CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ For 50 years, Gene Blair has been a familiar face at Twin Oaks.
Gene was 17 years old when he was first hired at the Cranston restaurant, and he’s been there ever since.
Even though his first day on the job didn’t go as planned.
“I spilled a parfait on one of the maitre ds, all over his pants,” he recalled. “I said, ‘I’m out of here,’ but I ended up muscling through it and it was just great.”
Gene, who’s a server and has worn many hats over the years, said it’s a job he wouldn’t trade for the world.
“It’s a great job,” Gene said. “Everybody comes in, they’re hungry. You feed them, they’re happy.”
“The food is great,” he continued. “It’s an honor to work here. When you say, ‘I work at Twin Oaks,’ people are like, ‘I know that place.'”
People don’t just recognize Twin Oaks, however. They recognize Gene as well.
“I was in Hawaii once and somebody looked at me and said ‘You work at Twin Oaks!'” he recalled. “I said, ‘Yes, yes I do!'”
But it wasn’t the “help wanted” sign that persuaded him to apply at Twin Oaks.
He said back then, he truly just wanted to work there.
“We haunted everyone,” he said not only of himself but some of his co-workers, who have been there as long as he has, if not longer. “So often, they finally gave us a job.”
Five decades later, Gene tells 12 News that he still considers every day at Twin Oaks the best day.
“Every day is a lot of fun,” Gene said. “You get to wait on everybody. Celebrities, politicians, your average Joe… you treat everybody equally and you have a good day. You make sure everyone feels important. That’s the best part of it.”