Monday, June 1, 2015
Old Photo of the Week #16
CTY 2015 is just a few weeks away and it will be our twentieth summer at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.
We had spent our first three summers at Goucher College in Towson and by the third year, it was pretty obvious that they weren't particularly thrilled to have us there. Any time we encountered something particularly egregious -- such as the Friday they decided to install new windows and air conditioners in the dorm rooms we were living in, then did not finish before the end of the work day and left rooms with an open hole in the wall -- we announced that we had be "Gouched!"
Dining left a great deal to be desired as well. There was no air conditioning in the dining hall so the platters of melon put out at breakfast time (and again at lunch and then dinner) started growing a layer of fuzz. A huge platter of marshmallow Rice Krispies treats melted into a giant mushy mess that the kids grabbed handfuls of. And such main courses as Tofu Jambalaya and Vegetarian Stew with beef -- "It has vegetables in it, so it's vegetarian." -- resulted in a lot of us losing weight whether we wanted to or not.
Bob in line at the steam table pointing at something brown and unrecognizable in a tray: "What's that?"
Server: "It's a vegetable."
Bob: "What kind?"
Server: "I don't know."
Bob: "Then how do you know it's a vegetable?"
Server: "It's in a square pan. Square pans are vegetables. Long pans are meat."
Washington College, across the Bay from Baltimore, was a breath of fresh air for those of us who were returning staffers. It was not without its faults -- the dorm building we were in had some rooms that were so small that my colleague Gwydion Suilebhan remarked, "I have to go out in the hall to change my mind." -- but they were happy to have us and went out of their way to get us anything we needed.
And the food? Hand-carved side of beef. Swordfish steaks (with pineapple chutney). An all-you-can-eat crab dinner. Nobody lost weight at the C'town site!
Anyway, the photo above was taken in the dining hall in 1996. Al Schlifstein, Ed Hild, Gwydion Suilebhan, yours truly, and Andrew Wayne were a major contingent of the group that our Academic Dean, Barbara Parker, referred to as "The Usual Suspects."
As our twentieth year begins, the others have all long ago moved on to other ways to spend their summers. The dining hall has since been demolished and replaced. Even my glasses, mustache and hair are gone!