The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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My mom, Mollie started her first year of college at the age of 15. She was the oldest child and first to go to college. She went to private school her entire life, so going to a university in a major city was definitely a change of pace. As Mollie told the story she unapologetically laughed as she recalled the memory. Seeing her authentic laugh attracted me to this memory. She ended up working for Roy Rodger’s for 3 days, quit and begged her parents to go back to college. She went back immediately, changed her major and began to do better academically. To this day, my mom still loves French fries. Every time we go out to eat and she orders fries, she always asks for them ‘extra crispy’ and me and my brothers tease her about it.

Family Values. Family Business.

Gently tugging at each teat in a rhythmic fashion, Mollie listened to the sound of milk bouncing off the bottom of the tin bucket. In a rush to get back onto the road back to Boston University, at 15 years old, she was a sophisticated student and a milking master.

The shed door of the barn swung open and her father geared up in his bistered overalls and boots decorated with fecal matter, approached her eagerly with a letter in his hand.

“Mollie, what has gotten into you! You are on academic probation. Unacceptable. You are lazy and distracted!”

Her routine of venturing home for Thursday night milking became rote, however, the “utters” were taking priority over the “university” and her grades reflected that.  With his health declining, and endless cattle to tend, her father was exhausted and on edge.

 “Dad, it’s a no brainer, I will stay home and help with the farm. I do not need to go back to college!”

“Mollie, your education is everything but if you think working is more important than an education, fine.  You do not have to return to school BUT you cannot stay home and work on the farm, you must get a different job!”

That next day, Mollie embarked on her journey of a job and rode herself right over to Roy Rogers, a fast food burger joint; explaining to the manager that she was looking to become gainfully employed.  The manager found it humorous that a deliriously delightful dairy farmers daughter was so eager to flip off the farmland and choose to flip burgers as a career.  Mollie was hired on the spot.

Walking in Day 1, a gust of grease and burnt meat stimulated her.  She was not fond of the aroma surrounding her; Roy Roger’s followed Mollie home that day, adhered to her apron and diffused in her hair.  Day 2, Mollie’s passion for French fries did not impress management. Assuming that everyone loved French fries in her fashion, when customers she knew came into the restaurant, they were locked and loaded with endless fries. Dining in Roy Roger’s this specific day were the Salzburg’s, close friends to Mollie’s family. Mrs. Salzburg approached Mollie at the register, and in her thick Israeli accent leaned over and said “The French fries. Malkala, I love the French fries.”

In attempt to provide customer satisfaction, guaranteed, Mollie turned on the engine to Roy Roger’s complementary bulldozer, and scooped Mrs. Salzburg enough French fries to guarantee customer satisfaction.  With miles of smiles and a pile of these pleasurable salty sticks, Mrs. Salzburg walks back to her dining table to join her husband.

The manager practically drop kicks the door behind the register to reprimand her.  “Mollie, You can’t do that! Its portion control!”  The rest of his shpiel was drowned out by the sizzling grease of a new batch of French fries.  Mollie calmly yet deftly responds with “Sir, there’s no such thing as portion control. I’m a chunky monkey myself!”

Hanging up her apron after 3 days at Roy Rodger’s, Mollie longed for her homestead in Boston.

Family Values. Family Business.

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1984
Roy Rodgers

My mom, Mollie started her first year of college at the age of 15. She was the oldest child and first to go to college. She went to private school her entire life, so going to a university in a major city was definitely a change of pace. As Mollie told the story she unapologetically laughed as she recalled the memory. Seeing her authentic laugh attracted me to this memory. She ended up working for Roy Rodger’s for 3 days, quit and begged her parents to go back to college. She went back immediately, changed her major and began to do better academically. To this day, my mom still loves French fries. Every time we go out to eat and she orders fries, she always asks for them ‘extra crispy’ and me and my brothers tease her about it.

Decade: 1980s
Rating:
Recorded by Ariel Kamen on June 4, 2019
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