I have to thank Facebook’s wacky algorithm for this one. I was surfing the social network this week when a trending local story caught my eye. The abbreviated headline was something like, “McDonald’s throws retirement party for longtime employee in Needham, MA,” which is my hometown.

I clicked on the link, wondering who could possibly merit a retirement party from the biggest fast-food chain on the planet, and when I saw the employee’s face, it made a lot more sense.

Freia David has worked at the McDonald’s in Needham for 32 years. She started behind the French fry machine, a.k.a. the Fry-o-lator, back in 1984, which also happens to be the year I was born. That means she has been making delicious McDonald’s French fries for as long as I have been alive. Read more…

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An appreciation of the McDonald’s employee with Down Syndrome who just retired after 32 years