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Dining with Rudi

The last time I saw Rudi Saks was over lunch. Rudi always enjoyed a good meal. When we worked together at the Reuters bureau in New York in the early 1990s, I recall the two of us sitting down at Gallagher’s steak house one day - a favourite haunt of his. Everyone knew him, and he enjoyed the banter with the waiters and waitresses. They did as well. Years later, after I had left Reuters, I recall meeting for lunch at an Italian restaurant on West 55th Street. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and the wine flowed along with the conversation. Rudi was interest in what I was doing and my thoughts on the markets. After a few glasses, he would let me know whether he thought I was full of it or not. I appreciated the candour.

Our last meal was about two years ago here in Westport, Connecticut. I invited him to lunch at a local gastro-pub/restaurant, a new place in town called Rothbard’s Ale & Larder. The small restaurant, which you entered a few steps down from the pavement, reminded Rudi of a “ratskeller”. (I think the impression was intentional by the owner, whose girth suggested a love of all things European). We sat down at a high-top table, and Rudi ordered a Gibson. I remember him challenging the waitress, a young woman who was also  the bartender, on whether she could make a good one. She did. Rudi was impressed. But he was more impressed by the bratwurst dish which included a traditional German pretzel roll. He saved it to take home to Siegi.

I very much regret not having invited him for lunch since then. I will miss him greatly. Rest well my friend. ■