Her favorite color is yellow. We only mention it because it paints the perfect picture of her sunny personality. She is Eleanor Baxter, the bright, bubbly presence beaming at you from behind the breakfast counter at Brent’s Soda Fountain in Fondren. The 21 year old Belhaven student lights up a room with her “what can I get for yous” and “would you like a refills” that are a necessary part of her part time job here. The friendly demeanor is also more than helpful, too, as Brent’s manager Theresa Laymon says customers ask for Baxter by name.
Baxter says her job is all about the people. “It’s the stories,” she says as she builds what she calls ‘mini-relationships’ with each of her customers. “I love to tell stories,” the theater major adds, “so getting to be a part of their lives, even if for a moment, intrigues me. I think I have more friends than anyone I know!”
Baxter came to Brent’s after a fellow theater major and Brent’s employee planned to take a summer break and the soda fountain needed a fill in. And she has simply stayed on. “I love my job,” she says, “because I appreciate all types of people.” That’s a skill Baxter picked up while in boarding school in the Philippines where her missionary family lived during her high school years. She says that she has learned to appreciate people not in spite of but because of their differences. And once she graduates in May 2012, Baxter wants to travel and experience other cultures to “find all the good in them.” For now, she’ll prep for Belhaven’s upcoming production of ‘The Bald Soprano.’ And grab a few coffee refills. And you can bet she’ll serve them with a smile.