MIKA MYERS GREW UP PREPARING BURGERS with her grandmother, Patricia Dulany, who owned Alamogordo’s Hi-D-Ho Drive-In from the late 1970s until Myers took over as owner. Myers, who also works as a squadron test engineer at the nearby Holloman Air Force Base, has taken the lessons she learned about perseverance and compassion as a teenager behind the grill and applied them to her life beyond the drive-in.

My earliest memory being there with my grandma is smashing patties out for the crew to use for the day. She would tell me, “You have to get the thickness just right.” She had been doing it for so long that she could just smash it out without that stainless steel metal ring.

I was 10 or 11, just coming to hang out with her. I would help her with little stuff or sit and watch the carhops. I started officially in high school when I took over the role of night manager—doing the schedule and cooking.

I learned from her to be caring. No matter the struggles that people went through, my grandma was always there to listen to them and not be judgmental about it.

My favorite thing is cooking—the speed at which you can get the orders out, making sure that you get it done right, and putting care into that food.

There are a lot of stories that people have about how Hi-D-Ho has affected them. They remember being here at a certain time in their life. We always get people that say, “It’s still the same Hi-D-Ho.”

It means a lot to me. I was raised doing Hi-D-Ho. My work ethic came from Hi-D-Ho. Even if I wasn’t doing Hi-D-Ho, I could be doing anything in this life and still know that I worked hard because of the values and the lessons that I learned here. A lot of love comes out of Hi-D-Ho.

Recipe: Olga Garcia lets her mother’s recipes and techniques guide her cooking at El Paragua.