TCU Daily Skiff Thursday, April 22, 2004
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Just call her ‘Momma’
IHOP waitress forms bond with regular customers from TCU.

By Becky Brandenburg
Skiff Staff

A scrapbook full of photographs, all smiles and hugs, lies open on the table next to more pictures and stickers.

Bonnie Fuller, 49, recently started taking photographs of her TCU regulars at the International House of Pancakes on University Drive where she has worked since it opened three and a half years ago. Many of her more than 50 regulars will be graduating soon, Fuller said.

“There are some students I’ll see three, four nights a week,” Fuller said. “Some I have known since we opened. All of them call me Momma and I just love them, I really do.”

Assistant manager Jamie Fluary said most of their late-night customers are students from TCU.

“Most of Bonnie’s regulars are from TCU and will wait for a table if Bonnie’s section is full,” said Fluary. “They prefer to sit with Momma.”

One of the photos in Bonnie’s scrapbook is of Mariana Gomez, a senior speech communication major originally from Argentina. Gomez said she used to go to IHOP all the time when she first came to TCU because they were open 24 hours and she could smoke there.

“I quit smoking, and I don’t come as often as in the beginning, but I am still a ‘regular’. I often go late at night, study and get something to eat, have coffee,” Gomez said. “Though I only met Bonnie this semester, she impressed me. She is really patient — so much nicer than people at most places.”

Besides the bottomless cups of coffee, meals to feed marathon study sessions, hugs and a shoulder to cry on, Fuller said she has lots to share with students. Fuller is a student herself, finishing a distance learning degree in business with the Stratford Career Institute in May, and a mother of three, aged 32, 22 and 13.

Fuller said she has come to consider her TCU students a part of her family.

“I haven’t been invited to anyone’s graduation yet, but I’d go if they did. They are my kids after all,” Fuller said.
Sarah Chacko/Photo Editor
Bonnie Fuller is more than just another waitress to students who frequent the local IHOP and are pictured in her scrapbook.
TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
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