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2005 05 18
The Drake Hotel - The Epic of Geena - Reprised
"Call me." Watching her mouth these words in mock seduction to a drunk passed out next to her replays in my mind. Geena is equal parts woman, man, devil and goddess presented in the most comely, commanding and compassionate package conceivable. Like all famously brilliant and beautiful women, she is the cause and the remedy for all your troubles. She’ll smack your ass hard as soon as look at you and hug and kiss you in the same breath. She’ll leave you with the image of a stunning smile and the sound of enthusiast laughter; making you feel better, making you feel cared for. And therein lies my sorrow when she is gone.

But, am I left with nothing? Not so. I have memories, a legacy of love and respect, her one-liners, thousands of her friends and colleagues and the everlasting effects of true hospitality that was her trademark and credo at the Drake. I feel special to have known her deeply and know the depth of her heart. I watch in awe at the scope of her giving and am inspired by her selflessness. I feel privileged to have spent hours along side her and witness the extent of her power and prowess as a hospitality professional. Geena has turned around impossible guests and makes service seem as effortless as picking her keys up off the floor. She treated everyone like a VIP and treated the VIPs to a shot of Jack Daniels.

At all times, I will miss her sense of humour. Anyone that was not brought to teary-eyed, falling-over, belly-clutching laughter while she was around is probably not of this earth and should probably just go. My extensive and hazardous dalliances with Mr. Daniels and Mr. Turkey aside, Geena was one hilarious broad. The deadpan delivery, the serious expression, the speed of her wit: you didn’t have gullible or stupid to fall victim to Geena’s stories, pranks and teasers. At home I watch Donald Trump pronounce “You’re fired!” to hapless apprentices and Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Catrall make Manhattan cab drivers raise their eye-brows. All I can think is: “amateurs”. Why don’t you come to Toronto and see reality at the Drake?

There are many silly little adventures that we have lived through together, planted in my memory, eager to grow old with me and help me grow as a person. Geena you have taught me optimism; that energy and good-times will always conquer the darkest days. You’re my sister, mother, friend, teacher, and a most excellent foil for my mischievous side.

Let them grimace at the shots of whiskey, sneer at our dancing on the bar and shame our naughty jokes. We were having fun, they knew it and having you there made all the difference.

More than anything, I will strive to make your legacy of fun endure. Life is not worth living without fun, work is not worth doing if it’s not fun and love is not worth having if it’s not fun. And whenever you’re up for some fun, be sure to give me a call.

Melanie Splatt is the Director of Food and Beverage at the Drake
[email this story] Posted by The Drake Hotel on 05/18 at 08:57 PM

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