "Harlem in Cadence" and I was with six or eight Black soldiers and I was the only white fellow and in those days those things didn't happen like they are now. At any rate, I thought that was kind of interesting.

Sherman Hayes: So then you took the slow boat back to America.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. Came back to the United States where I was discharged. Then I got into the hospitality business.

Sherman Hayes: Is that what they called it then? Did you see it as getting into the business or did you just fall into it?

Guy Ferreri: It was a way, of what happened was I came out of the service and the first thing I did, I stayed with my mother at the time, I wasn't married yet, I got a job immediately with the post office at Christmastime. They always need additional post people. And I got, I went, do you know New York at all? Well there's a West Village and there's an East Village, which is Greenwich Village. So I was a postman in Greenwich Village. I lived in the West Village, but anyway. And I did that for a while. After Christmas was over with I started to get into the food business and became a waiter. Got a card, it's my first job. It was the only time I was fired. And that really started my career in the food business. I worked as a waiter for a good number of years before I went into the hotel area. I think it was six years or something like that. I took, I got a job at the old Pennsylvania Hotel. Now the Pennsylvania Hotel was known for great big band music, like Cafe Rouge and stuff like that. And I became a captain of waiters at the Cafe Rouge and we had Glenn Miller Orchestra, we had Dorsey, we had all the big orchestras.

Sherman Hayes: So you enjoyed that.

Guy Ferreri: Oh yeah.

Sherman Hayes: I mean, as much as you could listen. I mean, you were working pretty hard.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah, and I was the captain of waiters so I did a lot of tableside kind of work, you know, filleting fish or making salads or whatever.

Sherman Hayes: Or the things where the fire comes up and that kind of thing?

Guy Ferreri: We had flambes.

Sherman Hayes: Flambes?

Guy Ferreri: I did that. And anyway, the manager of the hotel, a fellow called Troy, Tom Troy, very nice man, he went to the Maitre d'hotel and said to him--

Sherman Hayes: The what hotel?

Guy Ferreri: The Maitre d'hotel. The Maitre d'hotel.

Sherman Hayes: I don't know what that is.

Guy Ferreri: It's actually the owner of a hotel. The Maitre d'.

Sherman Hayes: But the Maitre d' is kind of somebody who helps you so they call up the Maitre d'--?

Guy Ferreri: Well the Maitre d'hotel, actually I guess it's in French, is master of the hotel.

Sherman Hayes: Oh, okay. So the owner.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah, the owner, which he was not the owner he was considered the Maitre d'hotel.

Sherman Hayes: The manager.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. And he said to the manager, he said you want to look at Ferreri in your Cafe Rouge, because I think he'd make a good assistant, and as a banquet manager.

Sherman Hayes: Oh, banquet manager.

Guy Ferreri: And I got that job and did well at it and from there I got into more and more different situations with the hotel business.

Sherman Hayes: Well tell us about some of those. Was it mainly New York then for quite some time?

Guy Ferreri: Oh yeah, this was New York, but what happened was let's see, there's another hotel, after I was there for about a year or so, I was contacted by the Sheraton Corporation, who owned the McAlpin Hotel. So I took that job for a lot more money.

Sherman Hayes: But you, so you weren't coming from the chef end? I mean, today so many people in the hotel food industry are kind of going the chef route and then they blossomed out. You were coming right from the beginning more from the management side.

Guy Ferreri: I don't know how it is today because I have been out of the hotel business since the 70s, but years ago you had to know food. Even if you didn't know how to prepare it you had to know about food. You had to have that understanding in how things go. And I think I always had that, working not only from home, my mother, but working in the Cafe Rouge and going through what I was going through. The Cafe Rouge, I mean, I was preparing food tableside--

Sherman Hayes: That's right.

Guy Ferreri: And I wasn't the chef but I knew how to prepare food or at least if I didn't, the chef would show me how to do it and then I would do it.

Sherman Hayes: Was? Today the chef seems to be kind of almost the pop culture figure. Was the chef?

Guy Ferreri: They're in the office now.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah. Was the chef known at these hotels? Was the?

Guy Ferreri: Oh yes.

Sherman Hayes: This was a following and so forth? There still was that--

Guy Ferreri: Absolutely.

Sherman Hayes: Okay, good.

Guy Ferreri: It wasn't a commercial situation with food. The Cafe Rouge was first class and, as you know, it had been like that for maybe several years with the hotel business and then all of a sudden, hotel food became eh, let's stay away from that.

Sherman Hayes: Oh really?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. They'd stay in a hotel and go to a restaurant, a local restaurant because the food was always better there.

Sherman Hayes: So they had just kind of lost something there. Was that in the '60s you felt that that had happened?

Guy Ferreri: I would probably think in the 60s it went that way and now it's just going the other way. Now you've got fantastic food in hotels. You pay a dear price for it.

Sherman Hayes: Right. (laughs)

Guy Ferreri: But I'll tell you one thing, it's very good food because they got people who are making a lot of money cooking. But anyway, where was I?

Sherman Hayes: You were at you had moved to a new job for another hotel.

Guy Ferreri: Okay, yeah. The McAlpin Hotel. It was kind of interesting. The McAlpin was owned by the Loews Corporation. Are you familiar with the Loews Corporation? They're very big.

Sherman Hayes: There's so many with that name I don't think I know it.

Guy Ferreri: Well they owned a lot of hotels.

Sherman Hayes: Theaters too, I think.

Guy Ferreri: Theaters and stuff like that.

Sherman Hayes: It's L-O-E-W-S?

Guy Ferreri: L-O-E-W-S.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah, that's the one. Yeah, okay.

Guy Ferreri: But Sheraton bought it from Loews and they needed a whole revamping and they got me there. Anyway, I became back-up manager of the McAlpin Hotels. They're a very sweet, nice hotel on 34th Street, right around the corner from where the Pennsylvania is. I stayed there for quite a while and then what they did, the Sheraton Corporation had another hotel called the, out on 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue, which was a better hotel so to speak and they sent me over there. When I was over there we did openings of Sheraton Hotels in Pennsylvania, Philly, which I helped open up. And you were only there for a short while so I don't consider that I worked there.

Sherman Hayes: But a banquet manager, that's a sense of, you had to line the help up or did you negotiate with the people?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah.

Sherman Hayes: What's a banquet manager?

