Esophageal cancer combatant Diann Pearson (DP) was born in Fairfax Virginia in November 1960. She is the youngest daughter of the 10 children born to her mother, the dearly beloved Mattie B. Pearson, who passed peacefully in 2008. She has 4 sisters – Carol, Lynnette (Net), Peaches and Ruby (Bunnye) – and 4 surviving brothers – Charles, Cliff, Richard and Ronald. Her brother Benjamin (Tommy) Pearson was taken by prostate cancer in 2010.
At the age of 24 Diann moved to New Shoreham, Rhode Island, which has the distinction of being the smallest town in the smallest state in America. Better known to the world as Block Island, here is where DP honed her skills as a bartender, waitress, server and hostess while working at the legendary Beachead and other notable eating establishments and watering holes. Block Island is also where she met her lifelong friend Judith Clark, who crocheted the sweater Diann wore to Judy’s daughter’s graduation and still wears to this day.
Sole gypsy in her clan, the independent young Diann made her way to Miami Beach, Florida in 1992. There with a friendly smile, attention to detail, hard work and winning ways she quickly became a popular member of SoBe’s bohemian ITB crowd. Over the years Diann received many accolades from grateful owners, managers and frequenters of the trendy South Beach restaurants and watering holes where she earned her pay every day. Perhaps none summed up her work performance better than this:
“Diann Pearson is a ‘people person’ who will make your customers smile … while she makes money for you. She has a diverse background, making her as adept at moving merchandise as she is suave in serving celebrities … and as warm in greeting guests as she is smooth at pouring for patrons.”
In 2005 Diann signed up with two teams of restaurateurs she would serve with pride and distinction until in February of 2015 her battle with esophageal cancer demanded otherwise:
By Day: At the original Lime Fresh Mexican Grill – the prototype of the franchise John Kunkel and 50 Eggs sold for a cool $24 million – Diann kept the sauce racks filled, the food orders flowing, the customers happy and the management trainees snappy from the year they first opened until John decided it was time to try something new. It is fitting that Diann’s last day at Lime was the last day it was open, as Lime would never be the same without Diann.
At Night: Lime was Diann’s day job, but at least two nights each week she’d scooter up Millionaires Row to help Peter (Chef) and Sandy Schroll, Jessica Fuentes (and others) serve exquisite meals, fine wines and luxury liquors to the well-to-do in the private dining room of the Tower House. She must have pleased many patrons and made many friends there, as the residents of Tower House were among the first to open their hearts and wallets to support Diann in her time of need. She is deeply grateful for their early and ongoing generosity.
Diann Pearson rides her scooter (rain or shine) all over Miami Beach. Sitting behind BDaddy, she also rides a Harley-Davidson (rain or shine) all over the country. Before the Great Recession scuttled many South Florida small businesses, they were regular attendees at the annual Black Hills Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota – and often rode the long way through Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming getting there and Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia coming back.
Before EC, even in leaner times Diann and BDaddy managed a getaway to Key West once in a while. She looks forward to once again enjoying breakfast with a sea breeze on the other South Beach, reunions with old friends at Captain Tony’s and the Green Parrot, and sunset with her significant other at Mallory Square.