Tess Pementel Dunhoff Remembers

Gould Hall Dummy Duty in the kitchen was busy. Whether your job was to help prepare meals, load or unload the dishwasher, or wash pots and pans, Mrs. O (short for Osborn) kept you hopping. She frequently could be heard barking orders from any location in the kitchen to keep a crew of teenage girls on task. It was a rare moment in which we saw Mrs. O relaxed and jovial.

A usual scene in the kitchen prior to a meal would include around 12 Gould residents dressed in long sleeve buttoned up pale yellow, green or peach cotton dummy smocks. On each student head, a round white cotton cap was tied in the front or the back, keeping hair securely hidden. As we scurried around the kitchen manning our assigned stations, our Kitchen Manager monitored and checked our performance.

One day Pam Burge was on pots and pans duty with, maybe Gail Bolan, when she got an idea. When Mrs. O left the room for a bit, Pam walked around to each of us and hummed a consistent note. When Mrs. O returned, she could hear the hum, but every time she walked in the perceived direction of the sound, the girls nearby would stop humming while everyone else continued. She checked all the equipment in the kitchen, but by then it was hard for us to keep straight faces.  When our dear Kitchen Manager figured out what we were doing, she was flabbergasted! She broke into rare laughter and I remember her saying, “You girls!” We were then free to join her in the humor of the moment. I recall loving kitchen duty with Mrs. O, even if I hated the job.

%d bloggers like this: