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Change!! It is a comin’!

The Summer of 1985 at the age of 12, I got my first job at the Old Clayton Inn. My twin sister and I worked there just for tips for the infamous Louise Dillard Coldren. It was quite an experience. Louise would bring food over from the Dillard House for the Hot Bar and then just leave. Sometimes there would be a cook in the back but most of the time we were just left alone. It was fabulous!

We learned customer service at it is finest, we were hostess, waitress, busser, and cook. At this point, you are probably feeling sorry for us, but don’t.

The first meal we had to cook off the menu was trout, and I must say we thought Julia Child would be proud. We took that trout straight from the freezer to the microwave, to our lucky guest, and then back to the kitchen. They then asked to see the management, and you guessed it, that would be me! When they found out we were 12 and only getting tips, $50 was our bonus that night! We made so much money that summer, for the first time being young was a win!

In the back was a conference room with a big stage, where local groups like Rotary would meet during the week. But between customers, it would become The Rabun Martin Solid Gold Stage. I would set up my boom box, play my Janet Jackson cassette tape, and dance like there were 1000 people in the audience. I would become Miss Jackson (if you’re nasty) until Siobhan would call me to greet a customer. If I could have, I would have sat people back there and charged admission.

Good Times! But everything must end. McDonald’s came to town and I was destined for the drive through window, I needed a change! Change, the Old Clayton Inn has changed a lot through the years, an era gone by. Back then you could use free labor and my dancing skills and flexibility were at their finest.

The building has been vacant for years, just an old shell of the past, a reminder of how it use to be. But this year that old girl got a face lift. She has been brought back to life! Back to her former glory and with that a new name. The Bridge Creek Inn. She ain’t old, she is young and ready for the next generation of 12-year-olds to take over! So today as I look back at the old, I am reminded that life was good, and it is just getting better here in downtown Clayton! Welcome to town Bridge Creek Inn!


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