Tiny waitress has devoted regulars

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 22, 2003

Four-year-old Taylor Pace gives two of her patrons, Frances and Bobby Brown, utensils and napkins before serving their food at Solly’s Hot Tamales Friday. (Melanie Duncan Thortis The Vicksburg Post)

[12/20/03]Four-year-old Taylor Rae Pace goes to preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but on Friday she trades in her crayons for a 10-hour work day.

Taylor has been working at her grandmother’s restaurant, Solly’s Hot Tamales on Washington Street, every Friday since September to make money to buy Christmas presents for her family.

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“I take orders, take the food and drinks to them, and I take them their forks and knives and napkins,” said Taylor.

Her grandmother, owner Dean McCain, said Taylor has been coming to work with her on Fridays for more than a year.

“I spend the night at their house on Thursday nights and bring her to work with me early Friday morning. Friday is our day together,” said McCain.

She said one day Taylor decided she wanted to help bag food for take-out orders, and slowly her “job description” just grew.

“We get here about 6 in the morning, and she stays until about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. It’s a full day’s work,” said McCain.

McCain said the customers really love being waited on by Taylor.

“People will come in and ask, Where’s our little waitress?’ I have to keep reminding them that she’s here on Fridays,” she said. “Sometimes she even pulls up a chair to sit and talk with the customers.”

Frances and Bobby Brown of Phoenix in Yazoo County come to Vicksburg about once a week and always try to eat at Solly’s on Fridays when Taylor is working.

“She is just so precious,” said Frances Brown. “She always has a smile on her face, and she’s a great little waitress, too,” she said.

Taylor said she’s made about $70 in tips since she started working, and what she doesn’t spend on Christmas presents she’s putting in a savings account.

She said she plans on “quitting her job” after Christmas but will continue to come to work with her grandmother on Fridays.

“I grew up in here,” said Taylor.

She says she doesn’t think she wants to be a waitress when she grows up.

“I like to work here as a kid,” she said.