Pat Choat Pierce remembers working at Duke’s Drive-In, a restaurant in North Bend, Oregon, off Highway 101, in the late 1940s. A high school senior at the time, Pierce came of age in one of the most prosperous decades in U.S. history, which just so happened to follow the worst economic downturn the nation had ever faced.
“After the first week, Mr. Duke was not able to pay us. There was not enough money coming in at that particular time,” she said.
Instead of her first week’s pay, her boss handed over a pair of coins.
“So Duke said … ‘I’ll give you this coin that