My friend Hobart

My first paying job was washing dishes in the basement of Woolworth’s Five and Dime store lunch counter at Southdale Shopping Center, Edina, Minnesota. I worked the last shift of the night at the store closing, and my job was to clean the entire kitchen for the next morning’s opening. Wash the last of the dishes, all the cooking utensils, pots & pans, clean the griddles and stoves and strain the grease from the deep fryers, then mop the floor. When I came in to work my shift, the day dishwasher would hang his apron on a hook, flick a lit cigarette at me then push me against the wall, tap my chest with his finger and breath the words with foul breath ‘this place better be spotless in the morning’. While working at Woolworth’s and running a Hobart (a commercial dishwasher), someone asked if I’d sell them a drawing I had done. It did not take me long to decide that if there were a living to be made, I’d much rather wrist doodles than wash dishes.