Guy Ferreri: That is so. For instance, in the hotel business the way it was, the biggest income comes from the rooms. The second--the second, what's that?

Sherman Hayes: She's telling us the hotel's name is the Madison Mayflower.

Guy Ferreri: Oh. Come on, Justine.

Sherman Hayes: She's heard this story before, right?

Guy Ferreri: That's where I worked as a waiter basically.

Sherman Hayes: So anyway, so the banquet manager you say of the hotel is the room stuff. You were talking about income.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah, the income. The income from hotels comes from the bedrooms, number one. Then it comes secondly from tremendous bar and liquor, and third is your banquet facility because the banquets, you don't lose money or you shouldn't. If you have 1,000 people in the ballroom, you make 1,000 pieces of chicken, you know what it's going to cost, you know how many waiters you have, you know. It isn't like the restaurants that always lose money. So it was a very important position to be the banquet manager. So you had to adjust the food to the right price, or the price to the right food and have so many wait people to take it. That was my job.

Sherman Hayes: Did you negotiate with the people coming in or did you--

Guy Ferreri: Oh absolutely!

Sherman Hayes: Have people that did that too? You were?

Guy Ferreri: No, I was in charge and I had assistance, but I was responsible for making money in that department. And thank God I did very well with that, you know. That's why that one hotel was interested in me because they knew how well I did in this hotel and they'd give me another $5,000 more a year or something like that.

Sherman Hayes: So like the one that we're talking about that you were there for several years which wasn't this one, but what was the last one.

Guy Ferreri: No, that's a restaurant where I work. It was sort of a den of iniquity. Justine! Justine likes the dirty stuff.

Sherman Hayes: (laughs) Justine he's referring to is his wife. So--

Guy Ferreri: Oh, I forgot that.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah, we're on tape. That's alright. That's alright.

Guy Ferreri: I could talk about this too. I mean it is interesting.

Sherman Hayes: All right, well go ahead, tell us about the--

Guy Ferreri: Let's go back to when I was a waiter on a place on 69th Street on Madison Avenue, and it was called the Madison Mayflower and it was owned by three people. The woman was Alberta Miles [ph?] known in Hollywood, and I think they sort of got rid of her in Hollywood because she was involved with so many different things, I don't know what. Then there was a fellow called Nat Glassman. Nat Glassman had a, what shall I say, some sort of affiliation with the underworld, let me put it that way.

Sherman Hayes: Well there was an alleged association.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. Well it was more than an alleged but it's, but then even more so there was Harry Schaumburg whose brother was Dutch Goldberg, who was Dutch Schulson's bodyguard. So it was kind of an interesting troika. And the place, I was the waiter there. In fact I was a bartender there, I was a waiter, I did everything for years. I worked there six years. The place was always filled with very, very attractive women who you might call ladies of the evening, and very, very attractive men coming in who could be politically involved, very politically involved. And people that, if I gave you the names, which I will not, you know them. But anyway it was a very interesting part of my life and from there I segued to the hotel business. But it was quite an experience and I met some wonderful people there. I'll never forget, there was a man called John Jacob Astor. He came in one day--

Sherman Hayes: The John Jacob Astor?

Guy Ferreri: Yes. And he sat down with Alberta Miles and he was dressed in his tuxedo, which was frayed by the way, and droplets of soup was on his--

Sherman Hayes: On God.

Guy Ferreri: He just came from a banquet, and I'm serving him something or other, whatever it is, and I-I-and Alberta says that she's interested in doing something elsewhere and he said, "Alberta, to make a little money you have to start with a lot of money." And I thought that was so true. You know.

Sherman Hayes: John Jacob Astor was a millionaire of the Astor family?

Guy Ferreri: Oh, he was.

Sherman Hayes: Well I think there was an Astor Hotel too, wasn't there?

Guy Ferreri: I worked there.

Sherman Hayes: Oh you worked there too?

Guy Ferreri: He was any influence on it, but I mean, I worked there. That was owned by Zechendorf the hotel. But anyway I'm trying to give you chronologically where--

Sherman Hayes: That's all right. You can jump in with stories anytime.

Guy Ferreri: Well the Sheraton Hotel is the one where I worked and I did that for quite a while and then--

Sherman Hayes: When you said a banquet and you said 1,000, so these were huge. You could have a banquet of 1,000?This is--

Guy Ferreri: Oh we've had banquets of 3,500 people.

Sherman Hayes: Thirty-five hundred people?

Guy Ferreri: Oh yeah. The Astor Hotel and the Waldorf had these huge, those huge ballrooms were incredible.

Sherman Hayes: I wonder, I suppose they're still there. They still have that?

Guy Ferreri: No, the Waldorf is there. The Astor was torn down, and what happened, somebody at the Astor Hotel threw a Molotov cocktail in the ballroom and burned the whole thing. It was after that the whole thing went sort of downhill and right now I guess it's right in the middle of Times Square, which is a fantastic place now. They got that sort of a building there. But anyway, the hotel business has always been a very interesting business. You meet a lot of people. I've had the pleasure of a lot of heads of state. I met Charles de Gaulle there.

Sherman Hayes: Wow! Who else?

Guy Ferreri: I met who was it?The guy from, Castro. I met Castro there. Castro. That Castro.

Sherman Hayes: Fidel Castro?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah, Fidel Castro.

Sherman Hayes: Before he?

Guy Ferreri: When I met him he was still the darling of this country and the next time he came back everybody realized how awful he was. But I was working at the Astor Hotel when I met him. Same thing with Charles de Gaulle. Plenty of other people. Jack Kennedy.

Sherman Hayes: Wow.

Guy Ferreri: When he was going to be President. But I had met him before that as a waiter. Let's see, from there I went from the Astor Hotel, I opened up the New York Hilton and from the New York Hilton I went to the Waldorf.

Sherman Hayes: Tell us about the Waldorf. Most people who haven't been there, what is it?

Guy Ferreri: It's always been a fantastic hotel and I enjoyed working there.

Sherman Hayes: It's like a top line, five-star, that type of hotel, right?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. Oh sure.

Sherman Hayes: Is it part of a chain now?

Guy Ferreri: The Waldorf is the Hilton chain.

Sherman Hayes: The Hilton?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah.

Sherman Hayes: Okay. Was it Hilton then too?

