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Another Note Plus Pic O’

In yesterday’s blog, I just wanted to add one follow-up to Judge Doumar’s appointment to the Federal Court bench. I’ll just tell it from memory, and it’s probably mostly true!

I am adding that disclaimer, in case Oprah starts another show; starts  picking a blog of the month; has me on to talk about my blogging; I discuss them as truth… wait a second, didn’t that happen to some author already?

While in college, I worked as an intern, and then a staffer in Virginia Congressman William G. Whitehurst’s office. I would go to school in the morning and then rush over to his Norfolk constituent office. So, I was a bit tired on occasion.

One day, I received a call from the Chinese embassy for Congressman Whitehurst. At that office, I was the lowly staffer; so I didn’t understand why the Chinese Ambassador was intent on talking to me. I don’t really remember the conversation but I do remember that I was frustrated, tired and I couldn’t really understand much.

All of a sudden, the voice on the other end started laughing. It turned out to be a lawyer named Wayne Lustig. It made me laugh pretty hard. I later learned that he was very good at doing imitations and was known among the staff to call and do exactly what he had done to me. Congressman Whitehurst even laughed at that.

That leads us to Judge Doumar’s appointment to the Federal bench. Apparently, Wayne Lustig also did a pretty good imitation of President Ronald Reagan. There had been rumor that “lawyer” Doumar was going to be nominated to the bench, but nothing was certain.

The story goes that Judge Doumar received a call from “President Reagan”. Because he had been pranked by Wayne Lustig in prior weeks; he picked up the phone and immediately starting saying something like, “Wayne, you’re not fooling me this time”. Yep… according to the story, President Reagan told “Lawyer” Doumar that he wasn’t Lustig… he really was the President and he really was nominating him to the Federal bench. Supposedly, the President got a good laugh out of it too.

For pic o’ day, Amy M sent me a “lawyer”.

Ice Cream Cone meets Law

Sunday’s “Parade” had an article on the origin of ten foods “Born in the USA”. Some of the stories include how the Civil War  brought us the creation of Granola;  How Bob Cobb and his pal, Sid Grauman, came up with the Cobb Salad by just opening the refrigerator; and even the creation of Whoopie Pies.

There is one “invented Food” connected to a restaurant that is located in Norfolk, Virginia,  and a Norfolk Federal Court Judge. It’s the story of the ice cream cone.

At the 1904 World’s Fair, vendors were selling ice cream in glass containers or cups. Next to the ice cream vendors was a stand selling Middle Eastern pastries that resembled waffles.


This was a time when people could experience food from all over the world.

The Fair was celebrating the  Louisiana Purchase (that occurred in 1803, so does that mean that they were still trying to decide if it was a purchase or return?)  The U.S. was also serving as host to the Summer Olympics at the Fair, but some European countries didn’t attend because of the cost of travel. If you click (here), you can read some amazing history of the Fair, including the guests that included Geronimo and Helen Keller.

So, as the ice cream vendors were watching the stand next to them, they came up with an idea… why not use those pastries to hold the ice cream. New Yorker, Abe Doumar, was one of the vendors credited with launching the cone.

Doumar went back  home and started selling cones up and down the east coast. Then, in 1934, he opened up a drive-in restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia. Doumar’s is still serving good food with the first cone machine on display; and, they still make cones using vintage waffle irons. If you haven’t been to Doumar’s, then this is a blog recommendation.

Now the connection of the cone to law. Robert Doumar was born in Norfolk in 1930. His father,George Doumar,  had immigrated from Syria and met his mother in an arranged marriage.  They both became U.S. citizens and settled down to run the eatery that his brother, Abe Doumar, helped to start.

Robert Doumar went to UVA law school and came back to the Hampton Roads area to practice. He unsuccessfully ran twice for the Virginia House of Delegates and then later for the Virginia State Senate. He was a law school classmate of John Warner, who became Senator and later nominated Doumar as a Federal Judge; Subsequently, Doumar was appointed to the Federal bench by President Ronald Reagan. Today, he sits in Senior status.

If you go to Doumar’s to enjoy a BBQ, ice cream or the curbside service; you can do so and experience the history of the cone. Every now and then, you might hear about a case that Judge Doumar has ruled on and maybe it will also remind you of the cone history. When I first started practicing in Virginia, it was Judge Doumar who swore me in, to allow me to practice in the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Since we had a long weekend, I thought pic o’ day should be a bit about the memory of  relaxation.


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