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Bit & Pieces April 22

Every so often, someone will suggest that I write about a particular subject or topic and if possible, I do use those suggestions. Well, last week Don Joos gave me an article from the Washington Times Reporter, a newspaper from Washington, Ill. I found it to be very interesting and nostalgic, so thought I would share some of the story.

To those of us who remember the drive-ins back in the 50s and 60s or earlier, will find this brings back memories. The article is about a waitress, named Sheila Thomas Joos (husband, Fred) who was honored recently for being a great curbside waitress at a popular East Peoria drive-in. What is interesting is that Sheila is now 71 years of age and worked there over 50 years ago and the drive-in is now closed.

In the 1950s, this drive-in was a popular hang-out for teenagers and families from central Illinois. Sheila was hired when she was only 14 years old, by an uncle who claimed she was his daughter and promised to take her to and from work every day and night. She was called a "curbie" and claims only one accident in all the years she worked there and only because a customer was trying to help when the accident happened. She says she could have handled it without his help.

She made 35¢ an hour and getting a 25¢ tip was a real treat. The prices compared to today were unbelievable. A hamburger was 30¢ or 4 for a $1. Fries were 20¢ and drinks in frosted glasses were 5¢ and 10¢ respectively. A chicken basket with a drink was only $1.25. There were no plastic or styrofoam containers, all of the dishes were glass and were hand washed.

She said she didn't wear roller skates as some of the drive-ins at that time did because their driveway was gravel.

Another business opened up around that time, it was called Davis Bros. Pizza. Most people claimed it probably wouldn't last. And the rest is history!

Have a good day!