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Clopper's work is well-known at Sharpsburg McDonald's

December 23, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Harriet Clopper is spending her golden years at the Golden Arches.

Clopper, who will turn 89 on Christmas Day, works as a greeter at the McDonald's restaurant on Sharpsburg Pike, a position she has held for the past 14 years.

"I just like meeting the people," she said. "If I quit, I probably wouldn't be able to get started again. I probably wouldn't be able to move."

Hagerstown residents Guy and Kitty Crone are among Clopper's regulars.

The Crones said they have been going to the Sharpsburg Pike McDonald's for the past 10 years to drink coffee and talk to Clopper about the good old days.

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"We just talk about everyday things," Kitty Crone said. "We like to reminisce."

"Harriet is one of the reasons we come," Guy Crone said. "It wouldn't be the same without her. She's a very good worker. She always keeps busy."

Clopper's manager, Chrissy Dunn, said she agreed.

Dunn said Clopper is known to outwork the teenagers on her shift.

"I don't have to baby-sit her," Dunn said. "She comes in 45 minutes early."

Over the years, Clopper has collected about 65 pins that she wears on her uniform. Most of the pins were awarded by McDonald's to recognize her outstanding performance, but one of the most unique is a pin of the presidential limousine that a Secret Service agent gave to her. She also wears a Rotarian pin that a customer from Maine added to her collection.

Clopper said she has had a job for much of her life. In 1979, she retired after working 27 years at the Fairchild aircraft plant in Hagerstown, where she built A-10s. She said she also ran a video store on Virginia Avenue with her late husband.

Scott Levine, a supervisor of four Hagerstown-area McDonald's, said Clopper has outlasted at least five managers at the Sharpsburg Pike location.

To show their appreciation, Levine said, the owners held a party earlier this month to honor Clopper. About 180 people were expected to attend.

"Harriet is eternal," Levine said. "She's just a wonderful person."

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