Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flashback: The Pot Sink

I will be returning to my days at FUMC-K with tomorrow's blog, but along with the picture of Susan McBane Tuggle that inspired me yesterday I also found a few other ancient Polaroids.  This one features Carl Semmler and Eric Farlow (her future brother-in-law) washing Martha Ratledge Farlow in one of Quaker Lake's famous pot sinks.  How (and why?) does such a thing happen?  Read on, dear friends!

During the years (1978-1983) that I served on the Quaker Lake staff there were no designated dish washers.  Each staff member would be assigned to certain meals for certain weeks, and one of the jobs everyone feared the most was that of pot washer.  When our cooks would prepare meals for 100, often the pots and pans they used would be quite disgusting and would have to be scrubbed by hand before going through our industrial dishwasher.  There was no air conditioning at QLC, and often the temperature in the kitchen would be well over 100 degrees during the day.  So dishwashers found ways to entertain themselves or went insane- those were your choices!  Quite often there was a lot of singing in the kitchen after meals.  Martha and I would often harmonize on old favorites like Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms or hits of the day like Tainted Love, Shannon and My Angel Baby.  We would invent games to distract us, such as seeing how quickly we could operate the dishwasher.  When newcomers would help out, they were shown the Dancing Hair Trick, which I will not explain other than to say the newbies would end up soaking wet.  And on rare occasions, when we had exhausted all other avenues of entertainment, we would stuff a female staff member in the pot sink- still full of nasty water.

Martha was often a dishwasher (she was a lifeguard, and when the pool was closed they had to be good for something!) but seldom a victim of the pot sink.  The reason?  She was too strong and fought too hard.  When you tried to get Martha, you often paid a price.  But as you can tell from the smile on her face in the picture, she was always a good sport about pranks and was a great person to work with, both at camp and during our time together as co-workers at New Garden Friends Meeting.

Putting a human being in a sink is a complicated act.  It often led to minor injuries, and at least once I remember taking someone to the hospital with some sort of sprain after such an event.  The most interesting part was filling out the insurance paper work on the line where is says "How were you injured?"  Writing "I was stuffed in a pot sink" just seemed hilarious to us- not so much to the insurance company! 

Those summers I spent on staff at QLC were amazing times full of great stories.  We also did some amazing ministry there, although the pictures don't prove that (on the left that's one of our cooks, Louise Massey, along with Eric Farlow, myself and Tim Vail in the QLC kitchen)!  To read more, look at the LABELS at the bottom of this post and click Quaker Lake.  You'll be glad you did!  Come back tomorrow and we'll add a youth group married couple to my Hall of Fame!

Because of Jesus,

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