Our little group hung out at Ye Olde Tripple Inn for a couple of hours drinking in the ambience of the place along with a few beers or pops. Phil and Bob got Lloyd to round up the entire group to announce that it was time for the big surprise they had promised us.
Phil and Bob led us out of the Inn and on a trek down the streets and avenues of Manhattan, a trek that ended at the front door of some nondescript building. We looked at the two of them and around at each other with confused faces. Bob finally dropped the bombshell of a surprise on us. We were at their production studio. Our confused looks changed to looks of Christmas-morning anticipation. Phil told us that they were going to share with us some of the footage they had shot of Lloyd and his family. Our collective cheer was enough to draw the attention of even the most blasé Manhattanites.
Phil and Bob showed us around their production facilities full of video and audio equipment and stacks of tape reels. Oz and a few of the kids who had been involved with audio/visual or radio and TV in school took great delight in examining the hardware. Bob showed us how they synchronize the separate video and audio tracks while Phil went into more of the filming and recording process. It was all quite interesting, but we were getting edgy and wanted to see Lloyd on screen.
The portion of the documentary they showed us was footage from a typical night at Shakey’s. There was Lloyd’s dad, Howie, taking an order at the register while Lloyd, his mom, and sisters worked in the background. We all hooted and howled at Lloyd and had a good laugh at Mr. Snider’s unique sense of humor.
We were allowed to watch several minutes of footage before the show ended. We gave our most gracious hosts a huge applause and thanked them for their generosity. Oz announced that it was time to head back to the Hotel Edison so we all thanked Phil and Bob and said good-bye.
Phil and Bob pulled Lloyd aside and signaled for Jeff and me to join them.
“How much longer are you guys in town?” Phil asked us.
“We have two more nights and then we leave Friday evening,” Lloyd answered.
“Let me ask you this then,” Phil added. “Are you free either of those nights?”
“Yeah, we’re free Thursday night,” Lloyd told him, looking to Jeff and me for confirmation. We nodded that he was right.
“Well, then, if you guys can get away you should meet us back at the Tripple Inn and we’ll send you home in style,” Bob chimed in.
They three of us as one replied, “Hell, yeah!”