Guy Ferreri: Oh yeah. At the Waldorf you're a banquet manager but the Waldorf has many banquet managers. They have maybe eight of them. I mean the Waldorf was the biggest income of all the hotels in terms of banquets. I mean any kind of--

Sherman Hayes: Is that the one that's right on--

Guy Ferreri: 50th. . .it's 50th Street and Park Avenue.

Sherman Hayes: Is it right on the park?

Guy Ferreri: It's Park Avenue.

Sherman Hayes: I mean.

Guy Ferreri: There's no park in Park Avenue. It's just called Park Avenue. But it's Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue, which is east of that's the street in parallel of Park. And the hotel went, did the, was the whole lot. It was 49th, 50th, to Lexington Avenue, to Park Avenue.

Sherman Hayes: So when you had eight managers did they sub-specialize or was this just volume?

Guy Ferreri: No, it was how they came in.

Sherman Hayes: No, I mean it wasn't like somebody did--

Guy Ferreri: We all had secretaries.

Sherman Hayes: You didn't have little banquets and big banquets, you just, it was based on--

Guy Ferreri: Well I would think that you are a beginner they might just see that you get smaller things. Less, less, I don't know, I never had that situation. I was never really the first person in charge but I was the banquet manager, or one of them. It was a great experience. The hotel business in general was a wonderful experience because you meet so many wonderful people in all shades of life. You know, for instance, in the Waldorf, all these hotels had very wonderful rooms for entertainment. The Empire Room at the Waldorf was always fantastic. The Cire [ph?] Room at the Astor Hotel and you had the Green Room and so forth and so on, but one funny thing I think I'll never forget is we had the dental convention at the Waldorf and Jack Benny was the headliner in the Empire Room.

Sherman Hayes: Wow.

Guy Ferreri: They wanted, I was handling the convention and the headman of the convention said to me, "Mr. Ferreri, do you think it's possible to get Jack Benny? Just to give us five minutes as an opening to the convention at the banquet?" I said, "I have no idea. I don't know Jack Benny. I mean, I've seen him but I don't know him personally to ask him but I can ask the head waiter who knows him personally." So I go to Rudy, Rudy was the headwaiter at the Empire Room at the time. I said, "Rudy, what chances do we have to get Jack Benny to do a few minutes?" He says,

Sherman Hayes: There's just some people coming through they're. . .

Guy Ferreri: He says, "Well I'll ask him. We'll see what there is." He calls me on the phone and he says, "Tell the man to put 5-$100 bills in an envelope and give it to me and he'll be there."

Sherman Hayes: (laughs)

Guy Ferreri: I'm telling the truth. That's what happened.

Sherman Hayes: That was cheap.

Guy Ferreri: X-dollar bills and, you know--

Sherman Hayes: But he didn't have to go through his manager or anybody else. Now what year was that? What years were you at the Waldorf?

Guy Ferreri: I was there in '64 to '70. No, no, I'm sorry, '65 to '70. '64 I opened, '63 I opened up the Hilton Hotel on 6th Avenue and I hated that hotel. And I went to the Waldorf. Very enjoyable.

Guy Ferreri: That was a very turbulent time for the country. Did it spill into your business at all? You're talking about people who got assassinated and riots of '68 and all of that. I was, in '63, I was with Jack Kennedy the week before he was assassinated. That was at the Hilton Hotel, the one I hated. Maybe that's why, it turned me off on that a little. He addressed the week before almost to the time he was assassinated at noon to the Catholic Youth Association in the Waldorf. And you know a week later he was assassinated. Yeah, that was a terrible time. That was '63 in November. But anyway, when I left the Waldorf I met, I wanted to tell you about that man in Spartanburg.

Sherman Hayes: Okay, is this next? He comes next?

Guy Ferreri: Well what happened was we were talking about the people that were new variation, those who were really Old World. When I was in the hotel business at the Pennsylvania Hotel, a man came into my office with another man, his name was Roger Milligan. (looks out window) Is somebody there?

Sherman Hayes: Oh, they're just looking.

Guy Ferreri: His name was Roger Milligan and he wanted to do, in fact, he came in and he was very nice and he said, "I want to do a breakfast here at the hotel." I said, "What?" and he said, "Well, I want to do it for about a week." This was during Market Week. He was in the textile business.

Sherman Hayes: Oh I figured Millan. Millan you say or McMillan?

Guy Ferreri: No, no. Milligan.

Sherman Hayes: Milligan. Yeah that's a very famous textile name, I mean--

Guy Ferreri: Well Roger Milligan not only came to that hotel year after year, when I went to the Astor he had his things at the Astor year to year. When I went to the Waldorf he had it at the Waldorf year to year and I signed a wonderful contract with him for a period of years, millions of dollars worth, to be with us. But what I'm getting at is that this man, with all his money, lives in very modest house in the middle of Spartanburg, home that probably cost him $50,000 when he first bought it and probably updated it to whatever but he's not in a mansion, it's not huge, it's just a stick home. We're getting back to the Old World charm. That's what Mr. Milligan used to, still alive I think. But anyway, because of him is why I'm here.

Sherman Hayes: Okay. In Wilmington. This is an--

Guy Ferreri: Well, down South.

Sherman Hayes: --interesting journey. Yeah, South.

Guy Ferreri: Because what happened when I left the Waldorf I opened up the firm, or I worked for the firm as a producer for the shows.

Sherman Hayes: Now that's kind of a big shift. You mean you were producing the food part of the show?

Guy Ferreri: No, the films and dances and music. I've always been involved in the arts. I was part of a theater in New York.

Sherman Hayes: Oh, okay. Well we hadn't heard any of that. From the person listening it seems like a jump to go from--

Guy Ferreri: Well that was a sideline. I mean, I did concerts at Carnegie Hall, because I thought they were so fantastic, you know.

Sherman Hayes: What do you mean you did concerts? You mean you went or produced?

Guy Ferreri: I produced financially as a waiter. Do you believe?

Sherman Hayes: No, I don't. I don't know how you could do that.

Guy Ferreri: I know it's hard to believe.

Sherman Hayes: It's hard to believe.

Guy Ferreri: But in those days I always made decent money because there was no taxes. Alberta Miles made sure that I always got good tips from all the Johns that used to come in the place. No, but I haven't.

