October 2006

Our Night With The Blue Lady

Author: Tom Bastek

When I received my phone call from Editor Maggie Washo for my upcoming assignment, I was excited until I heard it was about a ghost that haunts CQ’s.
“There’s a ghost that haunts CQ’s?” I asked. Maggie said she couldn’t be sure, but it was my job to find out. To help me tackle the task, she had assembled the ghost-busting trio of Chef Eric, Assistant Sous Chef Yuri and Bartender Keith. Clearly the utmost local experts in all things paranormal. It sounded like fun, until she told us we had to stay over.

“You want me to stay over…with a ghost?”
“Tommy, I wouldn’t assign this to anyone else but you.” I could hear the smile in her voice.

It’s 11:35 p.m. The staff is finished closing up, and, with the exception of the ghost-busting trio and myself, just about to leave. One by one, as they make their exits, the waiters and waitresses throw their jokes our way. “You guys have fun tonight.”
“If you hear anything coming from upstairs, don’t go check it out.”
“Hey Eric, tell them about the pay phone.”

So the four of us spread out our sleeping bags, right in the middle of the bar. (Gosh, I knew I would love this. I get to sleep over in a bar!) I ask Eric to tell me about the Blue Lady and the payphone. Eric explains the story of the Blue Lady. For the sake of space, I shall summarize it for you. But do pick up the CQ’s menu and read about the Blue Lady and the haunting of Harbourtown.

The Blue Lady’s home was originally in the Leamington area of Palmetto Dunes. She was the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, and the two houses there were her home. Eventually moved to where they are now. While still in the early phases of Harbourtown’s construction, the unpaved roads nearby became a lovers’ lane at night. On one such occasion, a young couple saw a beautiful lady glowing radiantly in blue and returned home to share the news. After four skeptic adults witnessed the blue glow as well, one of them whispered “a blue lady”.

From time to time thereafter, the young man would return to visit his “lady”. She continued to reveal herself every year until construction of Harbourtown neared completion. But on one return trip a few years later, the young man felt her presence again. Looking down to the brick of the courtyard, he discovered a silver wedding ring gleaming in the moon’s light and believes to this day it was a keepsake from the Blue Lady.

So I asked Eric if they have ever seen her. He told me that although they don’t see her, they can definitely feel her presence. And that she likes to have fun with the kitchen staff. I asked for an example. He said that sometimes keys would go missing, or you would catch something out of the corner of your eye.

“And about the payphone?” He told me that at the same time every night, the payphone would ring one short ring. If anyone picked up the phone, the line would be dead. The manager was so freaked out by this at the time, that he had the payphone removed. I asked him if the Blue Lady was ever malicious. He explained that she has always been very protective of the staff and even kind of “checks” on people if only one is in the building.

I turned to Yuri, who is one year out of the Culinary Institute of America. I asked him what kind of proof he has that she is there. He told me about going into the kitchen before he left one night, to make sure everything was turned off. He then went out to the bar for a beverage when he remembered he had left something in the kitchen. Upon his arrival, Yuri noticed one of the burners was turned on and he swore to me that he had turned it off. Then he and Eric both tell me about a time where two wine bottles fell off the shelf upstairs, but didn’t break. And there was nobody up there. (I am starting to get freaked out…)

Keith chimes in about his experience. He says that just today the Blue Lady stole his sock and then returned it a little while later, and about how she is constantly pulling little pranks on him. He also tells me about once closing the bar at night, and coming in the next day to find cherry juice all over the place. And he swears the place was clean when he left.

So, I need to know if we’re going to see this lady and finally prove or disprove her existence to this day. Keith recommends that we go “table-tipping” upstairs in the Indigo Room. We each grab a full beer (Did I mention we were having a couple of beers?), and head upstairs. The four of us clear a table and set it in the middle of the Indigo Room. We each grab a seat and place our fingertips down on the edges of the table. At this point we go around the room asking the spirit to contact us by “tipping the table”. Kind of a grownup Ouija Board. After 20 minutes of no contact, it’s time for bathroom and more beer. (At this point, I’m a little creeped out even with no contact).

Keith plays DJ and turns us on to some cool new music. Ghost stories are shared, and each one of us takes turns trying to scare the others on the way back from the bathroom. Then the phone rings. Who could be calling CQ’s at 3 in the morning? When Keith answers it, the line is dead. (Now we’re all a little creeped out!) Surely, it must be one of their co-workers playing a little prank on us.

The night goes on, and so do the stories. Relationships, traveling, recipes are just some of the topics hit on in the next three hours, but still no sign of the Blue Lady. Morning is starting to break and sleep was not really had by any. We look back on a night that was as eventful, as it was uneventful. Never an official sighting, but a vision of new friends made and old friends revisited. We stayed up past our bedtime and then some, telling great stories and even better tall tales.

So what did the Blue Lady teach us? If you have drinks, food, music and good times, maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that silver ring. Now, I’m going to bed…maybe with the light on…

from left to right)Chef Yuri, Bartender Keith and Chef Eric Sayers

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