McDonald’s crew reunites at suburban Addison location after 4 decades apart

CHICAGO (WLS) – After decades of separation, a group of friends are finally reunited.

“It was really cool. When I first heard they were going to do this, I totally agreed,” said Patty Andrews.

Their special relationship began 43 years ago at a McDonald’s on North Avenue in the suburb of Addison.

The last time Andrews – who now works from the company’s home office – saw the team, she was the assistant manager and most of them were her teammates.

The group worked together from 1977 to 1980.

Paul Dowers, 69, was not only the restaurant’s manager at the time, but also a father.

He is retired and currently lives in Florida.

“I was very young at the time and it was all teenagers,” Dowers said. “I feel like they’re my kids.”

Michele Jamuszik came up with the idea of ​​bringing the former members together after receiving the notice of her high school reunion.

She was pleased that almost everyone was present.

“It’s like a weekend of 17 or 18,” says Jamuszik. “We went right back to those days. We were a family, friends for life.”

Undoubtedly, the group has a special connection from their time together as they reminisce about their memories.

Among those memories is the budding romance of the two crew members.

Tom Ciardiello met his wife Tina, 35, while working at the front desk.

“It grew out of this. McDonald’s family,” he said. “Mcdonald gave you so much. It did.”

The restaurant is Hung Vu’s first job after immigrating to the US, and is also the place where the Colorado-based business rotation specialist learns to speak English.

“That gave me a head start to thaw things out,” Vu said. “I don’t feel like I’m outside anymore.”

On Sunday morning, after having breakfast, the group plans to revisit the old place, which has created a lot of memories and take pictures together before preparing for the next reunion.

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Huynh Nguyen

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