ROSWELL, Ga. -- At the end of the breakfast rush at the Roswell IHOP, server Gary Gardenhire still had energy to spare.
He thought 11Alive visited the restaurant to shoot a commercial for the morning show, but he had no idea it was a ruse -- for him.
Even if you haven't met Gary, you're already his friend. He'll talk to you about his wife, who he just lost last year.
"That's alright, I keep her right here, I keep her in my heart 24 hours a day," he said. "When you got a love as good as ours was, you can't go wrong."
Gary also has six children, 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He loves his job so much that during this past winter's storm, he walked five hours through the snow -- because he wanted to work.
In fact, he's so beloved that restaurant regulars call him "the Mayor of IHOP."
The Atlanta Alive crew heard so many great things about Gary and wanted to surprise him.