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For Marines and law enforcement officers, the Globe & Laurel Restaurant in Triangle has become a tradition
Retired Marine Corps Maj. Rick Spooner welcomes retired Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor to the Globe & Laurel.
Photos by MIKE MORONES/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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By CATHY DYSON
Rick Spooner announces he's "the world's worst interview," then proceeds to talk for two hours.
He doesn't go on about himself or even the Globe & Laurel, a restaurant he and his wife, Gloria, have operated in Triangle since 1968.
The retired major--who served in three wars--tells anyone who will listen everything he knows about his beloved Marine Corps.
And the 81-year-old, who fought in the Battle of Saipan during World War II and still works six days a week, knows a lot.
"It's amazing, some of the things you learn," said Don Cahill, a former policeman, current financial consultant and regular customer. "You honestly feel like you've earned three credits of continuing education by coming here for lunch."
The Globe & Laurel is like a museum that happens to serve steak and ale. (And Rick Spooner likes to point out there's never been a brawl at his place, even though his customers are the toughest people in the world.)
The walls and tables of the restaurant are decorated with Marine memorabilia. There are shoulder patches and sidearms, a bugle and drum, canteen, trench knives and sharpshooter badges from the past three centuries.
Some restaurants post photos of movie stars who have eaten there.
The Globe & Laurel has autographed pictures of generals and presidents.
People have given Rick Spooner their personal collections of medals and mementos because they know he'll display them proudly.
That's why the walls of the Globe & Laurel have items, such as a collection of Marine emblems used over the years, that the nearby National Museum of the Marine Corps doesn't, said Lt. Gen. Ron Christmas.
He's president of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, a group that got its informal start around a table at the Spooners' place.
"Marines are all about their history, all about their legacy, all about 'Semper Fidelis,'" Christmas said. "The Globe & Laurel represents that."
It's also near and dear to law enforcement officers who train at Quantico, said Kurt Crawford, public affairs specialist at the FBI Academy.
Somehow, it became a tradition for graduates to give Rick Spooner a patch from their home departments.
He has decorated the ceilings with embroidered circles and triangles from jurisdictions from every state in the nation and several foreign countries.