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This Woman is the Heartbeat of The Red Arrow Diner in New Hampshire

Bill Fox, Townsquare Media
Bill Fox, Townsquare Media

Penny Koski is a self-described “waitron” at The Red Arrow Diner in Manchester. How long she’s worked there is a bit of a debate. Maybe 25 years. Could be 27. She’s not exactly sure. What is without question is that Penny is an institution at the award-winning Red Arrow Diner. She has a fun, sassy, take no attitude kind of personality that you can’t help but instantly love.

Most of those years, spent working the third shift, Penny waited on, and catered to the after-party crowd. She served up great diner food to the loud, the rowdy, and the occasionally belligerent.

Penny told me this morning, that over the years she’s broken up her fair share of late night disagreements. And given her choice between facing down a big and loud, 6’5″, 250 pound tough guy or an angry woman, she’ll take the tough guy every time!

She says the guys calm down quickly when they see a little petite woman getting in their face and asking them to sit down.

Women though? Well, that’s a story for another time.

But, Penny is quick to add, many of those rowdy late-night youngsters have grown up now and stop in on their way to work, dressed in suits and ties. And they always have a smile and a kind word.

While The Red Arrow Diner walls are lined with photos of the many famous celebrities and politicians who have stopped in for a bite or to gather votes, Penny has met very few of them. And quite honestly, she’s ok with that.

When I asked her why, she told me the everyday customer is her star. She said celebrities and politicians are just like her…they have a job and she has a job. Theirs just pays a lot more! And then she laughed the kind of infectious laugh that makes everyone around her laugh too.

If you ask me, The Red Arrow has their own star working behind the counter every morning. She’s there serving coffee, asking how you’d like your eggs and doing her best to make you feel like the most appreciated customer of the day.

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