Faces in the Crowd – Free Wheeling

Posted on March 3, 2016 under Faces in the Crowd with 2 comments

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She started as a go-fer at the Moonlight Restaurant when she was in high school, and ended up managing the place … forty three years on and counting.

Meet Claire DeWolfe-Dickson.

It was only a few steps from Victoria Street to the Moonlight, and Johnny Joe spotted a winner back in the early 70’s when he hired Claire to go to the bank, fetch mail and do all manner of odd jobs. Her only previous employment had been the July and August she worked in the library at the new Antigonish Regional High School under the guidance of Sarkis Hamboyan.  There’s not a lot of student traffic in the library during the dog days of summer!

She was a bright student, earning a scholarship to X, but it just didn’t feel right. She continued to work at the restaurant at the urging of Anna Joe.  “Come and work until you figure out what you want to do with your life.”  The answer was right in front of her.

She had a passion for motorcycles so it is not surprising that her future husband was an enthusiast as well. Their bikes had names: Raven and Virgil.

It seems like anything with wheels got Claire’s undivided attention. She and Marshall became “mud boggers” and would arrive home after many hours in the woods, mired in grime after a long session of four wheeling.

Just recently, the duo bought their very own transport truck, trailer and loader; joining the ranks of the self- employed at an age when many people start to gear down.

On one memorable shift at the restaurant, then-Premier Rodney MacDonald and Angus “Tando” MacIsaac were in for a bite. A precocious young boy and his mother approached the Premier.  The lad asked him, “Have you ever considered voting Liberal?”  Claire and the boy’s mother joined in the chorus of laughter that followed.

Claire has been plagued with inflammation of the joints since she was eight, but that hasn’t slowed her down. A self-professed night hawk, it is not unusual to find her cooking next day’s supper at 3:00 a.m.

When the Moonlight changed hands in 2001, she was central to the agreement. The new owners insisted that she stay.

Retirement is not imminent … and Claire’s legion of loyal patrons couldn’t be happier.






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