Sunday, June 30, 2013

Some old stuff

A couple of tidbits I unearthed...

First, the communique, or whatever it was. Tom and I were promoted to the position of general manager. And, no, I never washed dishes at Frick 'n' Franklin's.

Next, my last schedule as a short-order at Kidder Street (#3), as I was off to hold the fort at the soon-to-open South Main Street (#8) store.



  1. Hi Marc! This is Dave Moorhead (Cook #9 on your Nov. '79 schedule). This blog is awesome! I never thought I would hear the term "Char Rock" again in my life.

    I came up from the D.C. area last weekend to visit Wilkes-Barre, for the first time in a decade. I came up for my nephew's (Matthew Moorhead’s) 2013 Coughlin HS graduation party. As I always do when I visit Wilkes-Barre, I went to check out the 400 Kidder St. Franklin's where I worked. Um, yeah. Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was demolished and replaced by a rental car building. I was bummed.

    When I got home, I Googled to see what happened to the restaurant. That's when I came across this "Franklin's Reunion" blog. Great idea.

    My alumni story: I was hired by Paul Kutney in the summer of '79 as a cook. I had worked previously at the McDonalds on Rte. 309 near Blackman street, so I did not have to start as a Bus Boy. The Kitchen Manager at the time I started was Tom Moyer. I worked there from the summer of '79 to the fall of '82 when I left to go to grad school at the Univ. of Michigan. When I would come back home to W-B on breaks, I would always go hang out at Franklin's. Even when I started working full-time in Ohio and then in D.C., I would visit Franklin's/Apples/Mark II when I came to W-B on holidays.

    I checked and I still have some artifacts from my time working at Franklin's: A short-order cook's shirt, several cook's hats, an April 18, 1981 waitress check that says "We're Bombed!!!" on it, a May 9, 1982 weekly paycheck stub for a whopping $56.78, and a place-mat that commemorates all the Franklin's restaurants from 1966 to 1986, with each restaurant listed along with the date that it opened as a Franklin's. One thing I don’t have though is any pictures of the restaurant. Do you, or does anyone else, have any pictures of the 400 Kidder St. restaurant, outside and inside, that
    you could post?

  2. (Continued)

    I had a great time working at Franklin’s, I'm sorry to see it go. It was my second home the whole time I worked there. When I wasn't working, I was still hanging out there.

    Here are some of my memories working at Franklin's:

    - The Evening shifts from 4:00 to midnight. Once everything was cleaned up and the Char Rock was broken down and cleaned, you were free to go. We would then go out and party until we eventually wound up back at the restaurant for breakfast.

    - The overnight Graveyard shifts from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM, and having to do cut-up for the next day at 4:00 in the morning. Weekend Graveyards required a "bouncer" to keep the bar drunks from becoming too violent.

    - The craziest nights were New Year's Eve nights. By the time it was 2:00 in the morning, the wheel would be triple-wrapped with checks. There was no way we could keep up. We would just cherry-pick the orders we felt like making, and wait for the rest to walk. It probably didn't help that we were drunk ourselves from drinking in the parking lot before the shift started.

    - Learning to flip over-light eggs in the pan without a spatula, flipping pans in the left and right hands simultaneously. This is a skill that I have retained to this day, and still use every Sunday morning at breakfast.

    - The waitress coming back in the kitchen with a look of panic because the order was perfect . . . except for the well done half-pound that she forgot to order. Hi Nora!

    - Marc preaching the gospel of Zappa to all he came into contact with. I still have my Joe's Garage Act I and Acts II & III albums.

    - Listening to AC/DC at 125 decibels after work in Jon Grula's '73 Gran Torino that was as big as a living room sofa inside.

    - The knife-throwing contests against the bulletin board, barely waiting for people to get out of the way. What could possibly go wrong? I can still throw a knife that way, which I demonstrated to my children recently. Wife: Not amused.

    - Sleeping overnight in one of the booths because we could not make it back up the mountain to Bear Creek during ice storms.

    - Racing Frank Franciewicz after work in my '71 Mercury Comet against his '64 Mustang up the Rte. 115 hill, at a blistering 40 mph.

    - Half the kitchen crew taking off for a couple of trips to the shore at Wildwood at the "Corner" apartments, with days on the beach, afternoons on the boardwalk, and nights at the Shamrock.

    If I could do it all again . . .

  3. Hi Marc! I am Linda Frankin Anderson and I actually helped do paychecks, etc for all the restaurants at my dad's office in Wheeling for several years. I was the oldest of 4. I don't think anyone in the family knew this website was up. Very cool!

  4. Oh wow, GREAT memories! I worked in Clarks Summit in '79 at 16. Mary Rose hired me and Bob B. fired me about a year later for constantly being late - looking back I can hardly blame him! Kinda became friends with Mary Rose but I've long lost track of her after she transferred to the Allentown location in like '80 or '81. If I wasn't working I was sitting at the counter for HOURS flirting with the waitresses! Great place, great people, great memories.