Worn and Weary
When I rolled out of bed this morning, I felt my age with aching in my hands and legs. It was the result of two days standing on my feet, leaning over hot griddles, and frying sausage. I have volunteered at the Ohiopyle Fire Department, for almost forty years, working my way up from hand washing dished, through frying buckwheat and pancakes, to frying potatoes, and finally to frying sausage. The griddles are not the kind that people have at home, but rather large sheets of iron measuring thirty inches by twenty-two inches. Each griddle holds up to forty-eight sausage patties. There are two lines of griddles, six to a side. One side starts the frying process until there are spaces on the finishing griddles to accept and complete the cooking process.
Finished sausages are places in large roasters as soon as the meat patties are cooked through. There they are kept at an even temperature until they are whisked away to be served in the two serving areas. The two serving areas have people who bake the buckwheat cakes and the pancakes and the home fry potatoes for that group of diners.
The people come through in such steady streams, that those why fry the cakes can barely keep up, their eight griddles are always hot and in constant use. As soon as the cakes are fried, women plate them with the sausage and send them out by others who carry the food to the eagerly waiting customers. Syrup, applesauce, and bread and butter pickles are already on the tables. Soon, a steaming bowl of the home fries join the fare. Attentive wait persons keep plates full of cakes until the person is filled with food.