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The Best Year – Robert Ebert

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One of my favorite classic films has a scene in which two friends are in a boat reminiscing about their lives. One friend asks the other, “What was the best year of your life?” For me the answer was immediately clear. It was the year I moved to New Hope and met a cast of characters who would redefine my life. Bettina Murdoch (later of Michener Museum fame) introduced me to new friends in legendary clubs like The Prelude. I had no idea that, as fate would have it, by 1985 I’d be running the Raven, another legendary New Hope club.

The restaurant career choice was particularly ironic because when my friends, who needed a third housemate, first invited me to move to New Hope, I agreed with one stipulation: I would not cook or touch food. Yet somehow, despite my background in banking and my disinterest in all things culinary, I was soon in the restaurant business and loving every minute of it. At first I worked with local legendary chef Grace Dager. Soon I was at another successful restaurant hosting customers, infamous and famous, like the quintessential star chef Julia Child – all of which eventually led me to The Raven. Although I always loved traveling and even living in other places, from Palm Beach to San Francisco, New Hope always calls me home.

PHOTO:
Robert Ebert, Jimmy Skea, Grace Dagar, Philip Nicolosi, and Richard Heller

Read the Book – An Enlightened Community 20th Century LGBT Stories of New Hope, Pennsylvania

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