Friday, March 25, 2011

Klecko's Global Gypsy Tribute

Today is the day.

Or I guess it would have been the day if the tradition still took place. Every year when the snow was on its last melt, the gypsy's would stop by the bakery.

They didn't knock on the door like most people, instead they just camped out in our back alley and waited for an out coming smoker to notice them.

The gypsy's I witnessed never seemed to be in a hurry. How cool would it be to live your life like that?

Their trade was tinning mixing bowls. More often than not they worked with Hobart models, 20-60-80 & 100 quart versions.

Their artisan skills were usually displayed outdoors. Tinning bowls is kinda a messy business.

They always traveled in groups of 2-4 guys. I don't think women tagged along with them while they worked. On the few times I snuck a peek, it was one guy working while the rest sang, swore or smoked cigarettes.

Sometimes one of their crew would ask if they could come in and use our bathroom. We'd let them, and on every one of those occasions they would rifle through the employees belongings and snatch a cigarette or your pocket change.

They never grabbed or opened a full pact of Marlboro's though, and they never cracked your wallet either. The just helped themselves to a nominal pittance that you left behind. their was an honor or code of respect attached to their thievery.

These guys knew that we were Food Service workers, and basically their soul mates on the loser scale, but you know.....never once did a baker b**** about getting jacked. I don't know if theres even are gypsy's in the Twin Cities anymore. I have not seen them or heard of them in decades, but even if it is un-PC to say, I don't care....I kinda felt cool knowing that I got took by a gypsy.

Klecko will never be "mechanical aptitude" guy, some I'm not sure why the gypsies vanished. I think for us at least it had something to do with steel-alloy's and mixing bowl technologies, or who knows, maybe they just got smart and decided to stay in a warmer climate.

As a storyteller, I do regret that I didn't get more time to watch those cats spin their yarns, those guys were hardcore, but back in those days, I was the new guy. I didn't do what I wanted, I got chained to a machine. Being young in the food industry just isn't like working in Cooperate America, you can't sit on Facebook, surf the web, laugh at You Tube videos or eat your luch odd site....dude, you just think that you're wicked slick if you get away with sneaking 1/2 a cigarette.

By the time I obtained a position where I could cut away from time to time, the gypsy s were long gone, just like a mist. They didn't say "Hey....this is our last tour." or "We'll be back in 12 months." They were gone, and there were no witnesses to tell you were they went.

It was, what it was.....just another world mystery that only I cared about.

But you know how Polish Jesus is, when Klecko wants.....Klecko gets. I'm guessing out of gratitude, P.J. gave me a once in a lifetime treat. I was off to partake in a government scope in the Asiatic Arctic, but if you've ever worked with Uncle Sam, you know what I'm talking about.....he never takes you from point "A" to point "B".

I was placed in a hotel in Novosibirsk (which I found out was an official Sister City to Saint Paul.)This pit stop made no sense whatsoever, but sometimes it's best to just go Marine and adapt to your situation.

When I flew into the airport, I was met by a professional looking man holding a Land "O" Lakes sign. The brand name was written in Syriac characters, but my name was displayed in English.

The guy was a Russian Government translator who told me he was only committed to get me to my dwelling, but the coolest thing about Russians is that they LOVE to negotiate.

"Amer-I-Cone, for the price of several beers, perhaps I can show you some sights of interest."

When in Rome huh? I agreed to the idea, but before we delved into adventure, we had to plop our a**** on bar stools where several rounds of vodka and beer chasers were set up.

Directly in front of us was a huge store front picture window which framed a large brick building that might have been built before my country had even been discovered. My new friend told me that it was a mafia headquarters where people of the city would go to voice complaints against businesses or the police. At the time I did not know it, but in the Motherland.....the mafia runs everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.

During our 2nd or 3rd round, my companion was explaining to me that his official second language was Japanese and that he would.......I was already distracted, on the steps across the street at the mafia building was 4 or 5 woman that looked so pretty that you just knew that they weren't together by chance.

I asked if they were shooting a video or preparing for a fashion show.

The interpreter grew a stern look and explained......

"No-no-no, these woman that you see are gypsy women, they come here to have a situation with the man. It is not good because they can control you with their minds. I was with such a woman once. she used such magic on me, and when I came out of her spell, my watch and wallet were gone!"

When you are a stranger in a strange land, you have to be careful. I was ready to LMAO, but realized dude was 100% believing that these woman had such powers. At this point I had been away from Sue McGleno for 60 hours and the Klecko LoveTank was almost on empty. As we sat in silence, I gulped my shot and wondered if I could write off infidelity with a hot gypsy woman to being under a spell, but as I worked on that beer chaser.....that famous Sue McGleno quote floated through my thoughts....

"Don't forget husband, eventually everybody has to sleep!" LOL

How creepy is that? Images of ice pick justice have kept this baker on the straight and narrow, so maybe its a good thing, but on a serious the evening went on, I was thrilled to see these gypsy's, not just because they were pretty, but because it made me remember how intrigued I was by them in my youth, but also because I was at a point in life that if I ever had a chance to share a campfire with them, i too would have stories of merit to share.

Yep, as I look out the window right now, the snow is in it's last melt, and this reminds me to hope that all is well with the gypsy people.


  1. It's a good story, and you catch the mystery and beauty of these migratory people.

    We had caravans stop at our restaurant abd camp in the pines woods behind, in their VW vans and short school buses. They played violin in our place for a few days, read some fortunes than were gone.

    I think the last year they stopped was 1971.

    Who are you using the asterisks for? Do you have readers that swear words would offend?

  2. The asterisks are there for my own comfort zone. I would be horrified if my were offended by my vocab, and you know....too many culinary shows-concepts drop F-Bombs at a rate that is far to rapid.
    I think that even though I take pride in being Food Industry, I am afraid that people will think that I am "that" food industry guy.
    A good story just doesn't need vulgarity or nudity LOL

  3. Great story Klecko. My Dad's sisters used to threaten that they would give him to the gypsys if he didn't behave.

  4. Limo...LOL, I get the sence that they would take a kid!