CANDY, crackers and chicken salad start the day for busy Bar- bara Foster O’Neill, employee of Rolling Green Golf Club’s halfway
house for 15 years and counting.
The Glenolden, Pa. native, who resides in
Sharon Hill, Pa. and weekends in Long Neck,
Del., is quick to meet orders in a pinch when
you cross her canteen at the turn.
“I’ve seen a lot of good days in people and
very few bad ones,” O’Neill, 65, said. “When
play is really intense, there’s no time to engage
in a chitchat. It’s serve and go to the next hole.
A lot of members are the same, but quite a
few have changed over the years. I especially
enjoy the kids and watching them grow up
over the 15 years. I find I work well with mem-
bers, clubhouse employees, kitchen workers
and grounds crew alike.”
Ensuring inventory measures up to mem-
bership demands is one of O’Neill’s many half-
way house responsibilities. Upon arrival, she
wipes the counters, raises the outdoor seating
umbrellas, starts the hot dog machine, brews
the coffee and checks stock for the day ahead.
“When I started [in this job], we were
BARBARA FOSTER O’NEILL ROLLING GREEN GOLF CLUB
overwhelmed because the clubhouse was
closed. They were doing some construction,”
O’Neill said. “I just jumped right in, and when
I say jump in, I mean I was doing, six, eight
sandwiches at a time because everybody was
lined up outside. This past year, when the
clubhouse was being redone, I opened alone.
There was no kitchen to supply me.”
From April through November, O’Neill op-
erates Rolling Green’s halfway house, dolling
out popular sellers such as hot dogs, pretzels,
peanut bars and chicken salad in a cup. The
“Coleman Special” is a frequent, albeit out-
“It’s a Yoo-hoo and diet root beer mix
named after (member) Jim Coleman. When I
first heard it, it was kind of crazy but now it’s
caught on,” O’Neill said.
Given her diverse background, O’Neill clearly
caught on and adapted to the food service
industry. The Archbishop Prendergast High
School alum entered the workforce on July 1,
1970 as a member of the accounts payable
department at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in
Darby, Pa. Subsequent stops included H.H.
Tapper Associates (interior design), Bert’s Car
Care (bookkeeping, driving) and Morrow’s
Marina (management, waitressing).
O’Neill worked two part-time jobs before
an advertisement in the Delaware County
Daily Times caught her eye.
“It said, ‘Looking for someone to work in
our halfway house,’ and I had no clue what
a halfway house was. I figured I belonged in
one,” O’Neill said. “[A member of Rolling Green’s
management] called and said, ‘We don’t know if
we’re going to work you up top or put you in the
canteen, but can you come in?’ I came in, went
down there and I’ve been there ever since.”
Jim Larzelere, a Rolling Green member of
22 years, hired O’Neill during his six-year stint
as the club’s house committee chair.
“She’s very friendly, reliable, outgoing and
personable. She goes out of her way to greet
you,” Larzelere, 73, of Glen Mills, Pa., said.
“She’s aggressive in her own little polite way,
which you need to be when you’re running a
store like that by yourself.”
“Everyone who works here, works together.
We’re a good team,” O’Neill said.
Speaking of teams, O’Neill fills her off time
with boating, fishing, NASCAR, reading and
spending time with her husband of 34 years,
Bob, daughter Natalie and best friend Gladys,
her dog. – Tony Regina