Sherman Hayes: So what are, tell me some of those where you said you were producing somebody to Carnegie Hall. What does that mean?You?

Guy Ferreri: No, I met a fellow called Talbert. His name was Talbert who's a musical arranger and I heard his music. He played it for me and I liked it. I liked him. I said, "Tommy let's do a concert." He said, "Where?" I said, "Carnegie Hall." He said, "The Carnegie Hall?" "Yeah." He said, I said, "How are you going to do it?" I said, "I'll manage it. I've got the money to do it. What do you need?" He said, "Well I need musicians, I need time to finish the writing." I said, "How much do you need? So much a month to live on?" You know, I did all of that, and obviously it's a thing that you don't make money with. You have to either like it or-- it's interesting to do these things, to produce, and if you make money it's great but you never make any money on those things.

Sherman Hayes: Well the performer hopefully made some money or somebody. I guess Carnegie Hall made some money.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. The musicians got paid. Tommy was able to live for, I don't know, several months before he was able to go back to work writing music with somebody else. I invested money in the theater, the Theater D. Lise [ph?] in New York City was a little theater in Greenwich Village. D. Lise came to me one day as a waiter. He said, "I'm putting together certain things. Sydney Pollock's wife is going to invest in it. I'd love for you to invest in it too?" I said, "How much?" He said, "Well, we're starting off at $3,500 each." And I guess they had about 18-20 people or something like that. I'll never forget the opening night. I wish I was a roach. I'd hide into the woodwork it was so terrible.

Sherman Hayes: A play?Was it a play?

Guy Ferreri: Yes, it was called "Frankie and Johnnie" and I forget who the guy was but Lenore Lemon was the female and it was so awful. I mean it was just really eh. So a lot of time went by. You know, some other shows. They had some decent ones, and the next thing you know is he came back to me, he said, "Listen, we need some money again," and he said, "I want to get about $5,000 from everybody," and at that point I was doing the thing with the Carnegie Hall. I said, "Pass." I'll just lose it with my investment.

Sherman Hayes: So you lost that completely then?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. But the funny thing is if I had spent that $5,000 I would've made maybe pretty close to a million dollars.

Sherman Hayes: Because it got successful?

Guy Ferreri: Well what happened was the three-penny opera opened up there.

Sherman Hayes: Oh God!

Guy Ferreri: It was a huge success.

Sherman Hayes: But shouldn't you have still made money from your first $3,500?

Guy Ferreri: No, I gave it up.

Sherman Hayes: Oh you gave it up.

Guy Ferreri: I said I can't, either you're with us or you're not with us.

Sherman Hayes: Oh I see. It was a choice.

Guy Ferreri: And I needed that money to do Tommy Talbert's stuff. And it was all fun.

Sherman Hayes: So we're New York, we're New York, but now we're Wilmington. So where is the transition?

Guy Ferreri: I joined a group as an executive producer for a show in New York City, and we did shows, we did Broadway shows. There was a lot of things on slides projecting on 3-D. We did a show; we did the show about the spies. What the hell are their names? The ones that were executed?

Sherman Hayes: Oh the Rosen--

Guy Ferreri: Rosenberg.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah, right.

Guy Ferreri: We did the show on Broadway with visuals and we did a show on steam bath. We did commercials. We did all kinds of things and then I went off on my own.

Sherman Hayes: As a producer of?

Guy Ferreri: Industrial shows and whatever. And that's when I got Roger Milligan to call me and say, "I want you to do a show in Chicago." Anyway, I'd go back and forth. I had a New York office. I'd visit with the Milligan people.

Sherman Hayes: What was the name of your company then?

Guy Ferreri: It started off with Ferreri and Lloyd. Lloyd was more technical. He's the one, in other words, I would design the show and then he would put it into the slides and the cinematographer and the dancers or whatever. And then I got a hold of Robinson, Jack Robinson, who was also a designer. So it started off as Ferreri and Lloyd and then Milligan's the one who said, "You better get yourself an office in the South as well instead of going back and forth like this." They opened up an office in Charlotte.

Sherman Hayes: So he really generated business for you. In other words he--

Guy Ferreri: Yeah, he was one of the people that generated a business.

Sherman Hayes: What was he doing? He was doing his company things? In other words, you were producing a show for Milligan.

Guy Ferreri: Oh yeah, oh God yeah. I tell you, are you working in Spartanburg at all?

Sherman Hayes: No.

Guy Ferreri: They've got all kinds of plants all over the place. I don't know how that business is doing now because everything is China it seems like these days. But anyway, I used to do this January show in Chicago, this rug show. It was a dog and pony show. I mean it was entertainment. And it was like a weekday an all that kind of stuff.

Sherman Hayes: So major industries would have a convention and then you were the person that was packaging all kinds of elements within that that were more entertainment.

Guy Ferreri: I worked for Selonese [ph?], I did work for Selonese and I did work for National City, which is called now Bank of America. Originally in Charlotte. All different companies.

Sherman Hayes: So you were a life of airplanes and travel at that point.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. And the interesting thing too is the fact that at a certain point there was a real bad situation in this country with a rail recession during the Carter years where gasoline was tremendous again and the lineup and all that. And a lot of those things that we had already counting on in the back. We can't do it now because of this problem we have. That's when I went back into the food business.

Sherman Hayes: So was that in the '70s? Carter was--

Guy Ferreri: Yeah, it's like '73.

Sherman Hayes: Yeah, '73. There was the Arab boycott and oil embargo.

Guy Ferreri: Right, right.

Sherman Hayes: Well it makes sense. You know, the convention business is if times are good they spend a lot of money but when times get tight--

Guy Ferreri: Well I wasn't going back to New York since I had already got New York and now I'm living in Charlotte.

Sherman Hayes: Oh you had moved to Charlotte? Oh, okay.

Guy Ferreri: Well I had two offices at first, but then after a while I said the hell with this, you know, and I just forgot New York. I love being down South.

Sherman Hayes: And you like Charlotte, so that was interesting.

Guy Ferreri: Oh yeah. I love the South and anyway. So now all of a sudden everything's on the back burner, I went back into the food business and the Charlotte Country Club hired me. I started off as Maitre d' and then became assistant manager. I also was both, I was like a manager because the manager would leave and I wasn't interested in managing. I mean, if I would've stayed there I could have probably been the manager but I'd be the manager while they got another manager. What do they call that I guess?

