8 Sep 2018

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What does "a headlong wave of motion among a staff still getting adjusted to the hour" (6th paragraph) mean?

WILMETTE, Ill. -Othea Loggan came to Chicago and got a job bussing tables and washing dishes at Walker Bros. Original Pancake House in Wilmette. One of his brothers-in-law was the chef. Loggan lived on the South Side but he didn't mind the long, early morning commute to the North Shore, clear across downtown Chicago and Cook County. He was just happy to be free of Mississippi, where he had grown up poor, one of 10 kids. Walker Bros. was relatively new then, and a fast success, establishing itself in less than four years as a breakfast staple for businessmen from Glencoe and hung-over graduate students from Northwestern alike. Loggan himself had been in Chicago only two weeks.

He started March 30, 1964.

"The Outer Limits" was on TV that night. The No. 1 song was "She Loves You," by The Beatles. The battle of the Gulf of Tonkin, which cemented the United States in Vietnam, was six months away. And two weeks earlier, Lyndon Johnson, new to the Oval Office, proposed to Congress the first War on Poverty.

Loggan's starting salary was $1.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage, but enough, he recalls now, to save up and buy a small house, if you got lucky. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 40 percent of Americans in the early 1960s stayed in a job for 10 years or longer. Loggan never really intended to stay that long. He was only 18.

He didn't really have plans.

On a muggy July morning, Othea Loggan walked into the kitchen at Walker Bros. Original Pancake House. He arrived as he had for decades, through a side door, at 5:50 a.m., a headlong wave of motion among a staff still getting adjusted to the hour. The president was Donald Trump, the No. 1 song in the country was "Nice For What" by Drake, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job tenure in the United States was just four years. Or, if you worked in a restaurant, it was closer to two.

Loggan, however, was still a busboy.

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