Sunday, 16 September 2012

1976 Spring time in Ellenville-NY

Me & my Nikon in my apartment at the Nevele in Ellenville, NY.

Summertime 1976 at the golf course at the Nevele Country Club.

As I said in the last posting... Summer was here and the time was right for dancing in the street!... like that Motown hit of yester-year. I had been demoted to kid's stuff... and that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Some time before summer I had met Jeffery Miller, a Blackman who worked at Nevele's bakery baking all sorts of Jewish bread, pumpernickle, cheese-cakes and all. I'm not saying much about Jeffery because it would take a whole book to tell his story. He had been an inmate at the Attica Correctional Facilities in New York Upstate when that terrible uprising happened in September 1971. He was eventually released from prison after having stayed a while in hospital due to his being shot at the head by one of the National Guardsmen that stormed the prison compound in its final hour. I won't go into details about those unfortunate incidents.

I met Jeffery at the Nevele's kitchen that was commandeered by a German-Jewish fellow called Winston that sounded exactly like Hitler. He had a heavy German accent and he was a little dictator himself. His favourite phrase was: 'Would you mind... getting out of my kitchen?' or something on that strain. I learned with Mr. .... I forgot his last name - how to use that phrase properly: 'Would you mind going to hell?' 'Would you mind getting the fuck out of here?' It's amazing how one can be polite in English and still send someone to hell!!!

I could not understand how American citizens who supposedly lived in the best democracy in the world would put up with such a little dictator as Winston! Everyone was terrified of him. Every waiter would toe his line to accomodate Winston's wishes. He might ban someone from the kitchen and one would have to find employment elsewhere.

Staff quarters were segragated in the Nevele. Most waiters and the best bus-boys lived at the Arrowhead House, that used to be the main guest-house before they built the nine-story building in the late 1960s.

We, 'regular' bus-boys lived in two or three different houses. I lived at Forrest House as I have already mentioned.

Chamber-maids lived in other sorts of smaller houses. Finally, gardeners, dishwashers, bakery and kitchen hands lived in a bigger building in the back near where the forest [bush] starts. Jeffery lived in this building and I started spending more and more time there because we became really close and almost inseparable.

The square building in the back, differently from all the other staff-houses was built especially to house staff. That's where Jeffery lived and that's where I spent most of my time.
Forrest House in the background... these were 4 Brazilian ladies who worked as chamber-maids at the hotel.
from left to right: Maria, the only one I remember the name; the younger woman was the friendliest; the next lady was the one married to Herman, the cad. They were having a stroll in late afternoon in the summer. Summers are not really hot in the mountains.
She's so good!
Charlie in the right was the man who stayed at the dishwashing machine. They say he drank every day... but he never failed to there commanding the 'monster' every single day. The white fellow on the left must be one of those who worked for a few weeks and went on to different things.
This was a fellow who worked in the kitchen somewhere... I would stay out with my camera catching people going past from their sleeping quarters to the main building where the kitchen and the dining room were. The house in the back was one of the chamber-maids' quarters.
off to New York City. On one of my weekly day-off in mid-summer 1976 I took the Short Line coach to New York and who I found in the front seat? That fellow who worked in the kitchen with a young woman who worked as a waitress talking most amiably! I asked them for a photo and that's what I got! It took around 2 and a half hours to get to the Bus Terminal in Manhattan.
In the summer season there were some extra sports activities going on at the Nevele. This must be a famous basket-ball player who was hired to enlighten Nevele's patrons.
Bobby Brown having a little time off the Nevele dining room...
Bobby Brown watching the basket-ball action. Brown was the waiters' captain. The fellow smoking a cigarette on a bike is Alberto a giant of a Columbian bus-boy.
A Nevele gardener does up the beautiful gulf course at the bottom of the small valley. The gardeners were usually the only local people working for the Nevele Country Club.
Ellenville, NY in spring... when the town starts becoming alive again. There was a movie-theatre on this street where we went to see 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest'. It would open its doors only in the summer. 
Another shot from downtown Ellenville, NY. in the spring of 1976.


Apple blossoms in Ellenville-NY.
A friendly chipmunk in the spring of 1976 in Ellenville, NY.
That's Jeffery talking with a friend of his in front of the house I can't recall the name.
there goes Jeffery walking down to start work in the afternoon.
Jeffery noticed I had my Nikon camera in hand and stopped to tease me. He always had something funny or witty to say.
There he goes back to work at the Bakery.
Jorge Quintero at the Nevele Lake trying to get a fish on the line... Spring 1976. 

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