Lucia (Lucy) Gomez Price: The Edgewater Beach Hotel Changed My Life

The Edgewater Beach Hotel Changed My Life

by Lucia (Lucy) Gomez Price

It was 1956. My best friend Pat McGowan and I were making $5.00 a week babysitting on Saturdays and of course we didn’t feel it was enough even though her grandmother who worked at Marshall Field’s in downtown Chicago would give us an extra $1.00 but we had to meet her there. We lived on the 5300 block of Winthrop but can’t remember the exact address. We took the“L” from the Bryn Mawr station.

Anyway, we got tired of being broke and decided to take a chance so we went to The Edgewater Beach Hotel that was only a couple of blocks away from our house to ask if they needed help which they did and hired us on the spot. We were hired as part time after school during school year and full time during summer break, Pat as an elevator operator and I as a “soda jerk.” Pat only stayed a few months but I stayed for two years after that. I worked in the drug store. Mr. Schmirr (not sure of spelling) was the pharmacist and my supervisor; he was a very nice person. While I worked there, I met The Brookklyn Dodgers and The New York Yankees as well as other major league players such as Eddie Mathews and Ruben Gomez. They would come down to the Drug Store to get a cup of coffee and pie or ice cream. The hotel had the best pastry chefs in the city. Something else I liked doing was walking up and down the long corridors looking at pictures of famous guests. Sometimes we would go down to the Polynesian Village and watch the show, but my favorite was going up to the tower and looking at the Chicago shoreline lights over Lake Michigan. It was beautiful.

One evening in July while I was working, two good looking young men walked into the drug store and each ordered a Coke. (I later learned one was Joe and the other Andy.) They stood by the counter for a while and flirted with me. I asked them what they were doing there. I thought they each had a cute southern accent so they couldn’t be from Chicago. They said they had just been discharged from the US Navy and had come to Chicago because Andy’s dad (Glenn Eanes) had just accepted a position as Assistant Superintendent at the Edgewater Beach Hotel. Glenn and Andy were from Danville, Virginia and Joe was from Tennessee. Joe was living with the Eanes family when they moved from Virginia so he came to Chicago with them and was offered a job at the Edgewater Beach Hotel as well. Anyway, both Andy and Joe continued to stop by the drug store every day to talk with me. I finally agreed to go on a double date to the movies with them and my friend Janet. She went with Joe and I with Andy. The date didn’t turn out well at all. Andy thought he was funny and kept telling silly jokes that I didn’t like and I thought Joe was a little bit of a show off. Some time later Joe began coming into the drug store by himself and talking to me so I gave him my phone number and as we got to know each other we realized that we agreed on so many things and we would talk to each other for hours.

We were married at St. Ita’s Catholic Church on Broadway. We had one daughter and moved to Medinah, Illinois where we lived until Joe retired from General Motors and I from General Electric. We were married for 57 years.