By Vicki Scott
Friday, May 14, 2021 was a monumental occasion in my life.
Besides being my birthday celebration, it was also my last official day at the George Wallace Senior Center in Glencoe. Pat Hill, the director of the center, told me I would remain on her speed dial. Pat is good at making me feel important, and I appreciate that.
As soon as we could, my husband Alan and I did what any normal newly retired person does – we went to Jack’s for breakfast. At the Dadeville Jack’s, due to lack of employees, the lobby was not open until Monday. We made it there on Tuesday and were met with a whole new team of employees, except for two. The workers were trying hard but there were some difficulties.
The ironic part is that my first job at the age of 16 was at Taylor’s on Geneva Street in Opelika. Before there was Taylor’s, there was Jack’s. It was just like Jack’s but with a different name.
After I left Taylor’s, they renamed the restaurant Tyler’s and then closed. The owner of Taylor’s was about my father’s age and died within a few days of my dad. I told some of the new employees – in the midst of their difficulties – about my working at the Taylor’s that used to be a Jack’s. I felt like the commercial that said, “Don’t be like your parents.” I suppose they did not care where I once worked was a teenager.
I did a Walk of Shame while we went to our table with my gravy biscuit and butter biscuit and
Alan’s breakfast special. Before I sat down, I realized I might have told my story wrong. I thought that Jack’s opened back up after Tyler’s closed, but I realized I might be wrong. Alan assured me that the employees did not care, and I should not worry about it. I tried but could not stop thinking about it. I wanted to let them know my mistake.
Alan shook his head as I went back to counter to explain myself. One of the new employees said she knew that I was telling the truth because she read about Jack’s closing in the 1980s and then opening back up. That was the time period I was referring to when I worked there. She added several other interesting facts about Jack’s, which indicated that the girl knew her stuff. She impressed me so much that I went home and looked up information about Jack’s.
Before I knew it, I was relaying her information and my findings about Jack’s to other people who might not have been as excited as I was. I did not know that Jack’s originated in Birmingham and has biscuit making contests every year. Jack’s restaurants are only in the southern states, hence the motto of, “It all about the south.” Everywhere else in the country is really missing out, especially at breakfast time. I am not.
Of course, Jack’s is not the only place where we eat breakfast. There are several other places, but Jack’s has a special place in my heart. The Dadeville Jack’s still has employees who were around when my mother was alive, and they loved her. When she walked into the restaurant, people came out, even from the back, to give her a hug.
Thanks, Jack’s, for my first job and for being so good to my mother, and thanks to Pat Hill for the awesome opportunities at George Wallace Senior Center. Those are my first and last jobs, to date. Let’s see what the future holds next.
Stay safe, y’all!