Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Today's news story of the day....

94-Year-Old Has First Fast Food
Wed May 22, 7:50 AM ET

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Katherine Sheppard waited her whole life to be asked one simple question: "Would you like fries with that?"

The 94-year-old Savannah woman had never eaten fast food before Monday, when she visited a McDonald's and was treated to a sampler of modern-day staples: Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets and Filet-o-Fish.

"The fish sandwich is a complete surprise," said Sheppard, who had no need for fast food for the past nine and a half decades because she always cooked for herself.

"I love fish, and I didn't know a fish sandwich could be so tasty."

Restaurant owner Pat Tracy also gave Sheppard a goodie bag filled with a purple McDonald's straw; a ceramic McDonald's coffee mug; a small, stuffed Ronald McDonald doll; and an old-style McDonald's paper hat signed by the crew.

"At 94 years, we wanted her to have the best time ever at a fast-food restaurant," Tracy said.

Sheppard's son, Edward, said his mother was always too busy cooking up her own special dishes, including his favorite seafood gumbo and shrimp salad. "She's cooked for everybody and his brother for all these years."

The trip was organized by the activity therapy director at Riverview Health and Rehabilitation Center after Katherine Sheppard told some of her fellow residents that she'd never had a Quarter Pounder, Whopper or Frosty. Sheppard arrived in style, riding in a shiny red Toyota MR2 Spyder convertible and escorted by Tony Calandra — also 94. A participant each year in the center's beauty pageant, she was dressed in a dark green dress, coat and hat — along with green St. Patrick's Day beads — but traded in her hat for the paper crew hat. She also prepared her appetite for the trip, having only hot tea for breakfast.

"I didn't have a darn thing to eat," she said.
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