3rd Generation - Since 1907
100 Water Street
Skowhegan, Maine 04976
Hamburgers Your Way
"Where should we go for dinner tonight?" Dad asked. "McDonald's!" my sister and I yelled in unison.

"Okay. Let's go," said Dad, and the four of us, Dad, Mom, my sister and I jumped in the car and took off for McDonald's.

Mom's birthday was three days away, but Dad had already rigged a surprise for her. Unknown to any of us, he had already visited McDonald's earlier in the day in order to set up the surprise.

Working with the McDonald's assistant manager, they carefully hollowed out a large hamburger bun which would fit a tiny box containing a gift Mom had always wanted. The "burger" was then wrapped up in its normal foil covering, and the employees were all alerted to the signal which Dad would give at the drive-through.

The plan was that we would drive up to the window, Dad would place the order, and our hamburgers & fries would be placed in a bag along with the "gift burger". All Dad had to do to get the plan rolling was ask us the question, "Where do you want to go for dinner?" because he knew what our answer would be, since McDonald's is always our answer!

So now we drove to McDonald's. Dad placed the order and gave the signal by asking for lots of extra mustard and ketchup. We picked it up at the window and were on our way to our favorite picnic table in the park three blocks away.

Sitting at the table, Dad passed our food out to each of us. Mom unwrapped her hamburger then held it out at arm's length, looking at it very suspiciously. She's been caught up in my father's practical jokes on more than one occasion and this was beginning to look a little fishy.

Suddenly she exclaimed, "What kind of a hamburger did you order for me anyway? What is this?" As she lifted the top of the bun she saw a colorfully wrapped gift box tucked inside. By now my sister and I had stopped eating and were watching the proceedings carefully. My father looked on, beaming with pleasure at yet another well-executed plan.

Mom opened the box to find a wonderful pair of pearl earrings as Dad leaned over to give her a kiss on the cheek. "I love you Jeannie. Happy Birthday."

But that wasn't all. My father reached into his pocket and produced two small gift-wrapped boxes and handed them to my sister and myself as he said, "The two of you are also very special to me." Inside each box was a little heart-shaped locket with our initials on it.

That day is one memory of growing up that I truly cherish.