Sherman Hayes: Interim.

Guy Ferreri: Interim manager. I did that a lot. Several people. And then I met the most wonderful person in my life. That girl over there.

Sherman Hayes: You need to say it. We're on tape.

Guy Ferreri: I think her name is Justine.

Sherman Hayes: That's right.

Guy Ferreri: I'm not sure.

Sherman Hayes: But her name at that time was not Ferreri.

Guy Ferreri: No. It was Corcoran. And I'm sure you know that she was born in Japan, lived here with her parents. Anyway, so that's been the most wonderful thing in my life is meeting her and getting married in 1979 and from there we, oh, a lot of things happened while I was there, but anyway we went to work for a fellow called Murdock. David Murdock.

Sherman Hayes: "We" went to work? Both of you went to work?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. What happened was, this I think is very interesting, I'm at the Charlotte Country Club and I get a call from one of my very dear members. I loved all the people at Charlotte Country Club. He said, "Guy, I hope you don't mind what I did." I said, "Well please tell me, what did you do?" He says, "Well there's a friend of mine who is the personnel manager at Canon Mills. I gave your name." I said, "Are you trying to get rid of me?" He said, "No." He said, "They're looking for someone to make breakfast for some big shot that's coming in and they don't have anybody there to do it." He said, "Is there anybody that we have here in our kitchen that could help make him breakfast?" I said, "When is this," He said, "I don't know, he's going to call you." Anyway this man calls me and he says he's looking for a man to make breakfast in a condominium. I said, "When?" He says, "Well, probably, you know, in another week or ten days." I said, "How many people?" He said, "I don't know." He says, "It could be several or I don't know." I said, "What time?" He said, "Well he probably has to start at 7:00 and it's over about 9:30." I said, "Where?" He said, "A place called Concorde." I said, "That's not a job. I mean, that's ridiculous." Nobody would take the job. Nobody that we knew--

Sherman Hayes: You mean as a one-time, just a one-time thing?

Guy Ferreri: Oh no, no. It's more. I mean, it could be for a week. There was no indication. I said, "I'm sorry, sir. It's very difficult. Nobody is interested in this." So I said, "But I'll look." And Justine who was managing a restaurant there, she tried to get somebody to do it and nobody would do it. Finally we get another call from the same man who's desperate at this point. He says, "Mr. Ferreri, you've got to help me out. This is going to happen this Monday and here it is Friday and we have nobody." So I said, "Let me call you back." I get a hold of Justine. I said, "Look, we have one car. I usually drop you off to the restaurant that you're managing and then I take myself to work. You don't have to be in until 10:30. I don't have to be in whenever time I want to go in." I said, "Why don't we just get this thing done so this guy is not in trouble. I feel obligato to the whole thing." So we go ahead, we call the man and tell him that we'll be there Sunday to see where it is so Monday morning we know what the hell we're doing and we buy, we go to the store and buy the bacon and the eggs and the butter and whatever, juice, and we stock it up and Monday morning we're there at like 6:30 in the morning because he said they start at 7:00, and Justine and I are there sitting in this nothing kind of a condo, and down the stairs this man comes down and he says to me, he says, "What are you doing here?" I said, "My name is Guy, this is my wife Justine. We're here to cook breakfast." And he says to us, "You mean I need two people to cook one boiled egg?" This was David Murdock, the billionaire, who is buying Canon Mills. So Justine says something, "Oh, we just got married we were wondering how we could work together" and all that business. Anyway, he falls in love with both of us over a period of time.

Sherman Hayes: Now where's Murdock from?

Guy Ferreri: California.

Sherman Hayes: From California?

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. He's about one year older than I am.

Sherman Hayes: But at that time you were both, what was this you said, '80 about?

Guy Ferreri: Well this was, I forget, let's see, I guess it was, yeah, 1980. Because we got married in '79, this was about a year after. So this was like 1980.

Sherman Hayes: You're in your late 50s then I'm saying.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah. Anyway, so after we're doing this breakfast and he acquires Canon Mills, sometimes it's him, sometimes it's five people, sometimes it's nobody. We're making breakfast and nobody's there. You know, it's ridiculous.

Sherman Hayes: So he's coming to negotiate for it, that's what this is all about?

Guy Ferreri: He had what they call a war room. That was a war room. He had people from, big stock people, lawyers--

Sherman Hayes: Lawyers, yeah.

Guy Ferreri: Yeah, all kinds.

Sherman Hayes: And that is a problem. What are you supposed to do when you don't know how many people are coming and yet?

Guy Ferreri: Well we did. It was no problem.

Sherman Hayes: So they would call you and say come, and then you'd come?

Guy Ferreri: No we'd be there today regardless.

Sherman Hayes: Every day?

Guy Ferreri: We did it every day.

Sherman Hayes: For how long?

Guy Ferreri: Well I don't know. How long was it Jus? ""

" A couple months."

"Guy Ferreri: Anyway, what happens is that after he acquires it, he says to Justine and myself, "Look, my family is going to be coming in and we're going to get another house that's large enough and we've got one, and we've got a house for you too that you could live there." Now we're getting paid well. So Justine quits what she was doing but I'm still working at the Charlotte Country Club. So every night I'd go to Concord because we were living in this little house free. Everything is free and getting money."

"Sherman Hayes: And how far away was that from?"

"Guy Ferreri: Oh it's 20 miles."

"Sherman Hayes: All right. So it was close by."

"Guy Ferreri: It's no big deal. Anyway, then while we're living in this house one Sunday he calls us up from his house, he said, "Have you had your breakfast?" and I said, "Yes, we have." He says, "Well, come over and have a cup of coffee, I want to show you guys something." So we go there and in the dining room he's got these plans all stretched out. He says, "I'm building a lodge. It's going to be called Pity's Sake Lodge.""

"Sherman Hayes: Pity sake?"

"Guy Ferreri: Pity's Sake Lodge. It's a lodge that the Canons built. When they raised their children there, they were living in Concord but then they had this place on the lake and they had this lodge and she said to her husband, she says, "Charlie, I'm going to get that old house and rebuild it." And he said, "For pity's sake." And that's what they called it."

"Sherman Hayes: For pity's sake. I like that."

