Haddad, Michael

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It's hard for me to remember when I actually met Michael. Being around people in the restaurant business in the early eighties, I had often heard of him and all the goings on of the infamous Deluxe Diner. We were friends with Rob McMahon so that must be how we met.

By the time Michael and I became close, he was out of the diner and had gone through several reincarnations, but we still talked about what it had been like in the early days - very wild and carefree to the casual observer. In 1981, it felt pretty intrepid having pork chops for breakfast in Philadelphia. It was great.

Even though Michael was out of the restaurant business, he was still into food. Oh, how he loved to eat. When Michael became very ill, he liked soft food, what we laughingly referred to as "white food," - mashed potatoes, cheese and macaroni, pudding. I always think about one of the days that we were together before he went into the hospital. He hadn't been eating well, so we stopped and had dessert and tea. He ate a piece of cheesecake and a bowl of chocolate pudding and then started on my cheesecake. We had so much fun that day. The next day he went into the hospital and I was never able to feed him again.

- Catherine DeLong Smith

- from Philadelphia Stories: a Dining Out for Life Cookbook, 1993

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