The day following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dan gave his notice to Philip Davidson. He would remain through New Year’s, but then he was joining the Navy. Figured he could at least be cooking in a kitchen and not out in a tent.
He stayed in the service through V-J Day and was discharged in Jacksonville the week after Thanksgiving, nearly four years to the day he’d given his notice at The Alvarez House. He took a bus to St. Augustine, and found that he was one of the fortunate ones--his job was waiting for him. Tourism was picking up steadily after the war, and St. Augustine was a magnet to young families.
Even with a good steady job, Dan was restless. He had a hard time fitting in, some would say. He worked hard, had become the manager of The Alvarez House, but had no family; spent what time he was not at work in his apartment at the rear of the guest house or sitting in the Plaza reading. No one knew much about him, and while the town was shocked when he up and bought the condemned old city hall for $80,000 cash, the community was not so surprised when he quit his job, moved into the old building, and announced the city would have a new attraction.