by marlys good
Marion Hansen, owner of the Uptown Café, has been selected as the grand marshal of the 2013 Holidazzle parade.
“She was very surprised,” said Hansen‘s daughter, Joni when her mother was presented with a bouquet of flowers, a plaque and sash Monday afternoon, “but she knew something was going on when I made her come back to the restaurant at 2 p.m.”
Marion Hansen has been a fixture at Uptown Café for years. She was a fixture when it was Parker’s Café, and she worked for then owner Chuck Shirran as a cook, a waitress, you name it.
“She went back to work waiting tables to put me through beauty school,” Joni said. “She told me she didn’t think I would ever graduate,” she laughed. That was years ago and Hansen is still “working;” she just changed hats. Twenty years ago she purchased the café from Cass Bush, and went from employee to employer.
Changing hats didn’t lessen her hours. Day in, day out, year after year, Hansen has been there. She suffered a heart attack – but was back at work the very next day. Joni said her main reason for purchasing the business was to “give local people jobs” and the business flourished. “We were so busy,” Joni said.
Hansen was a good employer. “She was a great boss, she treats employees with respect and kindness. You have to do something really bad to have her come down on you,” according to her granddaughter Sara.
Then came the controversial reconstruction of Greybull Avenue. Business plummeted and it has been difficult to recover.
Hansen’s son John “has pretty much taken over the business end of the restaurant,” according to Joni, but her mother is still a fixture.
The “grand marshal” said she has loved “the repeat customers, the hunters, bikers, geologists. They became friends.”
One thing you were sure of. Stop at the Uptown anytime after Thanksgiving and you’d hear Christmas music playing softly in the background. It was a tradition, and Hansen never let the tradition slide.
Thinking back on the dozens of years and thousands of hours spent at Parker’s, then Uptown, Hansen said, “I would do it all over again.”
The honor bestowed on Hansen by the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce and Town of Greybull, “brightened her day,” according to both daughter and granddaughter.