Dick Van Patten look-alike

I thought it interesting that a gay bar would sell baseball caps

My daughter, Sam, and I were having a late dinner at a popular deli in a popular neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia. We were seated near the door and I had the view of patrons entering and leaving. A party of four came in and stood for some time waiting to be seated. All four were middle-aged and up -- three men wearing baseball caps and a woman. The baseball caps had the word Scandals embroidered on the front. Scandal's is or was the name of a gay club in town. I thought it interesting that a gay bar would sell baseball caps or maybe they gave them away. I wondered if club caps were a new trend or maybe just more popular with the older gay set. So, these were likely gay people who, having left the club found themselves hungry for a deli sandwich; or a party of heteros having an adventure and had purchased the hats as mementos. Either way, they appeared jovial and patient in their waiting.

One of the men looked like, like that guy, you know........Dick.....Dick Van Patten.

I'm not kidding, there was some serious resemblance going on here. He didn't casually resemble Dick Van Patten, he looked remarkably, amazingly like Dick Van Patten. I chuckled to myself as I thought it amusing that there's someone in Richmond who could pass as the twin of Dick Van Patten.

I wanted to check out the resemblance a little more but this time the Dick Van Patten look-alike was looking at me! We exchanged polite smiles. I immediately looked away but not in a look-away manner -- more like a slow motion continuation of a movement. I was hoping it would appear that he had only coincidentally caught my eye in mid-sweep of a general scan of the restaurant's interior. I focused my gaze on the attractive olive oil tins on a shelf next to him to strengthen the credibility of my ruse. And, if not, then I concluded that he must get this all the time - people telling him how much he looks like Dick Van Patten; and he would have been either bored with it or found it a good conversation starter.

After all this time of glances away from the table and my darling dinner companion, I thought it time to bring my amusing discovery to her attention. I instructed her to take a look and tell me if she agreed that one of the men resembled Dick Van Patten. She looked at him then looked at me then paused measurably; meaning she was about to pronounce something, probably corrective in nature, to her mother -- one of her favorite sports.

"Well, doesn't he look like Dick Van Patten?" I asked.

"Mom, he IS Dick Van Patten...you didn't know that the new musical, Scandals, is about to open at Theatre Virginia?"


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