Most people who grew up around Pasadena have some memories about visits to the Hi-Way Diner. This restaurant was on the right side of the Trans Canada Highway if you were on your way to Corner Brook, going west. What do you recall about your trips to that diner? Many people enjoyed chips, dressing and gravy and that bottle of Pepsi along with it. Boy, that used to be the treat way back in the day. We’d put a quarter in the jukebox and settle in to eat our chips slowly, enjoying each mouthful, washed down with our pop. Coffee was not big on our list of treats back then! Our teenage years were filled with that treat at the diner and pop, chips and a chocolate bar at the movies. There were not many places back then to go to and we made the best of them. We didn’t have much money, so visiting the diner once in a while was also a treat.
I remember those large windows that could be steamed up on humid days and required lots of wiping down. I know this because as a teenager I had a part-time job waiting tables and helping out with all the work. We got paid 25 cents an hour back then, and if we were lucky we got a few tips. I worked there when Allan French was my boss. I remember that Diane Tiller worked there with me. We used to have lots of laughs with the customers and with each other. Prior to this job I had worked at the South Brook park serving hamburgers and ice cream.
After this experience at the diner I got a job at the Seven Seas Restaurant in Corner Brook, working with Wing Soon and his wife, the owners. The tips were better and I used to get $24 a weekend, that was for working three 8 hour shifts. Back then I was in high school and spent most of my savings on clothing.
Many years later when we were finished school and gone away my mother Joan Finlay worked at the Hi-Way Diner as a cook. She loved working there, after being a homemaker for so long rearing nine children, and being sick most of the time. She enjoyed having her own paycheck and being able to try out her cooking skills on a larger group. When she first married my father, she went into the lumber woods and cooked for the men in a camp and according to stories my father told, the men really enjoyed her cooking. Most people who visited our home recognized that she was indeed a fine cook.
The Hi-Way Diner changed ownership and name a few times over the years. I can’t recall all the details but if you comment, I can add this info. This little restaurant stands out in my memory as one of the places we liked to frequent especially in our teenage years. I’m sure many of you have memories of this establishment.