Letter: Brooke Hawkins

From: Brooke Hawkins


I will always remember my first job at Becker’s Drive-In. Learning that Becker’s is closing makes me feel like another chapter in our city’s history is closing. Over the past few days, I’ve found myself reflecting on why that place was so special.

The Becker family impacted the lives of hundreds of young workers during their nearly 70 years in business. The ​staff was held to the absolute highest standards ​of maintaining​ the kitchen, front of house, our uniforms​ and even the parking lot. Mr. B painstakingly taught me how to mop a floor (mop side-to-side at the door’s threshold so you don’t leave water marks).

More importantly, the Beckers held us accountable for our thoughts and actions. We were expected to bring our books to work so we could study if we had a spare five minutes (and don’t go to college just to get your “Mrs.” degree). We were taught to trust fellow employees and be respectful of customers, even when they didn’t deserve it. We weren’t typical high school kids once we clocked in. There was talk of politics, adult humor, aspirations and big ideas.

I couldn’t have asked for a better first job, and I’m sad we don’t have more small businesses like this in our community. I hope the next generation of kids have a Mr. B standing over their shoulders, barking out commands while they work. They will be better people because of it.

For me, then and now, the Beckers are mentors to this community. For everything they have done to affect the people of this small city, I am thankful.