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Recipe for success includes hard work with dash of loyalty

first_imgThe 62-year-old Jewish coffee shop owner and the 18-year-old Mexican busboy formed a close bond working together at Nat’s Early Bite restaurant. Nat Elias liked the kid’s work ethic and appreciated how he never complained when he had to pull an extra shift at the Van Nuys restaurant, sometimes working 10 hours a day, six days a week. But Victor Carlos would have worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week if Nat had asked him to. Why not? Nat treated him like a son, and Victor had no father in this new country after paying $300 to be smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Nat knew Victor was in the country illegally, but he knew something else, too. In the 40 years Nat had been in the restaurant business in Los Angeles, he had hired hundreds of busboys, dishwashers, waiters, and cooks – but this kid worked harder and smarter than any of them. That’s why over the four years in the mid-1980s that Victor worked for Nat, he kept getting promoted – from busboy/dishwasher to waiter to finally head cook. When Nat got ready to take off his apron for good in 1987, Victor was the first person he told aside from his own family. “Nat called me in and said he was going to sell,” Victor said Friday while cooking up an omelet at Nat’s Early Bite. “I said, `Oh, no! Am I still going to have a job?”‘ he recalled with a smile. Nat told Victor that he hoped so, because he wanted to sell the restaurant to him. “I told him, `Nat, I’m making $20,000 a year; I can’t afford to buy your restaurant.”‘ But Nat told the kid not to worry about it, he’d take a note and give Victor all the time he needed to pay off the $150,000 selling price. There was one thing Nat wouldn’t wait for, though. The deal was off if Victor didn’t get his green card and become a U.S. citizen. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Then-President Ronald Reagan had just signed into law an amnesty program granting many individuals unlawfully in the U.S. an opportunity to gain lawful permanent status. Victor took the president up on the offer and got his green card. He became a U.S. citizen in 1993. Heck of an accomplishment for a kid who didn’t make it past second grade in Mexico and taught himself to speak English by listening to customers order food at Nat’s. He made $60,000 that first year taking over Nat’s business, and paid off the note to his old boss in five years. “A lot of people told me I was crazy, a Mexican guy buying a restaurant where most of the customers were Jewish and wouldn’t stay with me,” Victor said Wednesday, taking a break from cooking at Nat’s West in Canoga Park – the second Nat’s restaurant he now owns in the San Fernando Valley. He could have named his new coffee shop Victor’s, or maybe after his wife, Esperanza, or daughter, Heidi, an honor student at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks. But he stuck with Nat’s to honor his old boss, who died three years ago at age 79. “My husband always had a special place in his heart for Victor. He always felt he deserved everything he got,” Yvonne Elias said. And Victor said all those people who thought he shouldn’t buy the restaurant have been proved wrong. “Our Jewish customers stayed. Nothing changed,” Victor said. “I’m still in the kitchen making the matzo ball soup.” His other cook is making $1,000 a week, while the busboys and dishwashers are paid well above minimum wage. “I remember what it was like before, working for Nat, when you’re making a couple of hundred dollars a week and can’t afford to get sick,” said Victor, now 47. “Nat didn’t want that for his employees and I don’t want it for mine.” Before Nat died, Victor would talk to him on the phone at least once a month, or visit him up in Ojai where he had retired with Yvonne. “I knew he was proud of me,” Nat Elias’ former busboy, dishwasher, waiter and cook said as he walked back into the kitchen. “Nat would always laugh and tell me he sold too cheap.” Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. [email protected], 818-713-3749160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img


first_imgThe HSE’s QUIT campaign has launched a new TV advert featuring this emotive message from Gerry Collins who has terminal lung cancer caused by smoking.Gerry and his family have generously volunteered to be part of this new phase of the HSE’s QUIT campaign, in the hope that their story will inspire and encourage smokers to quit.In 2011, Gerry Collins was one of three people featured in the QUIT campaign’s films and TV adverts, telling his story of recovery from tobacco-related throat cancer. In summer 2013, Gerry contacted the HSE to say he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and to ask if this new chapter in his story could form a new phase of the QUIT campaign, which is a partnership between the HSE and the Irish Cancer Society.Dr. Stephanie O’Keeffe, HSE National Director of Health and Wellbeing, said at a preview of the adverts: ‘Gerry and his family, having reflected on their previous experience with QUIT and the HSE, have allowed us a window into their family life, and into how they are coping with and reacting to Gerry’s diagnosis.“By working with us to create new, hard-hitting TV commercials; discussing his smoking, his illness, his expected death and the anticipated loss to his family; Gerry hopes to inspire other people to quit smoking and help them to avoid the pain of illness and premature separation from their loved ones.’Gerry’s new adverts will be used on TV, radio and online from this week onwards, and the first of these can be viewed here. TV Advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mposl7PnHZw , Online Extended Version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1pfiJr6kjcDr. Fenton Howell, National Tobacco Control Advisor, Dept of Health, said: ‘This new campaign was developed following a detailed review of evidence of similar campaigns undertaken around the world, and review of responses to first phase of the QUIT campaign.