Friday, January 7, 2011

Memory Lane Friday - The Fry Shack

Memory Lane Friday is a weekly blog carnival where you can blog about your memories and link up.  Everyone is welcome!  This week has no theme.

The summer of 1988 resides in my mind as the last summer of true childhood freedom, the summer before I entered high school.  Like a hot air balloon riding on a lazy air current, I was along for the journey, just hoping that the landing would be smooth.

I'd taken a job, per se, working at The Fry Shack during the baseball games of my brother, Taylor, for a lousy $2 an hour.  Still, it was better than just sitting in the dusty wooden bleachers, watching overenthusiastic parents hopping about the stands and lobbing verbal threats at a bunch of 7 year olds. 

The Fry Shack was a wooden box of infernal heat, serving up burgers and hot dogs to dusty, freckled-faced kids from all over the county.  A two hour shift left my sizzling-echoed eardrums spackled with particles of grease, even though I was blissfully too young to work the grill.  After an evening in The Fry Shack it would take two to three washes of Salon Selectives #4 to get the smell out of my hair.

Since I couldn't work the grill, I doled out a large collection of candies and worked the register.  Milky Ways and Fireballs, Laffy Taffys and Sugar Daddies.  A large industrial deep freezer held bomb pops and push ups and ice cream sandwiches.  I also filled paper cups with Cokes from the fountain, trying not to guzzle all the soda myself in the heat.

So there I was one steamy June evening, while Duran Duran played from the Boom Box, and I turned around from the cooler to hand a kid his Dilly Dally bar, when I caught my breath.  For a second or two, I couldn't breathe.  My heart sort of shrugged its shoulders and declared it wouldn't beat again for at least 10 seconds.  Because the next kid in line had stepped up sporting the most stunning, deep, and handsome pair of blue eyes I had ever seen.  Tall, lean, and wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform, he didn't even look at me as he placed his order, "Two hot dogs, bag of Cheetos, large Coke".  I took a thankful gulp of air and turned to the cash register to ring up his items, all the while mentally bemoaning my sweaty face and limp wavy hair.  There I was in the heart of the 80s and I couldn't even rally up some decent bangs with Aquanet. 

"That's $3," I muttered, head down, face flushed.  I handed him his change and food, and completely ignored the other kids in line for just a moment, while I watched him saunter away.  Maybe, just maybe, this Fry Shack gig wouldn't be all bad, I thought to myself.  And so began my epic crush, a two year long stint of unrequited crushdom, of frantic notes to girlfriends for advice and longing hearts, and wishing, wishing, oh so much wishing that The Great J.T. would take notice of me.

Want to join in on Memory Lane Friday?  It's easy!  Just enter your website into the linky below.  Be sure to go visit the others' blogs too!

Next week's topic is "It Happened in Class".


jp@A Green Ridge said...

And did he ever? I'd like to hear that hidden treasure!...:)JP

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

You really captured the essence of that afternoon!

What a fun memory, getting all swoony over a crush!

Oh, and I love how you describe the '80s - Duran Duran, Aqua Net, the hair - brings back fun memories for me!

TexWisGirl said...

Oh dear. Those kinds of silly girl crushes I'd like to forget. I spent way too much time in my teens wondering if so-and-so liked me or how to get someone to notice me. UGH!

Anonymous said...

Great read, I enjoyed!..You write as a pro.I hung on every word, so descriptive, wish I could do that~(sigh)~!

And thank you for your comment and your visit to LazyonLoblolly...The South Ga 'backer patch.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Oh I just love this! We are the same age it seems, and I felt like I was there with you, taken back to those days. Great post! Thanks for stopping by Midwest "Mom"ments today!

Nancy said...

So you married him, right? Right? :P

In 1988, I was 28 years old, had two babies and was working full time. Oh, and was growing out a horrific perm.

Great story --- can't wait for part 2. There is a part 2, right? :)

Anonymous said...

I remember high school crushes. Did he ever find out you liked him?

Unknown said...

Is there anything so simultaneously amazing and agonizing as a crush? *sigh* I still crush on people like I'm in 8th grade, it's pathetic.

Angela said...

Oh, I remember that awkward age too! lol Did he ever notice you? I'm sure he did even if he didn't acknowledge it! After I graduated from High School I ran into a few different guys from back then. They admitted to me then that they had the biggest crushes on me but was afraid to say anything. Boys!

Have a Great Weekend!

Christine said...

What a great memory! :D