Monday, June 2, 2008

Yosemite Lodge

The two winters I stayed in the park, I worked here. First as cafeteria manager 1958-59, and then as the Lodge assistant manager 1961-62. Being cafeteria manager quickly convinced me that I never wanted a career in food service. That particular winter, the Lodge cafeteria was the only facility serving food besides The Ahwahnee. So, 95% of all the visitors ate in the cafeteria which was open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m, and if anything could go wrong, it did! The only saving grace was the chef, Earl Pierson, who ran the kitchen part of the operation (by the way, his brother, Fred, was the chef at The Ahwahnee). Anyway, Earl was an old hand, and kept me from going insane when things went to pieces before my very eyes!

During my tenure as assistant manager, I gained one distinction: I was the first person to have the radiant heat turned on under the walkways between the buildings. Normally when it snows on the Valley floor, the temperture is around 35 degrees, and the snow is heavy and wet, and doesn't blow around. On this particular day, it was a dry blowing snow, and the temperture was in the mid-20's. The snow blew into the walkways, and was turning to ice as visitors walked on it. Big safety issue. The answer: Turn on the heat!

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