Thursday, December 1, 2016

An early moment in the journey

     While in the seminary, I had a number of summer jobs to broaden my horizons and to make a little money.  For two or three summers I worked at the McDonald's in Uniontown, my home town.  There are two McDonald's now, one is in a new location near the Mall, and the former is at a new location in the old Uniontown Shopping Center.  The old one was "the" gathering place for the younger crowd, especially during the summer months.  I worked there in the late 60's, maybe early 70"s.

     They hired a lot of kids in those days, and with my age I was one of the older persons at the counter, my usual station.  We worked hard, and at that time, for small wages, but it was a good experience.  I remember the very limited menu (compared to today), and some of the prices: they sold a hamburger, a cheeseburger and a fish fillet sandwich (the burger was $0.20, cheeseburger a quarter, and fish was $0.35).  My second year there they expanded to include a large french fry as well as the small.  Drinks included coke, root beer and orange as well as vanilla, strawberry & chocolate shakes.  There were also seasonal specials.  But the special item on the menu was something new - the Big Mac.  It had been created at our store by the franchise owner, Jim Delligatti ... marketed in the Pittsburgh area ... and placed on the menu at McDonald's in 1967.  It sold in my time for $0.55.  It was a hit.  I remember a shift when the local Reserve unit called in an order for 55 Big Macs and other assorted items to be picked up in a short while - we hustled to get it ready along with our usual business.  There is a "Big Mac Museum" at the McDonald's in Irwin, where I am now serving.  It's location here has nothing to do with me, or Uniontown or Pittsburgh, but it is do to location near the highly traveled PA Turnpike (so I read).

     All of this was brought to mind today as I heard the news of the death of the Big Mac creator, Mr. Jim Delligatti, at his home in Pittsburgh at the age of 98.  I never met Mr. Delligatti, but his creation, and his business acumen, helped in some small way to create the memories that enriched my journey.  And his Big Mac and all that McDonald's provided us over the years, has brought enjoyment to countless peoples.  Remember when their signs read - "Over 1 million served".

     My sympathy to Mr. Jim Delligatti's family as he is laid to rest this weekend.  May he rest in peace.

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