David Snyder talks to his girlfriend, Pam, on the phone. They met three years ago in a restaurant they were both working at in Sedalia, Missouri. She still lives in Sedalia, but David lives in Columbia, Missouri, about an hour’s drive away. He is living in a halfway house for veterans and going through rehab for alchohalism.
David takes a rest between between sets of situps at Wilson’s Fitness Center on December 8, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. He joined the gym a week previous and is determined to get back into shape. “I was in the best shape of my life at 38,” he said. He is now 53.
David works out his abs with leg lifts. He worked as a physical trainer for a year in Kansas City 6 or 7 years ago when he took a year off from cooking, his main profession. He has struggled with alcohalism for much of his life, though he maintained sobriety for seven years at one point. It has been four months since his last “bender.”
David reads a daily devotion titled “Conquering Jealousy” which references a passage from Psalm 37. “I will read the full Psalm when I get home later,” he said.
David graduated from the Culinary Institue of America in 1986, and has cooked in restaurants in New York and Kansas City, Missouri, among other places.
David washes dishes from 10pm to 6am five days a week at the Broadway Diner, in Columbia, Missouri. “I’m thankful to have the job,” he said, though he get’s frustrated he isn’t using any of his cooking skills. “It’s a good job for now.” He hopes to find a different job after the first of the year.
David has been working at Broadway Diner for about a year and a half. He used to work the day shift but has been working the night shift for the past four months.
Snyder (left) jokes with Dave Johnson at 4:16 am, December 3. Johnson is the manager of Broadway Diner, which is owned by his father Ed Johnson. Dave Johnson gave Snyder his job back four months after ago after he quit for a bit to go back into alcohal rehab.
David cleans up early Sunday morning after the late Saturday night crowd of college students has died down. Earlier in the night he was extremely frustrated after cleaning up the vomit from a drunk student. “I just want to walk out of here,” he said. Later in the night he said, “if Jesus can humble himself to wash the disciples feet...I can clean up some vomit.”
David takes a smoke break during his night shift. After years of battling alchohilism he is determined to win the fight. “I make my living staying sober,” he said.
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