Joe's Job: 48 years at Doumar's Cones and Barbecue

13News Now reporter Joe Flanagan

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Shirley Horton started working at Doumar's Cones and Barbecue in 1968.  She still says she loves it and wouldn't trade it for the world.

"The most fun I have is picking on the customers.  I really do.  I enjoy that, and a lot of them keep coming back for that reason," she says.

Shirley was training me on waiting tables.  The spry, Vermont native never looked  back when Doumar's hired her to wait on cars first.

"I did work outside but came back here, because I knew I was guaranteed a certain amount of money each week.  Working out there, you are not guaranteed... especially in bad weather," added Horton

She arrives at the Monticello Avenue Drive-In around 7:30 each morning and starts wrapping cones.  They go through at least 200 each day on average.  After all, this is the place where the waffle ice cream cone was invented, back in 1904.  Well Abe Doumar was the creator to be exact, and the place was the St. Louis Exposition... but that's another story another day.

"Put on with this hand," Shirley ordered me as she was training me to wrap cones with white paper napkins.

I think I got higher marks for running the cash register.  I had to ask owner and operator Thad Doumar what he thought of Shirley.

"She's amazing.  She just might make 55 or 60 years here," he said. "And we'd be glad to have her!"

For sure, for sure, Shirley is not going away anytime soon.

"When I hit 50.  Ha ha ha!" she reacted.


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