Friday, January 13, 2012

From the email inbox: Cottman Avenue

Sorry I ain't been around here much. I have other stuff to do like another site, a growing family and a career.

Anywho, look at what arrived in the email inbox...

I worked at unit #10 on Cottman Ave. from October 1982 to January 1988. Dishwasher/Busboy, Short-Order cook, Host, Breader, Janitor and Assistant Manager. I was hired by Scott Davis, the GM, who was raised in Dallas, Pa. His assistants were Jerry Torr, a volunteer fireman and chimney sweeper; and Mark Havarilla and Jim Muholic. During the summer of 1987, I did a stint as Asst. Manager at unit #9 in Montgomerville with Bob Strachko.  Paul Kutney was the District Manager and was not a very nice man. Attached is a photo of Franklin's unit #10 on Cottman Ave. in northeast Philadelphia. It became a Friendly's shortly I took this early 1988 photo.


Hello, Drew!

Listen, you have to help me. I was sent down there all by my lonesome to supervise the cleaning up, the packing up and the shipping out what we felt we needed to save and redistribute. I do not remember any remaining member of that management staff still being employed there, but there was a JXXXXXXXX Rushton.

I was sent there to close the place inside of a few days, and had the cops there three times. Let's see, my duffel bag full of bootleg cassette tapes was stolen in-house. Got it back.

By the way, I was also sent in to shutter #12 at Allentown when it's conversion date rapidly appraoched.

But getting back to #10, I told some dishwasher to discard a case of borderline usable tomatoes and before too long, a horse cop appeared at the back door looking to bitch at whoever was in charge. Turned out, rather than pitch the tomatoes into the garbage hopper as he was instructed to do, that dishwasher decided to toss them at the McDonald's next door. 

And then there was the irate black kid who demanded his last paycheck on the spot, a good week or so before payday. I mention that he was black because he was wearing a Boston Celtics jersey in Philadelphia. I was impressed and figured he had to be one tough out when it came to street-fighting.

I actually cooked with Mark Havarilla at #3 on Kidder Street in Wilkes-Barre before we were both transferred our separate ways. And believe it or not, despite working in a whole other industry, Paul Kutney is my present-day district manager. Yep, he also made his escape from the hospitality industry.

Oh, yeah. When I first entered the store upon my arrival, I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt with a Franklin's logo on it. And the first thing I spotted was two waitresses leaning against the salad bar, both of which were smoking.

I approached them, told them who I was and why I was there, and that they should be smoking out of the view of customers. And one of the two told me to go fu>k myself. You see, with the end of the store being near, quite a few of the employees on the scene didn't really give a flying flunk anymore. Something that became quite obvious to me after inspecting the unit.

And I'll never forget asking why there was a bed set up in the basement. And I'll not share the answer here.

Drew, feel free to send me your thoughts and your stories, and especially any pictures you may still have.




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