A baby blue Cutlass and post-work shenanigans in Opelika

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By Vicki Scott

For Mother’s Day last week, my daughter Eva gave me a book called, The Story of My Life. It looked like a journal with thought questions intended to bring up memories of my life and allow me to write them down. Eva wrote a note on the inside saying that the book might be more of a gift for her. She seems to want my story written. Eva added that she loved me and appreciated the amazing mother I am.

It all sounded rather suspicious.

I am not an amazing mother, just one that did the best I knew how to raise my children the right way. There have been people who have read my books that expressed interest in learning more about me, and I do not know why. I am nothing special. But I looked through some of the thought questions in my new book.

In looking through the journal questions, I found one that asked me to describe my first job, which made me smile and swell with pride.

My first job was in fast food at a place called Taylor’s on Geneva Street in Opelika. It used to be a Jack’s until it was bought by another company. It was named Taylor’s after the owner’s son, but they had to change the name to Tyler’s in order to franchise. Of course, Jacks is back in bu-siness, thank goodness, and the breakfast is almost the same as it was back then.

The job at Taylor’s was part of my Sweet 16 birthday present. A car was, as well, but not the one my father intended for me to have (I think). On my birthday, my father took me to get my driver’s license and then let me drive him to work and then home.

I assumed he gave me the car, which was a baby blue 1979 Cutlass Supreme. If my dad had his choice to give me a car, I think it would have been a green Chevy Vega. I do not know the year of the Vega, but it was a stick shift that my dad made me drive as soon as I learned how.

My job at Taylor’s involved working as a cashier. I would take orders and money, serve the meals and clean up. It was a fun job, but it did not last long.

After my shifts, my co-workers started inviting me to ride around for a while before we went home. It was all innocent, but my parents did not like me to stay out so late. They thought I was working late. I might have been a tad dishonest with them about my working hours, as Tyler’s closed at 11 p.m. We had clean-up for about an hour. I now realize that those hours were indeed late, and my post-work shenanigans it very late.

My father eventually found another job for me as a waitress at Morrison’s Cafeteria, which closed at 8 p.m. I ended up being a cashier, and it was probably the hardest job I’ve ever had.  The job carried me through college, and I worked there until my husband Alan and I were married, after which he told me that I could quit.

I ended up quitting that very day.

I spent five long years at Morrison’s Cafeteria making $1.50 an hour, which was raised to $1.75 when I found out someone else made more money than I did. The base pay did not matter when waitressing; I made most of my money off tips. When they moved me to the cashier, there were no tips but same base pay.

Both places no longer exist, but the memories are still there. Those experiences took part in making me who I am.

This journal is an exciting endeavor. Maybe Eva and whoever reads my input will understand me better, but I doubt it.

Vicki Scott may be contacted at lily200383@yahoo.com.

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