Cook at local restaurant teaching sign language as he works

October 06, 2003|JOHN T. DAVIS

Scotty Weaver has learned at lot in the last three years working at the Two Roads Cafe in Danville.

In the beginning, he learned how to wash dishes quickly and put them away in the right places. Then he mastered making sandwiches and other deli items and the special sauce for the Hot Browns. Now, he's working his way through the cakes and pastries, becoming a baker as well as a "deli specialist" and a dishwasher.

But if Weaver has done a lot of learning at Two Roads, he's done his share of teaching, too, say Two Roads owners Kathy Crown-Weber and Jerry Houck.

When the 1995 graduate of Kentucky School for the Deaf arrived at Two Roads, communication between him and the owners and other staff members was difficult.


"The owners knew a little bit of sign language, and I read lips a little," Weaver said. "On their own, they worked to learn a little bit of sign language, and I've been teaching them."

"Scotty is quite a teacher himself," said Houck. "He's worked really hard teaching the staff. None of us could sign. He taught us things for safety first (like hot!). Then he brought in sheets of signs. Some staff members can sign pretty well now. He's a great teacher in that respect."

Weaver said he enjoys teaching sign language.

"It's fun," he said. "I teach them sign, but I spend a lot of time joking with them, too."

In addition to cooking and dishwashing, Weaver does all of the restaurant's deliveries to customers throughout the area. He sets up lunch buffets for meetings at industries or other organizations.

"He's very careful to make sure everything looks right," Crown-Weber said.

"I have to make sure everything is there so they won't complain," Weaver said, "the hot food is hot, the cold food is cold, the bread is fresh ..."

Communication between Weaver and the restaurant staff is helped greatly by the use of a computer and a pager. When Weaver goes to the grocery to purchase supplies and the staff needs to add something to his list, they e-mail his pager.

For Weaver, the pager is like a cell phone for a hearing person. He can fax from it, use "chat" on it, talk to his wife, Angela, at home, and even keep up on sports scores.

Since he had to work during last year's Danville-Boyle County football game, he had a friend at the game sending him updates on the score.

And then there are the jokes.

"When things get kind of slow, we e-mail a joke to his pager," Crown-Weber said.

"If I feel stress, I'll tell some jokes and get rid of the stress," Weaver said.

In addition to keeping the jokes flowing and the grocery list growing, technology helps Weaver keep track of the customers' orders.

"The orders are typed in on the computer and printed out," Weaver said. "I make the sandwiches and they do the hot foods and salads. Sometimes, when they're not there, I take over their position."

Weaver said he really enjoys the restaurant business.

"Most of the enjoyment comes from the delivery of service, delivering food to people in the community and the restaurant," he said.

And he enjoys teaching other deaf young people the restaurant business. He has trained two KSD students since he's been at Two Roads and currently is working with KSD student Michael Hays.

"Teaching students, I enjoy that a lot," Weaver said.

And according to Crown-Weber, he's a good teacher of students - as well as bosses.

"He's very careful to make sure Michael does things the right way."

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