The ad said looking for a marketing assistant. I called, excited at the prospect of working with nationally recognized chefs! Duly appreciative of the call I received back asking me to arrive on Thursday at 1 p.m. for my interview.

I have been a resident of Portland for 36 years. I have decided the coast is calling and have purchased a home in Surfside Estates. I arrived at Jimella's Seafood Market at 12:50 p.m. for my interview. I introduced myself to Jimella Lucas, the co-owner. She looked at her watch, and said, "You're early, I'm busy, please sit over there and wait." I chuckled privately, realizing in Portland if I had arrived precisely at 1 p.m. I would have been considered late. Ten minutes early would have been considered on time.

Nanci Main, her business partner, came out of the back to do the first phase of the interviewing process. She immediately informed me they were not looking for a city slicker. She asked careful and calculated questions, interested in making the correct choice. Oh how I do not want to be known as the gal from Portland. Fitting in is foremost on my mind.

The influx of customers was constant, every guest treated to this incredible experience and free flow of information. I told Jimella she needed to charge extra for her endless knowledge on the proper preparation of her delectable selection of specialty foods. Every order was accompanied by, "Now how do I prepare that Jimella?" No one seemed hurried, everyone patient to wait their turn, knowing full well the wait was worth every bite.

A young gal came in with a personal family invitation for Nanci. I hear Nanci does functions with the Humane Society, and also works with abused children. Wow, how many fingers do these two have in the pie!

The memories of the Ark are still intact with the locals. The constant chatter, begging them to re-open, something, anything. The respect, the reputation, of these two women amazes this outsider. Jimella and Nanci, you will never have the Peninsula's permission to ever retire.

Gail Simmons

Oregon City

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