“This review shows that testimonials like Gerry’s have a track record of being hugely effective in smoking cessation campaigns. Gerry’s unique and profoundly generous offer to create these adverts has given the HSE an opportunity to tell a powerful and impactful story and to help a lot of smokers make a quit attempt.’Gerry Collins, attending the preview event with his family and friends from Greystones where he lives.He said: ‘There were three reasons I decided I wanted to do this – firstly it was for myself, a positive thing for me to invest my energy in while dealing with my cancer. Secondly, I thought it would be good for my family, creating something powerful and meaningful for my kids to look back on. And finally, if even one person stops smoking because of what we’ve done, then it will all be worth it for me.”John McCormack, CEO of the Irish Cancer Society said: ‘We are very grateful to Gerry Collins who has shown extreme bravery and generosity in allowing us the privilege of sharing this precious time in his life. I am certain that as a result of Gerry sharing his honest account of being a smoker and the impact smoking has had on his health, other smokers will be moved to take action and finally quit smoking for good and non-smokers will resist the temptation to start.’ You can QUIT – there is help:Thousands of people will make the decision to try to quit smoking this week – or later on this year. We provide a range of free services that have been proven to double their chances of succeeding.· Visit www.quit.ie and sign up for an online QUIT plan· Call the QUITline 1850 201 203 · Join our Facebook support group www.facebook.com/HSEquit (64,000 and growing)· Talk to your GP or pharmacist for help, and also supports and medicationsThings you should know:· Smoking places an enormous burden of illness and mortality on our society, affecting the 800,000 people who smoke in Ireland, their families, and to a costly and avoidable extent, our health service. Smoking is our leading cause of death, heart disease and chronic illness, and accounts for some 5,200 deaths in Ireland every year. Smoking related diseases cost the HSE €1 to €2 billion to care for annually.· The National Tobacco Control Office in the HSE monitors national adult smoking prevalence on a monthly basis, and the current smoking prevalence is 22%, down from 28% in 2007. The most recent Health Behaviour in School Children survey has also shown a reduction in children’s smoking prevalence, down from 15.3% in 2006, to 12% in 2010. While these declines in smoking prevalence represent progress, there is a need to accelerate that progress in order to achieve tobacco free status (smoking prevalence <5%) by 2025. The World Health Organisation recommends that nations undertake a range of regulatory, legislative and public information strategies in order to reduce smoking prevalence.· The QUIT campaign from the HSE and Irish Cancer Society has been in place since June 2011, and is based on local research, expert participation and best international evidence. Our campaign takes stories shared by real Irish people to illustrate the stark fact that ‘1 in every 2 smokers will die of a tobacco related disease’. QUIT has proven to be one of the HSE’s most comprehensive and effective social marketing campaigns, prompting over 480,000 quit attempts and providing support to many thousands of quitters.· Since 2011, Gerry has been one of three great people who allowed their personal stories to lead the HSE’s QUIT campaign. Gerry and two of his children featured in a 30 second TV ad and a longer online film which you can see here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lZrw2SKQq4 and on www.quit.ie .· The other stories featured Margaret O’Brien from Kilkenny, who was 17 when her mum Jackie died from tobacco related lung cancer (Watch Margaret’s story here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAUuxBTZ510 ) and Pauline Bell from Wexford, whose husband George died from a tobacco related heart attack at the age of 48. (Watch Pauline’s story here http://youtu.be/6mOVwh4Vyeg )· These adverts have had a huge impact on smokers in Ireland, forming one of the most effective behaviour change public education campaigns that the HSE has ever been involved in. Since the campaign started, we estimate that 480,000 quit attempts have been made in Ireland, more than double the level of quits before the campaign started – and these quits can be directly attributed to the stories told by Gerry, Margaret and Pauline.· Results from QUIT – since June 2011:Visits to QUIT.ie348,000QUITplan Signups24,000Facebook Members64,000QUITline Calls7,000The HSE monitors uptake of all the above support services on an ongoing basis, and since the QUIT campaign began in 2011, average uptake of online support services has more than doubled, with calls the QUIT line remaining steady.· Based on ongoing behavioural research, both in Ireland and internationally, we know that consistently only 5% of all quitters use a support service; most go ‘cold turkey’. Based on the 24,000 people who used our online interactive QUITplan, only one of the range of supports offered, an estimated 480,000 quit attempts have been made in Ireland since June 2011. This is a conservative estimate as a range of other supports, via the QUITline, GPs and Pharmacists are also provided. Most smokers make a number of attempts before finally succeeding, and the more attempts a smoker makes, the more likely they are to quit for good.DDTV: LUNG CANCER VICTIM GERRY ON WHY YOU SHOULD QUIT SMOKING IN 2014 was last modified: December 31st, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Gerry Collinsquitquit smokingTV advertlast_img read more