Bellman at luxury Boston hotel to retire after 66 years
BOSTON (WHDH) -- After 66 years of greeting guests at the exclusive Taj Hotel in Boston, which used to be the Ritz, bellman Norman Pashoian has seen it all. He is retiring on Wednesday.
“I love this place, you know, it’s like a home here,” said Pashoian.
Pashoian, who is 85, started working at the hotel in 1947 when he was 19 years old. Over the years he’s opened doors and rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous.
Winston Churchill was one of the guests he remembers.
“The lobby was just crowded with people and, you know, he was giving that victory sign of his. He had that big Churchill cigar,” said Pashoian.
There was also Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Kennedy Sr. and Jackie Onassis, who he described as elegant.
“She knew my name, I don’t know why, but she did. Not many people of importance do that,” said Pashoian.
Pashoian remembers when women weren’t allowed in the hotel café at certain times without a male escort.
“They protested and marched down Newbury Street protesting that they should be able to go in and have lunch and they did and they won, and they should,” said Pashoian.
Another big change -- one he regrets -- the way people dress.
“Men used to have a tie and a shirt. We supplied jackets if they didn’t have it,” said Pashoian. “[And now] you can come in your underwear, they won’t say a word to you.”
He has seen good tippers and bad, but he says that’s not the way he judges people.
“I judge them by how polite they are and how humble they are and how they respect you as a person,” said Pashoian.
In addition to giving guests a warm welcome, Pashoian said it’s also important to give them a fond farewell. Now, after 66 years, that’s exactly what the hotel is giving him.