Well it looks like its mealtime once again at the Village.
Today the cafeteria kitchen prepares meals for the nursing home. The cafeteria dining room is used by the resident students of the Touchstone program.
Notice one of the many new fire doors along the main corridor. This one is just as we enter the cafeteria building. This is the tallest point along the corridor. The utility space below the hallway for the heating pipes is also the tallest at this point, enough for an adult to stand. Yes, the rumor is correct, there was a tunnel under the Village (We could have excaped!), or at least we could say, a crawl space, to service utility lines. It was entered through passages in the local utility equipment rooms in each building. At times the hallway itself was referred to as the tunnel, thus contributing to the children thinking there was a tunnel below the Village. In that way the Village was a bit like Disney's Magic Kingdom!
In the above right picture, the Guild office that handled fundraising was to the right and behind of the camera. The staff cafeteria was to the left in a building that was referred to as the Coffee Shop. The door on the right was to the beauty parlor that had a few shampoo sinks but was hardly used as such. Sometimes a visiting barber would cut the boys hair in there and other times did do so in the barbershop that faced into the main corridor from the school building. The barbershop had a few barber chairs and the barbers came ready with their clippers and sweet smelling hair-tonic and everyone got the classic tapered sides, part, and a wave in the front.
In the left photo is the cafeteria building hallway near the main corridor entrance looking toward the kitchen door at end. Many remember working in the dishwasher room to the right and the pot room to the left of that door.
The Silver Sink
swallows you in its bigness.
In it, you scrub pots during the day;
at night, it's your warm bubble bath,
the stains of the day disappear down the drain;
cleansed, you are safe in its moist darkness. -Patricia Lynn Reilly
Just beside the kitchen, the shelves are now empty in one of the two walk-in refrigerators.
As we enter the kitchen, the giant hood over the ovens and stoves remains. The big black industrial stove and large pizza style ovens are gone and in their place are these more modern units that heat individual dinners for the nursing home patients. The rotating utensil rack still is in use.
Much of the kitchen remains the same. It is a good possibility that the industrial bakery mixer and other appliances and tools are the same ones we worked with when being assigned to kitchen chores. In the foreground is a modern version of the portable electric powered steam heated carts we used to transported hot food to the convent, staff dining room, and the Givernaud Cottage. They plugged into electric cables that hung from the ceiling while they were waiting to be delivered.
The Silver Cart
with a cow on the platter
and unnamed gifts from the sea,
moves on its own, slowly down the long road,
stopping to feed the children.
Only in the night, undetected,
do they dare eat from the silver cart. -Patricia Lynn Reilly
Remember the oatmeal and Farina! Well isn't ironic that we should find a few containers of Quaker Oats sitting right there in the fryer. A good cheep and nutritious standby for institutional dining!
The Women Wearing Hair Nets
stand behind the counter.
They make grilled cheese
and give you pudding for desert.
The goldfish and turtles join you.
In the night they're set free and give lectures on life before the tank.
-Patricia Lynn Reilly
The food service line is still in use by the residents of the Touchstone program. The counters are new but occupy the same location. The green glazed brick walls remain a memorable feature of the kitchen.
This is the dining room where we learned quickly how to get rid of food we felt was not fit for human consumption while avoiding the lecture about how there are starving children in Japan. Getting seconds for foods we liked was met with the story that there were other children who must still get their food. The seniors, because we were nearer to the kitchen door, got lots of seconds!
Originally the room had folding dividers which separated the seniors at this end, intermediates, and then juniors at the far end. Boys were on the window side and girls on the other. Shown are two of the three exit doors to the hall.
An ice machine and food service counters were installed along two walls on the senior end of the room.
The Touchstone program students get to eat in air conditioning! There are new ceilings, windows, and furniture. Those pictured are not residents of the program but people on our tour who are blurred for their privacy so we could show you this view of the room.
This is the only remaining original water fountain. It was set at child's height. Our tour group had to stop and take note of this object that stired the memory.
This is the other end of the cafeteria hall looking from dining room end. The Givernaud kids ate in a smaller dining room on right. I believe they had their food brought into them on one of those electrified carts.
In all of the buildings, the sub-floor radiant heating system was replaced by circulating water radiator systems that are supplied by local boiler rooms in each of the building such as this one in the cafeteria.
The area between the cafeteria and the maintenance building continues to accommodate delivery trucks for the kitchen. The space beyond the black top was once a garden where the nuns planted flowers and vegetables. Notice in the distance the corridor linking to the Utility Building which is now almost windowless. In the foreground is a broken up cement slab which may have been for some type of recreational use during the Village time.
To the left is the Utility Building. That is our next stop on the tour.