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In the "It's a Small World" Category ...

April 29, 2011 - Phyllis Sigal
I got a phone call Monday morning, and the caller ID came up, "Vinoy Resort." I had just stayed at the Vinoy, during a visit to St. Petersburg. My story on my new favorite place in the world ran in the April 24th edition of the paper.

It was a man's voice.

He identified himself as Russ Bond, and he told me he "runs" the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg, Fla.

He just happened to be speaking with his dad the night before, who mentioned the story about St. Petersburg.

The kicker is, he grew up in Wheeling ... in fact he spent part of his life living on the same street where I live now. He graduated just a few years after me, from Linsly. And his dad, also Russ Bond, ran Wilson Lodge at Oglebay Park for many years.

Young Russ began his career in the hotel world at the age of 14 as a busboy at Wilson Lodge. He graduated from Purdue University in the hospitality field and has been working in the hotel business ever since, he said. He's worked with major hotel chains all over the country, and landed at the lovely Vinoy in 2000, where he serves as general manager.

A couple of days later, the elder Bond called me to fill me in on his son's connection.

He recalled his son's early beginning in the hotel business. The senior Bond said he noticed no busboys were on the schedule for Mother's Day at the lodge's restaurant. He called home and told Russ and his brother Scott to get black pants on, a white shirt, find black ties in his tuxedo bag, and "I'll pick you up in an hour."

Dad also started out as a busboy at Oglebay.

Young Russ said his dad tried to talk him out of the business. "Then why did you have me start as a busboy the day before Mother's Day?" He said he "blames" his dad for his career.

"I love what I do," the younger Bond said. "I don't know what I'd be doing if I wasn't doing this."

I'll say he's pretty darn lucky ... to be living in my new favorite town at an absolutely gorgeous resort.

 
 

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