We all get older – it’s a fact, and it’s scary to see hip pictures of ourselves from days gone by. Check out this shot of my mom from around 1965. This was taken at the Horn & Hardart restaurant in Flushing, where she worked as a server – though she gets mad about that term, asking what might be wrong with “waitress,” which is what she says she was. Horn & Hardart, or “H&H,” as the employees called it, started out as a chain of East Coast automats that later included sit-down restaurants, like the one in Flushing, once the automats started closing. My mom worked at the automats in Manhattan first, starting in about 1954. She was a busser, where she met fellow-busser Frank, whom she married in 1958. She moved up the ranks and spent the next couple of years filling up the coin-operated food dispensers from the back, with things like beans and franks and cup custards. Soon she started waitressing (she’d like that). Cut to the early 1960’s, when she was transferred to Flushing. I loved the Flushing store and spent time there after school, meeting all the local characters. The employees all had fun and doted on me, giving me my favorite mashed potatoes and gravy. I think my love of the restaurant business started there.
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