call her Momma
waitress forms bond with regular customers from TCU.
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 Ill 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 Bonnies regulars are from TCU and
will wait for a table if Bonnies section is full,
said Fluary. They prefer to sit with Momma.
One of the photos in Bonnies 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 dont 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 havent been invited to anyones graduation
yet, but Id go if they did. They are my kids after
all, Fuller said.
Fuller is more than just another waitress to students
who frequent the local IHOP and are pictured in