I may challenge Barbara as the oldest one here, although we both may be younger than Augie.
This is a story from one of our now long gone favorite restaurants on the island, Bertine's up on the hill overlooking Grand Case. "Bertine's" was a combination of the owner/operator's names, Bernie and Christine, former residents of my hometown, Chicago.
Anyway, this would be back in the late 1990's, we went up to Bertine's for the first time, for a great dinner with the fruit bats flying around in front of the terrace. Dinner was great, and we were the only customers in the place that night. As usual Christine served and Bernie cooked. When Christine found out we were from Chi, she hollered for Bernie to come out, and we ended up shooting the breeze with them both for several hours after dinner.
So they proceed to tell us the story of how they ended up as restauranteurs and innkeepers on the island. Some years before, they were customers at the same location, being served by the previous owner, a local Frenchman. Bernie was particularly taken with the place, the atmosphere, including the stunning views of Grand Case Bay. Apparently in a similar post-dining conversation as ours, the owner said he was planning on retiring soon, and Bernie commented on how he thought this would be a wonderful way to make a living. Discussion continued, and, according to Bernie, as a simple little aside, he told the owner to call him when he actually decided to retire. Well...again according to Bernie, this idle chat constituted a verbal contract to the Frenchman. About a year later they got a call from the guy, who said something like, "OK, when will you be coming down to take over?" Bernie and Christine said that the guy never looked for another buyer since he thought he had a deal and they didn't have the heart to say to the guy that it was just a little musing over a bottle of wine. They packed up and moved to St. Martin, and that's how Bertine's was born.
They told us that night that their kids were getting close to school age and that they would be moving back to the US in the next year or two, which they did. Anyone interested in having a good Bertine's meal, including the great, Steak on a Hot Rock, can still get one at:
206 S Main St
Madison, VA 22727
Phone: (540) 948-3463