Sunday, January 21, 2018

52 Ancestors - Invite to Dinner

Appetizers and programs in place for a dinner meeting in the Gold Room of TFI
I spent my growing up years at our family restaurant, Taughannock Farms Inn. Consequently, this prompt takes on a different meaning for me.

Between Good Friday to the end of Thanksgiving Day, my parents and grandparents each worked six days a week—my parents had Wednesday off—and we, as kids, were expected to help out as well.

But it wasn’t all work. I had a lot of time to play, and considered Taughannock Falls State Park my personal playground. This was especially true before Memorial Day and after Labor Day when fewer people were at the park and I was able to ride my bike over the paved pathways, along the water’s edge, over the humpback bridge to the playground.

Back at the Inn, the building’s unfinished third floor held remnants left by the 19th century owners. Beds with large wooden frames and headboards, dressers with marble surfaces, lovely long gowns, and framed photos of people I didn’t know.
Top: Gathered around the table waiting for table assignments; bottom, waitresses ready to serve customers on the porch.
In the top photo: Back Left: Agnes Walk, Millie Hardenbrook, Ellen Vesley, Mary Backner; From front right: Audrey Hoagland, Maude Agard, Carol Nunn.
Each day employees were in the building, cooking, cleaning, and preparing for the arrival of customers. So the best part of growing up for me was that these folks were considered part of our family, and we of theirs. Even though they were out of work all winter when the restaurant was closed, most all returned to work in the spring. 

I dedicate this blog to that part of my “family” that I have not written about before—the waitresses and kitchen staff that helped make Taughannock Farms Inn a wonderful place for me to grow up.

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