"Guy Ferreri: So after they lived there many years, you know, and family grew up there and everything, she dies and he was--"

"Sherman Hayes: Now this is Cannon?"

"Guy Ferreri: Cannon."

"Sherman Hayes: Not Murdock?"

"Guy Ferreri: Yeah, Canon. And she dies and he has it burnt down as a thing for the fire department so they know how to handle it. So when Murdock bought Canon Mills, he knows that story and that's where he built Pity's Sake Lodge, which is a beautiful lodge. It's still there. And he wanted us to run it."

"Sherman Hayes: And what kind of a lodge? Is this a public lodge? Private lodge?"

"Guy Ferreri: Private."

"Sherman Hayes: For the owners?"

"Guy Ferreri: The company."

"Sherman Hayes: For the company."

"Guy Ferreri: Yeah, in other words people from Sears would come in, Bloomingdale's, you name it. They'd come in. I designed a magnificent wine cellar there and there was no budget. No budget."

"Sherman Hayes: You mean no limit to the budget."

"Guy Ferreri: No limit to the budget."

"Sherman Hayes: Or a budget."

"Guy Ferreri: Because whoever we took care of there, he's spending millions of dollars. If Sears came in, for instance, and spent three days there, they'd spend 5 million bucks maybe, you know, or whatever they would spend."

"Sherman Hayes: The orders. Yeah, what you ordered."

"Guy Ferreri: So I'd feed them for two days. What could it cost? A thousand bucks?"

"Sherman Hayes: Did Murdock buy this as a private company or was it a public offering?"

"Guy Ferreri: Private. Not only did he buy the lodge but he bought all the real estate. And he well, over the years, what happened he sold it and that's why we're out of it, that's why we're here."

"Sherman Hayes: So how long were you the manager?"

"Guy Ferreri: We both ran it. How many years, hon?" """"

"" Probably about four years.""

""Guy Ferreri: Four or five years.""

""Sherman Hayes: Met some interesting people there.""

""Guy Ferreri: Oh God, yeah. Politicians, movie stars, you name it.""

""Sherman Hayes: So you had to run the food service through this lodge.""

""Guy Ferreri: Yeah. Justine and I run it together. I was the chef and Justine was the--""

""Sherman Hayes: They had rooms? The whole thing?""

""Guy Ferreri: Oh, it had what, twelve rooms, Jus?"" """"""

""" Yes, 12."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Twelve fantastic rooms. Each room is like maybe here to the-- I mean, huge bedrooms. All privately done and with a theater in it and a big, huge great room. You had golf, you had Arabian horses there, you had tennis courts, you had pools."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Who owns it now?I mean who--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: Mr. Murdock. """ """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Well he's still Mr.--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: When he sold out to Fieldcrest, who bought it eventually, he only sort of leased out the facility. They didn't buy it. He owns the real, he owns the real estate. He owns Kannapolis. I don't know if you know what goes on there now.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Huh-uh."""

"""Guy Ferreri: He's designed the biggest situation of the world where people who have problems with their weight. See he owns Dole. Dole, you know?"""

"""Sherman Hayes: Pineapple Dole?"""

"""Guy Ferreri: Dole Foods, period. He owns it in Lanai. It's become the place to go if you have a problem with your weight.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Huh. So it's?"""

"""Guy Ferreri: But anyway. We've gone through a lot of stuff with this guy, I'll tell you what. He's a very magnanimous man. He's very, very, he's always been very good to us. In fact, his son came to live here with us. His son is now the heir of millions, billions of dollars. Went to school at the university there. Terrible student. But, shit, he doesn't worry about that. He's a millionaire this kid. His name is Justin, and if you saw Justin next to my wife, you would say they're related. I mean, when we met Justin he was this high.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Taller now?"""

"""Guy Ferreri: We haven't seen him, but he lived with us for a good year here. But anyway, that's how we got here and we opened up a restaurant here called Justine's."""

"""Sherman Hayes: So you left because he got out of the whole loop."""

"""Guy Ferreri: We resigned because look, his wife dies. So now he's basically, doesn't, I mean, he had three children. Two are dead and the one that is alive now is Justin, the youngest one. He's still going on. He's married, I think to his number fourth wife or third wife, I can't keep up with him. He's as bad as I am. But anyway, what else would you like to know?"""

"""Sherman Hayes: Well actually I'm going to change tapes. How about that? And then we want to do Wilmington years."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Okay."""

"""(Tape Change)"""

"""Sherman Hayes: We're on tape two now with Guy Ferreri, and joining is us Justine Ferreri. And there's a relationship here that he mentioned earlier, but for those who might come to this tape separately it's you are married. """ """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: We are married. """ """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Married for quite some time. And I've asked Justine to join us. This is Sherman Hayes again, university librarian UNC-W, February 7th, 2008. That's for my staff. We're arrived to Wilmington, so I thought I want to continue with the career because you folks are known for a long run of Justine's Restaurant. And in a separate interview, we talked about Creations by Justine, which you, Guy, now are assisting with, managing, help to manage. But I wanted to talk a little bit about Wilmington, because you have been here for 20 years?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: 20 years. """ """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: 20 years."""

"""Guy Ferreri: '80, what? '83?""" """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: Uh-huh."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Well, 25 years."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Yeah."""

"""Sherman Hayes: And kind of a perspective of how business has changed and some of the folks and-- (phone ringing). Please interrupt."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Want me to get that?"""

"""Sherman Hayes: Yeah, go ahead."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Might be another--"""

"""Sherman Hayes: Customer. We're at the business establishment, so we have to keep going. (tape skips) We're back. So when you came, was it your intention restaurant, or was that the plan coming to Wilmington? Had you-- go ahead."""

"""Guy Ferreri: What happened is that it was my birthday coming up, and we were still at the lodge. And we were still working for Murdock. And Justine said, "What do you want to do on your birthday?" I said, "Well, you've never been to Wilmington. Maybe we should go to Wilmington." And we have a friend who did some work for one of the people that owned the-- what are they named, Jus?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: Oh, they owned the Greystone. """ """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: They owned the Greystone, and she was one of the decorators for them or helped them decorate and gave us the name of the Greystone. So we stayed there one--"""

"""Sherman Hayes: Which is a bed and breakfast here down in main town area."""

"""Justine Ferreri: And we were celebrating; it was his 60th birthday.""" """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: Yeah, my birthday."""

