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News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

A tribute to Tom Barlas from Pam McKiness

Tom works his magic behind the cook line; Kathy greets and seats the crowd, wait staff puts up orders, Myrna mixes the rounds.

All at once the rush is raging, butter knife steaks are garnished and served. There are twenty things to do at once, Tom remains precise, controlled and assured.

A beeper goes off in your apron, he better see you burst through that door, you best get that food to the table, service is the Barlas core.

The crowd is pleased and praising, after diner drinks are poured. The man behind the cook line is the biggest reason those tips are yours.

Without saying much, he slips out another night has come to a close. A silhouette across the parking lot slips through the fence and goes home.

Over all the years I knew him I recall one night he said, “Don’t worry be happy,” an example of how Tom lived.

I am proud to say I worked with him, the best chef ion the whole Mid-West.  And I honor this man his final walk home as he is welcomed through heaven’s fence.

Pam McKiness

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