Years ago, we made everything fresh, from scratch. Mayonnaise from scratch, French dressing, lasagna, rolls — everything. Produce would come in, meats would come in, dairy would come in, potatoes would come in by the bushel, and the kitchen would cook everything from scratch.
The bakery would bake cakes, cinnamon buns, and all that. We had the salad room, where we made salads from scratch. My friend Frankie, when he started working here, would do the Under the Sea Salad — half a pear with a maraschino cherry and green Jell-O, and when you served it, you’d put it on a piece of lettuce. We’d serve meals to the patients on china, with silverware, not like we do now. They stopped all that in the late 1970s or so. I could sit down and talk for years about this place, but it happened so fast. When I had my 50 years anniversary I couldn’t believe it, and that was already 10 years ago.
For my 60 years in May, they threw a nice party with red snapper, a real nice party. My family was there. I have a daughter and two sons, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. My sons’ mother works managing the nurses’ equipment at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell; this was where we met. She’s getting ready to retire this year.
People say to me, “Mitch, when are you gonna retire?” I’m thinking about it, retiring. I’m 78 years old, but I still feel good. And I’m gonna miss this place, I’m really gonna miss it. I’ve been here a long time, with so many people. I love to get along with people, and talk to the people around me. My attitude is, I don’t argue about anything. I get along with everybody. I have friends here, too, like my friend Frankie. He used to ride a motorcycle and we’d go around; we hang out, you know. He’s been here 58 years, but I got him beat by two.