"""Justine Ferreri: We went for your birthday.""" """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: And we stayed there, and Sunday after we had our breakfast, we were walking down Front Street, beautiful day, wasn't it? It was Easter."""

"""Justine Ferreri: It was Easter, and the thing is Charlotte was really cold. And I remember it was spring here, and all the flowers were out. It just seemed like--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: Just beautiful here."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Plus, we were really in love, and it was sort of a magical day. And I said to Guy, I said, "If I ever lived in Wilmington, I'd live on this side of the road." And he said, "Why?" And I said, "Because the river's back there, but you're not, you didn't have to deal with docks because you really weren't on the water, but you could see it." So we walked back, and there was that one house for sale, and we walked by a couple times. And we had no idea what the market in Wilmington was, but we knew the market in Charlotte. So Guy said-- what did you say? It was so funny. I thought you said something about this tire kick and go look at the house."""

"""Guy Ferreri: I said, "Look, we don't need a house, because we're living at the lodge free. We have a place that Murdock has gave us besides another house to live in free, and we have a condo in Charlotte."""" """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: Downtown."""

"""Guy Ferreri: I said, "We certainly don't need a house, but let's tire kick, because it look so interesting and people living there." Anyway, I called. I called, and I said to the lady, I said, "You know, we'd love to look at that house on Front Street." She said, "Well, it's Sunday. People are living there. I can't show you today, maybe tomorrow." I said, "Well, we're going back to Charlotte." She says, "How about 12 noon." I said, "Fine." So we're there, 12 noon. And Justine and I walk into this house, and we meet the people. We meet the lady, anyway. """ """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: And she was really smart. She was cooking cookies, so it smelled really good. (laughs)"""

"""Guy Ferreri: So anyway--"""

"""Justine Ferreri: I understand now it was a rarity that she was doing that.""" """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: I see Justine's face, and I loved what I'm seeing. And we stayed there what, 15 minutes, Justine. And on the way out, we tell Lynn-- Lynn was-- I forget her name."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Lynn McQueen."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Lynn McQueen. I said, "Look, I don't know if I can afford this house." I don't think we even asked how much it was, did we?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: No, but we knew the price."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Oh, we knew the price, but we didn't--"""

"""Sherman Hayes: But 25 years ago, it isn't--"""

"""Justine Ferreri: We didn't negotiate.""" """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: We didn't negotiate."""

"""Sherman Hayes: But isn't like crazy today. I mean it wasn't."""

"""Justine Ferreri: It was a great deal. In fact, I think it was like $195,000. It had been on the market for a year, and I think it had started at $220,000, and it had come down. And Guy gave her earnest money right away."""

"""Guy Ferreri: She said, "If that would approve us, we'll buy the house.""""

"""Justine Ferreri: And we hadn't really-- it was huge. I mean, it was 5,000 square feet. """ """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Oh, it's one of the big, big houses on Front Street."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Oh, yeah, and five bedrooms, four and a half baths."""

"""Guy Ferreri: She totally went nuts. I mean, she couldn't believe what she was telling her."""

"""Sherman Hayes: (laughs)"""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, but we loved it, and it was great. We were going to make a bed and breakfast out of it from the beginning, but then we started coming down, and we had all our friends coming down. It just seemed like we really didn't want a bunch of strangers walking around our stuff."""

"""Sherman Hayes: So did you really move, or did you just view it as an extra house?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: We just viewed it as a place to go on weekends from the beginning. Then we decided we'd try to find a job here. So we were looking, and the Hilton was really the only hotel/what we did at that time. Shell Island was a trailer out there, and we went out there and applied one time, I think, in the trailer.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Yeah, you mean they hadn't built it yet. """

"""Justine Ferreri: They hadn't built it yet. So, and then there was the Blockade Runner, but it was pretty run down then. It wasn't a nice-- and the Holiday Inn, we didn't even think-- if we ever worked in a Holiday Inn."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Well, nobody would."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Nobody would hire us."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Yeah."""

"""Justine Ferreri: We basically realized--"""

"""Sherman Hayes: Well, this is a small town. I mean, in '85 it hadn't started to add the amenities in so forth. """

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, it didn't, it didn't have anything."""

"""Sherman Hayes: I figure it was fairly early in its process."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Landfall, nothing was built on the Landfall."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Oh, that's right. Okay, that's a good point, the people that would do the banquets and the so forth. The university was gosh, 25 years ago, was 4,000.""" """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: It wasn't like it is today."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Yeah, 3,000 or 4,000 instead of 12, so much smaller place."""

"""Justine Ferreri: So we wanted to be here, which was really good at that point. Working for Mr. Murdock was wonderful, but when he sold to-- when he bought Dole, he wanted us to live in Hawaii.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Oh my goodness."""

"""Justine Ferreri: And at that point, my father was still alive and had never been in a plane in his life, never would. So I realized that if we made that decision I'd never see him again. So I said I couldn't do it. And we were bored, and we were workaholics that all of a sudden were completely bored. So we took the plunge, and we put together a restaurant. And then all the people that we had that were going to help us all of the sudden lost their jobs because they were the middle management of Cannon."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Oh was that?Oh my goodness."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Cannon Mills, yeah."""

"""Justine Ferreri: And Cannon Mills came together, a lot of them. So all of a sudden, we had no backers, and then we found an agent.""" """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: But anyway, we'd look-- we opened up Justine's, and it was a wonderful restaurant. When did you come here?"""

"""Sherman Hayes: I've only been here 10 years, so I never--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: It was a great restaurant, and can I just mention some of the interesting things, Justine?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: Uh-huh."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Sure, go ahead."""

"""Guy Ferreri: We didn't have the money to do a mural, right. We had a big wall there, a 20 foot wall. And we checked with an artist, and when he told us how much it would cost to do a mural, Justine said, "Don't worry about it, I'm going to paint. I'll paint a mural," which she did. Then we were in Charlotte coming toward the area here, and she stopped in the middle of the night. She said, "Look at that window. I want to take a look at that window." And she saw all these paper mache figures in this art gallery in Charlotte. She said, "That's what I'm going to do." Now, tell them what you did.""" """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: Well, I told them in my interview all about that I made all these paper mache people.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: That's good, that's good. And it got her started, kind of, in the 3-dimensional arts--"""

"""Justine Ferreri: 3-D art, yeah."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Which is an--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: It really did. I think that lead to it. """ """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: And how long did you have Justine's? How many years was that?"""

