Family is where it is!!!!!

Family is where it is!!!!!
Christmas in Disney
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Remember that "Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly,                love fully and laugh uncontrollably....."


Friday, November 7, 2008

The Good Old College Days

I wrote this several years ago for the Alumni Magazine at Northern Illinois University after seeing a photo of my old work location while in college. Ah the good old days.

The picture of Williston Hall’s dining room in the 40’s in the last issue of Northern Today brought back many memories for my wife and I.

As a freshman in 1961, I worked for dining services as the Williston Hall maitre d during the dinner meal. My main responsibility consisted of ringing the dinner chimes signaling the residents to line up in the living room in a double row facing one another. Dr. Carol Troescher, the Hall Advisor would walk down the lines of students at which point I would open the dining room doors and escort her to her seat. Then and only then were the residents permitted to enter the dining room to enjoy dinner.

Weekday dress code called for dresses or skirts and sweaters—certainly not shorts, slacks or sweatshirts. I was attired in a shirt, tie and blue sport coat. The “Willy” women could not leave their tables until the hall advisor had finished her dinner and greeted each of the students around the room. To say the least, evening study and recreation time was cut short because of the formality of the evening. While Dr. Troescher relished this time together with her “kids”, those poor students that I served had quite a different view of weekday dinners.

I lasted the year in this rather interesting but menial job because I met my future wife at one of the Williston Hall dinners. We agonized together over the rigidity and inflexibility of the dinner hour but did enjoy the opportunity to get to know one another a little better. Along with marriage in 1964, the Williston job piqued my interest in the hospitality industry which I have worked in and around for the last 41 years.

As I look around me now and see my family specifically and society in general eating meals on the run and at all hours of the day and night, I miss those dinners at Willy when a good meal consisted not only of good food but fellowship and discussion. I am not sure I want to be a maitre d again but I have a whole new respect for Carol Troescher and her formal dinners. Ah, the good old days………………………

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