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Tacoma, Washington, United States

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Fun at the Summit

Turned out I could bus dishes pretty well.  At five o’clock Norm, Eddie, and I put on our dark pants, white shirts, and bow ties then went across to the restaurant.  Mrs. Marshall looked us over and sent Eddie back to shine his shoes.  I met the two pleasant young waitresses (names lost in the mists of time), watched Norman and Eddie serving coffee and clearing tables for a while, then I was on my own.
Actually, even though the restaurant was busy most evening and there were always things that could be done around the grounds days, I do not think that Mr. Marshall really needed all three of us.  Two bus boys could keep up handily.  More often than not, Marshall would give one of us the evening off so we could lounge around the cabin and read a book or listen to the radio he provided.
Each of us had two days a week off so we could catch the bus home to be with our families for a night or go to a movie.  Although he always kept us fairly busy with gardening the grounds and cleaning the restaurant mornings, we sure did not hurt ourselves working.  The morning splitting wood was the hardest work I did during the entire summer.
The restaurant was closed each Monday so the waitresses could have a whole day off and, under Mrs. Marshall’s supervision, we could thoroughly clean the place, scrub the floors, wax all the tables.  The evening was ours.  I recall one Monday evening when we finished work in the early afternoon.  We decided to walk the mile down the hill to LaCenter.  Norm, being nineteen, was elected to go into the local tavern and get us some beer.
Norm got half a case of Lucky Lager and I went to the store and bought a green pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes.  Eddie bought a bottle of fortified loganberry wine.  We took turns carrying the beer back up the long hill to the cabin.  The rest of the evening we sat around with the radio going, talking, singing, and smoking cigarettes.  We had quite a party since none of us was used to drinking anything stronger than Coca Cola except for a very infrequent single bottle of beer or a few sips of wine when we were in high school.
There is no telling what time we finally went to sleep and I know the Marshalls would have heard the noise because their house was only about forty yards away.  We were a sorry looking threesome the next morning and fully expected Marshall to give us hell, but he never said a word about it.  All he said was, “Boys, I would appreciate it if you would not smoke at night in the cabin—might burn it down.”
That summer at Summit Grove passed all too quickly.  We were happy and carefree, liking what we were doing and having fun.  As fall approached, however, we had to face up to what we were going to do.  Norman was going back to college at the University of Washington in Seattle where he was taking pre-law courses.  I do not recall what Eddie Sutherland was going to do.
Marshall told us that he only kept one man on after Labor Day and that any one of us could stay.  He gave us each a ten-dollar bonus for the summer.  When I declilned to stay on myself, he gave me a letter of recommendation and suggested that I see Lloyd Garrison, owner of the CC Store in Vancouver about a winter job.