WWII Vet Enjoys Surprise Birthday Luncheon
True Waldorf Service. We consider it a pillar upon which our culture is built. I’d like to share today a moment that was as enjoyable for us as it seemingly was for those to whom it was presented.
To celebrate the 90th birthday of his father; a World War II Veteran and former naval operator and MP; Dr. John VanDervort contacted our Restaurant Reservations team to arrange a special luncheon. His choice, our famed restaurant Oscar’s Brasserie; the very same restaurant the elder VanDervort visited after landing state-side after World War II to enjoy a salad.
Naturally – team members from various departments worked together to ensure that this event would be memorable.
In the words of Dr. John VanDervort:
We are writing today to offer our most heartfelt thanks for an over the top, fabulous birthday luncheon for our father. What started out to be a surprise for our father became a gift to all of our four generations in attendance because of your overwhelming hospitality and generosity towards our family. I’m sure the youngest among us will remember this experience forever. Every one of you involved in this project has been absolutely wonderful to us. Your Loving service and generosity now become part of our true wealth in this old world. You have blessed us all with your kindness. Please make sure everyone from the restaurant manager & Hostess to the chef and his staff and our great waiters get this missive. A special thank you to Saida our reservationist for your kind attention and guidance and to Erin Allsop for your wonderful historical input, and to Danny, our floral arranger – WOW.
I have only seen my father cry on two occasions, the first was when my mother died 28 years ago and the second was when he walked in the room at the Waldorf.
PS: When the chef cut my dad’s Ruben sandwich up into bit size pieces and artfully arranged it around his salad, it was like he had just served him a bowl of beluga caviar. Dad looked at it and said. “This is the Waldorf!”And what about that cake? [my goodness], your generosity is epic, Waldorf like I’m sure. The world is a better place because of all of your presences in it
With Much Love and gratitude, the entire VanDervort family
As an archivist, I strive to preserve the history of our Waldorf moments and make them accessible to the public, but my passion is to bring such moments back to life. As we welcomed the shipmen and women of the USS Enterprise in 1945 with open arms, we did the same with Mr. VanDervort in 1945 and again in 2014 (though it was for more than just a salad!).
We need to pay our bills, so let us deliver True Waldorf Service for your milestone event! For information on how to shape your own Waldorf moment, please contact our Hospitality sales team at (212) 872-1275.
Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable weekend!
Erin Allsop, Archivist of the Waldorf Astoria New York
Erin is a graduate student in the Masters program of Library and Information Science at CUNY – Queens College, where she is focusing her studies on Archival Management and Preservation. You may contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries or questions you may have.