Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wanda Morrow Clevenger writes

15 feet of concrete

from weekend blackjack and sushi,
two turns north off the Martin
Luther King Bridge
a gal spry enough to scab
after-school Micky D minimum wage
worked 15 feet of concrete with an
on the dole
cardboard sign

the red light notably long,
Monte handed out the window
a single from the cup holder
―change from the DQ drive up
back home

A Parisian Beggar Girl -- John Singer Sargent

1 comment:

  1. The Martin Luther King Bridge across the Mississippi River, connecting St. Louis, Missouri, with East St. Louis, Illinois, was opened in 1951 as the Veterans' Memorial Bridge. Its name was changed in 1969 after the assassination of the American civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. "Mickey D's" is a popular nickname for McDonald's, the world's largest chain of hamburger restaurants. In 1940 Richard and Maurice McDonald founded the company as a barbecue retaurant in San Bernardino, California, and in 1948 reorganized it as a hamburger stand using production line principles they called the "Speedee Service System," which advanced the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant which the White Castle hamburger chain had begun more than two decades earlier. Ray Kroc, whose sales of Prince Castle Multi-Mixers were falling due to competition from lower-priced Hamilton Beach products, noted that the McDonald brothers had bought five of them, so he visited their San Bernardino store and offered his services as a franchising agent. He opened the firm's ninth restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois, in 1955, and began expanding the franchise business. Becoming frustrated with the McDonalds' desire to maintain only a small number of restaurants, he bought them out for $2.7 million in 1961, plus am annual royalty of 1.9% The agreement was a handshake because Kroc insisted that he could not show the royalty to the investors he had lined up to capitalize the purchase; but he became annoyed that the brothers would not transfer the real estate and rights to the original restauarant, because the brothers wanted to give the entire operation to the founding employees (they renamed it The Big M, since the McDonlds had neglected to reatain therights to their name); in retaliation, Kroc refused to acknowledge the royalty portion of the agreement because it wasn't in writing and opened a new McDonald's restaurant near the The Big M to force it out of business. The building was demolished in the 1970s, and the site was sold to the Juan Pollo restaurant chain; it is now a McDonald's and Route 66 museum, as well as the Juan Pollo headquarters. When he took over, he standardized operations to ensure every burger would taste the same in every restaurant, setting strict rules for franchisees on how the food was to be made, portion sizes, cooking methods and times, and packaging. He also changed the standard food-service franchise model, mainly by selling only single-store franchises instead of territorial ones, in order to maintain control over the course and direction of a chain’s development. His aggressive expansion of the company's operation worldwide made it a symbol of globalization and the spread of the American way of life. According to "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser, almost one in eight workers in the US have at some time been employed by McDonald's; neverthess, by the 1980s the word "McJob" had come to refer to low-paid, unskilled work with few prospects or benefits and little security. Dairy Queen ("DQ") began in 1938 when John Fremont "J.F." "Grandpa" McCullough and his son Bradley developed a soft-serve ice cream formula and convinced Sherb Noble to sell it in his ice cream store in Kankakee, Illinois. On the first day of sales, Noble dished out more than 1,600 servings of the new, still-unnamed, dessert within two hours. The tree men opened the first Dairy Queen store in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois, and became an early pioneer in food franchising, expanding its 10 stores in 1941 to 100 by 1947, 1,446 in 1950, and 2,600 in 1955, becoming a fixture of social life in small towns in the Midwestern and Southern US, as referenced in such books as "Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections at Sixty and Beyond" by Larry McMurtry, "Dairy Queen Days" by Robert Inman, and "Chevrolet Summers, Dairy Queen Nights" by Bob Greene.


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?