My first encounter with a Trader Vic's was in the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago when I was 15 or so. Very exotic, especially to a kid from Desloge. Not that we went inside; that was not the sort of foolishness my parents, teachers who'd survived the Depression, cared to be associated with. Eventually it came to St. Louis, though, and here's how it went. My other indelible memory is Helen Gurley Brown talking about how she liked to go there, eating a limestone lettuce salad - what we know as Bibb lettuce now - with chopsticks and pretending it was Chinese. Brown was on target about many things when she was younger, but missed the mark there.