Saturday, December 16, 2017

My summer job at a fish and chips store

As I grow older, I have noticed that many folks who have helped me along the way are passing on. I have yet another story to share.

I grew up in a friendly neighbourhood in Toronto. I went back there the other night to have dinner with my friend. We did a lot of reminiscing.

There used to be a fish and chips store a few blocks away from where I used to live. It was a family-run business. A Chinese couple owned and worked at the store for over thirty years.

When I was old enough buy an order of chips (fries) wrapped in newspaper for a dollar, I would visit the store after school. They were terrific.

A few years later, I asked my mom whether she could ask the owners if I could work for them that summer. My mom would often visit the store to get dinner. Sure enough, I got it. I had just turned eighteen years old.

I felt that I was slow learning about everything. However, my boss, Mary, had a chat with my mom and said the complete opposite -- that I was a quick learner and a hard worker.

I learned how to wrap fish and chips in newspaper. I even folded a number of open-faced newspaper holders for chips, so you could eat out of it as you walked. I honed my skills talking to and serving customers. I even learned about orange roughy.

The couple often insisted that I have dinner there. I felt odd about it. Eventually, I caved. It was delicious, as always.

The store closed just after I had earned my undergraduate degree. I have often wondered about the couple and how there were.

I decided to do a search. I learned that Mary had passed on in 2009 at the age of 72. She, like her husband, were kind and treated me like family. I regret not seeing them as much when my family had moved away a year after I had worked at the store.

May she continue to rest in peace.


  1. it's lovely that you have warm memories of the people who have touched your life. Thank you for sharing this little snippet with us.

  2. What a lovely memory, CB. Sorry Mary passed on.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

    1. Thanks, Cat. I wish that I had known a lot sooner and can hope that she is at peace.