In Memory

Jeffrey M. Key

Wed., October 31, 2012.

Jeff Key passed away on Wed., October 31, 2012. On Wednesday, November 14, 2012. Thirty+ of Jeff's friends from high school, college and business gathered at  Sorento's Restaurant to celebrate Jeff's life.  Of note is that Brian Goodwin came in from Phoenix, AZ to celebrate with us.  

I know that we learned a lot about Jeff that we did not know.  He was always ready with a joke and a smile.  Jeff did a lot of things in his lifetime and touched a lot of people in different ways.  We also found out that Jeff was a published poet and writer and the following is the last poem in his book of poems.  How perfect a way to remember him.

Someday, someone

may mention my name,

and you might say,

"Oh yes I remember him"

and I hope that you will smile.

Jeffery Mark Key

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11/07/12 12:10 PM #1    

Bob Jacobs

From Carol Jo Meier 10/31/2012

Oh my this hurts.  

Friend to all, our great good friend, Jeffrey Key, passed away on October 31, 2012.  We will all miss his wonderful sense of humor.
Farewell, dear friend, farewell.

12/17/12 12:53 PM #2    

Bob Jacobs

The following is an article that appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer April 7, 1978.  Quite an insight into a very interesting person.

Hoot Goldfarbs Writer’s Dream .....For Today



Enquirer Reporter


    When Jeff Key, 34 was in college he majored in changing majors.  “If nothing around you is changing” he would remind himself, “you have to try create a change for yourself.” And after some personal posturing in clinical psychology, English, theatre, beach bumming in Hawaii, as well as a reigning passion for free-lance writing (everything from plays to menus, concentrating on “abstracts and absurdities”), he gave himself an ultimatum---with an escape clause.

   “I gave myself until I was 35 to either completely support myself with writing--or try and find something else.  But I always gave myself the option of moving it up to 40.”


   HOWEVER, AT the time his personal deadline began rounding the corner, he was writing furiously, managing a club in Cincinnati--Alexanders in Clifton and “feeling like I was getting stale.” So he he gave himself yet another option. “I considered leaving Cincinnati. I saw myself getting closer to 35--but not to my goal wasn’t creating anything new.  I was getting too comfortable.  The clouds and fog started coming in.  Sometimes everything just goes along nice and easy and you don’s even realize that you’re slowly life”

   So Jeff, a never married native of Roselawn, took a jaunt out to California to seek his manifest destiny, but returned to give himself - and Cincinnati -- another try.  It was then that he decided to “make the cut.”  To coin his own phrase, ” I had to create a change for myself.”

   And it was then that he and two friends, Tommy Zemboch and Jeff Lipsky decided to invest their fortunes and fortitudes in a dream: to open a restaurant/deli of their own in Cincinnati.  “ Either this is going to get off the ground.” he’d reaffirm himself, “or I am going to go.”


   WELL HE didn’t have to do that.  After months of travel/research from New York to Los Angeles (“to see what everyone else in the business was doing”) and some felicitous snowballing, Hoot Goldfarbs, 7760 Reading Rd., was born.  And Jeff hasn’t had a day off since last May. ‘But it really isn’t just the money,” he insisted.  “it’s the the hit, and riding it out as long as you can.”

   The restaurant/deli dream worked.  Jeff said because the people involved work.  “The three of us are three completely different personalities, but it's a nice blend. We bounce off each other well. It’s like any partnership--if you don't have a blend that you can live with, you've got a problem. Especially when you're starting out. The place came together, from a business standpoint too, because the people working here rubbed off against each other, and they saw how, where and when they could rub each other.” 

   They also rub the customers the right way, as any mealtime crowd at Hoot Goldtarbs bears witness to. “It's so enjoyable," he said of his concord with his customers, "to never have met someone before, never have spoken a word to them, but yet have that instant rapport. That makes the days here easier, not having everyone here reacting so stacatto with customers."


   MAKING THINGS easier for himself is something Jeff hasn't quite mastered yet. “I don't know what relaxing is, how to turn my mind off. I don’t know where the button is. Even down here at work (in the restaurant) I still find myself making notes, jotting down story-lines for when, if and ever, I get back to writing. Generally if I have time for one project  I’ll do three. I don't even take long relaxing walks.  I pace. It’s just the intellectual’s way of walking,  And I never have to schlep back from anywhere. 

   When Jeff does seek solace though, it’s first from “my own third person,” he said pointing inward. “I start right here--that’s who it's going to affect and that's who has to make the decisions. 

   “I could go home and talk to my cat. I could lay out what happened today, but he'd still just cough up a fur-ball. He can read and write", but he can’t speak too well. 

    “Because of my writing, I’ve spent a. lot of time alone," he said. “I’ve become very subjective and I don't mean to sound cold--sometimes people are nothing but sounding boards for yourself. But there are people who can bring me out, who can read me or know when to back off. And those are the people who I wind up having close relationships with.”

   However, none quite close enough yet to warrant a ceremony  “Though I was engaged about 10 years ago and I if think if I'd gotten married then, I'd be divorced today. But people have stopped asking me, ‘When are you getting married?’ Now it’s why aren’t you getting married?’ ”



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