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Thank you Sam

Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 8:55 pm
by Amy
Finding this website has been a godsend for me. It has brought back so many wonderful memories. And I so appreciate the care and the time it is so obvious you have put into it. For some reason, looking at the pictures and reading the posts seems to fix what's been ailing me lately. I have a feeling everyone has been ailing and feeling a little unsettled now that Sept 11 is approaching. Anyway, I think that seeing Minnewaska on this site and reading all the good memories is great medicine for me. To paraphrase a famous statement - the outside of of Minnewaska is good for the inside of a person. Or something like that!
There are people who I can't remember, but I do remember Roger with the broken leg greeting me on my first day arriving to work. I remember Walter the dishwasher at Cliff House having a heart attack in his room while we all stood around not knowing what to do (I sure don't remember a phone!) I remember Lee Cook the dining room manager. I remember working 3 meals a day seven days a week and not minding one bit! I remember somebody started a story about me that one famous 4th of July Weekend when there was some problem with the delivery of linens - we had to use and reuse tablecloths and strategically place plates to hide stains. Somehow it was my turn to serve the Phillips family and somebody started this story that I was so nervous I pulled a cup and saucer out of my pocket to serve them coffee! I remember being referred to work at Ski Minne in the Winter. I remember the fabulous Ski Minne Food - the lobster and the curry!
I also remember the chef at Cliff House - Clark? Anyway, if you dropped anything and needed another (like when I dropped the trayful of roast beef dinners), you had to bring the broken pieces to him to prove you weren't stealing food! The big silver tin can on the counter that held those spiced apple rings we used for garnish. That old toaster in the kitchen that went round and round with a fire inside it to cook the toast. The orange juice in the big pan in the side room that had flies you pushed aside with a ladle (not far from the stable don't forget!) and ladeled the juice into the glass
And here's one last one: I remember the bus tours. And it was a lunch tour, the dining room was full and I was running out of the kitchen with the desserts and the last apple pie in the place slid off the plate and hit the floor and as quietly and quickly as possible I picked it up and brought it out to serve to one of those poor unsuspecting bus people!
Thank you again, Sam.
Amy H

Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:33 pm
by Admin
Wow! I wanted to E-mail you to let you know how moved I was by your post, but you didn't leave your address.

I have the same thoughts and feelings about Minnewaska. It was a magical place.

Just curious. This Walter... I wonder if he was the same Walter that became a chef at Wildmere? When he'd get "happy", he'd do his little "Ooooh-weeeeee" thing. Could it be the same guy? For what its worth, he used to almost always be the cook for the employees. And it was almost always beef stew.

I don't know why my info doesn't show

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2002 9:17 pm
by AmyH
Me again Sam. I tried to register on this new forum and it said there was another user with my name and I'm like Duh - that's me!
Anyway, I never knew what happened to Walter. But the rumor was that those folks who were dishwashers had been hired from an "alcoholic farm" somewhere (wonder where that was!) When I was an employee (it had to be around 71-73 I think), it was ALWAYS chicken almost every meal in that little back room behind the kitchen at Cliff House. And what was that pink gunk that we used to wash silverware? GROSS! Not sudsy at all, just awful stuff....
There was another guy who was quite an institution there - his name was Carl I think. Sort of this guy who did everything there and everyone knew him whether they liked him or not they all knew him.. He may have lived at Wildmere.
I asked my mom if she remembered going there when I spoke to her today - she's in her mid 70's now and she did remember we made her climb all the way up from the Falls up all the paths, not the main road because we were sneaking in! She had to be at least 50 when she did it, and not really a hiker - but she remembered today when she got to the top how breathtaking it was - she always thought it was like something in Bavaria (where none of us have ever been!)
Last time I was back, in the 80's, Cliff House was rubble. It was the saddest thing I'd ever seen. And I didn't think I could bear to see that sight again. How do you get past the sadness of losing those buildings? I still have trouble with the concept. I also can't believe you were IN THE AIR on Sept. 11 - and how you must be sure those planes couldn't have been far from you at all since they turned and went down the Hudson.
I still remember swimming in the lake from the Cliff House dock or just from any old place along the edge. Once I was in swimming having just gone in from some place along the path, and somebody in a motorboat came along and told us to GET OUT. Must have been a state park then - not sure when that was! I remember hitchiking down to New Paltz to drink myself silly at P&G's and catching a ride back up in one of the big gray limos and having to stop at the gate house so the guy could peer in and and be sure we were all guests and not employees - which I was! I also remember enjoying the weddings at Cliff House because it seems to me there were plenty of champagne drinks to be had by guest and employee alike! Do you remember Mrs. Reid the head housekeeper who hated men, especially black men? There was one guy she was so mean to, so he used to plug in the vacuum and just leave it running so she'd think he was working on one of the upper floors.
One more funny memory: the room next to mine had holes drilled in the walls so the boys next door could spy on me or whoever had that room - how AWFUL to see an eyeball peering at you from among the flowered wallpaper!
This site is so great -I could spend all my time here.
Amy H

Re: I don't know why my info doesn't show

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2002 9:45 am
by Admin
That's kind of interesting how the Cliff House and Wildmere were so different. I wonder, was there a general feeling that working in one was better than the other? Like did the Wildmere people wish they were at the Cliff House? Did they ever switch around? Like if there was a big event at Wildmere, did they send down Cliff House people? I wasn't around when CH was still open.

I remember the employee rooms above the kitchen with the long hallways where none of the rooms were occupied. You were always worried about walking down those hallways as you might corner one of the many racoons living down at the end. Speaking of racoons, I remember being paid $5 a piece to catch them (so they could be relocated). We would devise these hair-brained systems (like an upside down garbage can with a cinder block on top) that never worked. The critters were incredibly powerful.

As much as everyone was sick of beef stew every day, I must say, it was done pretty well. But still, if you were especially nice to one of the chefs, or you repaired one of the stoves or something, then you were treated to a hamburger or something that you knew wasn't days old.