"""Guy Ferreri: We had for about what, a year and a half, Jus?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: Oh, a little bit longer."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Two years."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Probably about two and half years."""

"""Guy Ferreri: And the fellow that developed that building where we're at screwed up tremendously in terms of the building itself where they had to put people back in again. So we just pulled out of that, one, two, three. We were--"""

"""Justine Ferreri: We did a midnight run, actually."""

"""Guy Ferreri: The developers in town wanted us to do the convention center, to do a restaurant there, which we did. So that's how we segue way from one place to the other.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Alright so Justine's was only three years, or your masterpiece was just two years.""" """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: Yeah, and it was a great little restaurant. And a lot of the people that-- and don't forget, going to restaurants in those days, especially the kind of restaurants that we were putting together, weren't the big thing. They were still going to the places where you get the--"""

"""Justine Ferreri: Country Barn."""

"""Guy Ferreri: -- places where you get the salad bar, and you get a steak sandwich or something."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Yeah, fast food."""

"""Justine Ferreri: The interesting thing too is that even-- it's always been hard for downtown, I think, for Wilmington. There are a certain amount of people that would never come downtown, even now."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Even now."""

"""Justine Ferreri: I mean, you have a lot of influx of new people, and that sort of changed. But where I was located was across from a bar that at night was packed."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Next to the post office, yeah."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, it was very dark. And so it wasn't an easy--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: And we were set back, too."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, we were in the back of a building, and the building had never been finished, construction looked-- it looked like we were going into construction there. I mean they had like the little ropes everywhere, don't fall off the tile."""

"""Sherman Hayes: So segue way then, you went to the convention center?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, the convention center. These guys came in--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: We got the contract."""

"""Justine Ferreri: --all the time to the restaurant and saying, "Oh, you would do so well. You would do so well." And we got the contract that, you know, they did a bid in the home paper, and I think there were two bids for the convention center, and we got it."""

"""Sherman Hayes: And was who was running that? Was the city running the overall convention center or?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: Actually, the Downtown Wilmington Association, which was called DARE back then, Downtown something association--and they changed their name because, you know, it was too much like the drugs, yeah. """ """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Drugs, yeah."""

"""Justine Ferreri: But they were pretty much in charge of it. Bob Murphy was the head guy, and we got the contract. But at that point, we didn't have a restaurant because we had just closed it."""

"""Guy Ferreri: But it actually was with the city though, Jus."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, it was through the city. """ """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Yeah, because you said "them," that usually implies some sort of governmental."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, it was."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Because most-- in the private world, nobody is bidding, right? I mean, they're just handshaking.""" """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, we had to do it and we rented a little restaurant on Fr-called Jacob's Run, which for six months, we did the catering from this upstairs restaurant that was the size of this room, tiny. We would feed 500 people out of that.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: So the convention center, for people who haven't been there, was really a small convention center with rented rooms.""" """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: Yes."""

"""Sherman Hayes: What was the food, where was the food served, within that convention center or through the hotel that's there now?""" """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: There was-- our restaurant had a kitchen there, and we would do it out of the kitchen."""

"""Guy Ferreri: The reason she's talking about Jacob's Run is because our restaurant-- when we made the move-- in other words, we signed the contract while we were still having Justine's. But we made a move out of there, one, two, three, when things started to go crazy with water coming down from the ceiling and stuff like that. But we didn't have a restaurant, so we rented a restaurant that was defunct, which was Jacob's Run.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: To use as your facility."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah.""" """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: Until our restaurant--"""

"""Sherman Hayes: You didn't even mess with opening it as a restaurant. You just used it--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: No, no, it was just for the kitchen."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Just catering. """

"""Sherman Hayes: Catering to the convention center, that was your only client, or did you do other catering too?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: We did weddings and we did a lot of things. Movies, we did movies. """ """ """

"""Guy Ferreri: We used that, and then we opened up Ferroviere."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Ferro?"""

"""Guy Ferreri: Ferroviere, which means "railroad" in Italian. That's the railroad convention center there. """ """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: And it was very frustrating doing the catering there, because they had no back of the house. When they built the convention center, they didn't build a place to store the chairs and the tables. They didn't build a way to go to the bathroom without going outside--"""

"""Sherman Hayes: I saw that, yeah."""

"""Justine Ferreri: --and then inside again. And then a few times we did weddings where the ladies' heels would get stuck in the boards, and they-- literally one bride ripped her whole dress off. """

"""Sherman Hayes: Oh my goodness."""

"""Justine Ferreri: So I mean, it was poorly done from the beginning. And they were trying to maximize space, but--"""

"""Sherman Hayes: Was the hotel there at that point?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yes, and the same developer developed the whole thing."""

"""Guy Ferreri: The same developer did the hotel."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Was there food in that hotel, or was that?"""

"""Guy Ferreri: We catered."""

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, we used to cater the food there."""

"""Sherman Hayes: So if they had an event and a hotel meeting, that was you?"""

"""Guy Ferreri: Yeah. It was a hotel. It didn't have a ballroom or anything."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Oh, it didn't have."""

"""Guy Ferreri: It had a little bar area that we served breakfast there, I think, didn't we? And lunch too, Justine?""" """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: Uh-huh."""

"""Guy Ferreri: But I mean that was, you know. """ """ """

"""Justine Ferreri: Yeah, it was tiny."""

"""Guy Ferreri: And we did whatever catering they needed in the hotel."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Yeah."""

"""Guy Ferreri: Which was very little really. But Justine got herself involved too with the movie industry, because we had work there in the interim before we even had the-- see, we worked in the film industry; she did anyway, in the kitchen. Remember, Jus? And that's how we met one of the chefs that worked for us. It was Dino De Laurentis, the chef, you know.""" """ """

"""Sherman Hayes: Oh, he worked in your restaurant or in your--"""

"""Guy Ferreri: Yeah."""

"""Sherman Hayes: Small world, huh?"""

"""Justine Ferreri: I'll tell you, you could write a book about restaurants, because one night-- we opened Justine's restaurant. The first day, we had like-- we had a huge crow

UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database
Found in:
Randall Library | UNCW Archives and Special Collections | Online Database | Contact Us | Admin Login
Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign