William M. Golding and Walter R. Luchas

Manager and Assistant Manager of Valentine Dining Hall
Interviewed on February 4, 1981

Tape 1

Audio file

Tape 2

Audio file

Subject coverage

  • How both came to Amherst
  • The opening of Valentine, student attitudes towards the opening
  • Stanley King's plans with the fraternities
  • Freshmen requirement
  • An incident in which Gordon Bridges was hung in effigy
  • The draft
  • Ray Frost
  • Table service
  • Printed menus
  • Concerns about getting the students to come to Valentine
  • Five-College Cooperation
  • The growing enrollment
  • Staffing
  • How the war contributed to Valentine
  • Faculty use of Valentine
  • Student workers; pay and hours
  • College Presidents who used to work at Val; Julian Gibbs, and George May
  • Special meals and ethnic meals
  • Eric Walgren
  • The old snack bar
  • Plates with a pattern of Frenchmen and Indians
  • Catering
  • Voting out a union
  • How the admission of women changed the way Valentine operates
  • Fraternities in Val
  • Relationship with the residential floor of Valentine
  • The renovation of the kitchen and storage area
  • Loss of glasses and silverware


[This transcript was created at the time of the original recording and may contain errors and omissions.]

William Golding 
Walter Lucas 
Valentine Hall 
February 4, 1981 
Horace W. Hewlett 
For: Amherst College 

HWH: This is Horace Hewlett interviewing Bill Golding and Walter Lucas in Bill’s office in Valentine Hall on Wednesday, February 4, 1981. 

Bill, my records show that you came to Amherst, you began work for Amherst, on September 13, 1941. Does that make you the senior employee of the College? 

Golding: That sure does! 

HWH: And Walter, when did you come? 

Lucas: I came here November 28, 1941. 

HWH: Golly, then you’re probably the second oldest... 

Lucas: Probably am. 

HWH: ...in seniority. 

Lucas: Right. 

HWH: Were both of you with Gordon Bridges at Bowdoin before you came here? 

Chorus: No, no. 

HWH: Where were you, Bill? 

Golding: I was at Bowdoin. I worked with Gordon four years at Bowdoin before I came here. 

HWH: At the Moulton Dining Union? 

Golding: Yes at the Moulton Union. 

HWH: And Walter, were you with Gordon before that? 

Lucas: No, I joined Gordon here at Amherst. 

HWH: Where were you before that? 

Lucas: I was in High School. 

HWH: Oh, you were a local boy. 

Lucas: Right. A local boy. 

HWH: So you’ve spent almost your entire life in Amherst. 

Lucas: My entire life in Amherst. Right.

HWH: As I had it, Bill, Valentine opened the first time, I think, with a gala occasion. Was it in September? 

Golding: Yes, in September. I came on the thirteenth-- they were feeding prior to the time that I came here. I was not scheduled to work with Gordon that year because I was going in the Service, and I was on a summer job up in Maine, when Gordon called me and asked me if I would come down and help him out. And his brother Bert Bridges, who ran the dining service at M.I.T., came up here at the same time. So I’ve “helped him out” for 41 years. [Chuckle] 

HWH: Incidentally, how is Gordon now? 

Golding; Not too well, not too well at all. He’s in a nursing home down in Florida now. 

HWH: Oh is he? They’ve left Wellfleet? 

Golding: Wellfleet, yes. 

HWH: I didn’t know that. 

Golding: They haven’t sold out, but they’ve left there. 

So that’s how I came to be here, and, of course, I was here on December 7th, Pearl Harbor, and of course that speeded everything up then. 

HWH: Yes, I guess it was just what?-- three months later? 

Golding: Right, and if I hadn’t been drafted, I’d have been here for the duration of the war because they took in Service persons, Service people here-- chemical warfare, meteorology, oh all kinds of... 

HWH: Navy pre-flight... 

Were students somewhat reluctant to eat at Valentine when it opened? 

Golding: Well, what happened, all the students were eating either in boarding houses or their fraternity and Stanley King, President at that time, felt that this was a bad thing. And it was a bad thing, because in those days, if a fraternity house, for example, wanted to have a party on the weekend, they would eat beans and frankfurts all week so they’d have the money to buy beer and booze-- so this was actually Stanley King’s baby. 

HWH: And I know there were several fraternities that had dining halls and he insisted, when he proposed building a common dining hall, Valentine, that the fraternities close down, and I think as Valentine opened, all Freshmen were required to eat there.

Golding: All freshmen were required to eat here. We picked up all personnel from the fraternity dining rooms-- they wanted to work here; we bought all of their supplies they had left over; and we did everything we possibly could to make it easy for the fraternity to move out of the feeding business. 

HWH: As I understand it, too, you had an auction over in College Hall to get rid of kitchen equipment, and I’ve heard that Smith and Mount Holyoke were pretty big buyers. 

Golding: Yes, they were. 

HWH: Did you know George Cadigan, either of you? 

Lucas: George Cadigan... 

Golding: George Cadigan was the minister of the Episcopal Church in Brunswick, Maine. Yes, I knew George Cadigan before I came here. 

HWH: Stanley King says in his book it was George who suggested he look into hiring Gordon. 

Golding: That’s right, that’s right. 

HWH: I think that pleased George very much. 

Golding Oh yes. Well Gordon and I and a fellow by the name of Orman Hines, who later-- the three of us worked together at the Moulton Union, and Orman Hines later was the director of the Senior Center at Bowdoin College, and the three of us used to go down and put on the church suppers for George, such as a venison dinner or things like that. 

HWH: I’ll be darned. 

I read that Valentine construction was budgeted at $250,000 allowing possibly another $50,000 for furnishing and equipment, and that it came in at something like $292,000. Is that about right? 

Golding: I would say so, as I remember now. 

HWH: So it’s one of the few buildings around here that met its budgeted bidding price. 

Golding: But the Annex never met its budget. 

HWH: The what? 

Golding: The Annex. 

HWH: Oh no, no. We’ll come to that! 

Initially, we just agreed, freshmen were required to eat here. Thereafter, and I realize there was great turmoil with the War, did students just begin to trickle in after fraternities were closed, or did it take some persuasion to get them to eat here? 

Golding: Oh no, they came here. [Chuckle] They also hung Gordon Bridges from the telephone pole out front in effigy-- oh we had all kinds of things to begin with, but the thing that settled everything-- and it’s a poor way to settle things-- was the law. The law was what settled everything. When I left here, most of the students left too, and then they brought in the services... 

Lucas: The Army, the Air Force... 

Golding: Right. 

Lucas: We had the Naval Academy. 

Golding: We had all kinds of people. 

Lucas: We had quite a few Service people here. 

Golding: And that broke them right up. 

HWH: [Addressing Lucas] Were you involved in the draft... 

Lucas: I joined the Marine Corps, after, oh I think I had about a year here or something like that, and then I went into the Marines for three and a half or four years. And then when I came out, I went to sign up for that 52/20 which they had then and the woman over there told me that she’d give me three weeks vacation and then you’ve got to go back to work, and I said, “Where do I go?” And she said, “Back to Valentine Hall. “ 

When I was at Parris Island-- no, Camp LeJeune-- I ran into a lot of students that were in Officers’ Training School. 

HWH: Really! From Amherst? 

Lucas: Ralph Foote, and some others there, quite a few of them. I’d go to salute them and “What are you doing here, Walt?” [Chuckle] “Same thing you’re doing.” 

HWH: When you were in the Marines, were you involved with food at all? 

Lucas: I was, yes. 

HWH: That’s unusual. 

Lucas: Yes, yes. Well, I really didn’t know what I wanted, Bud, I was too young, you know, and when I got involved in it, I just made up my mind to stick with it. 

HWH: So, in a way, your experience in the military led to your making a career of food preparation, management.

How long were you in the Service? 

Golding: Three and a half years. 

HWH: And were you Marine, Army... 

Golding: I was in the Air Corps to begin with, and that leads me to something: I met Ray Frost while I was in the Service. You remember Ray Frost. You’ve got to remember Ray Frost. He just retired from New England Tel and Tel. He was President of this area, here. 

HWH: Oh yes, sure. 

Golding: Right. Well, Ray used to work in the kitchen here for us, and I went from Devens to Miami Beach, Florida-- opened up Miami Beach, Florida-- and lo and behold, Ray came in on K.P. one day. Well, needless to say, we didn’t do much work; we just sat and reminisced about everything. But Ray comes back quite often. As a matter of fact, so many people come back, we can’t remember some of their names. 

HWH: Well, between the two of you you’ve probably seen every student at Amherst College for... 

Golding: You know what you remember, Bud-- you remember the good and you remember the bad. The ones that have been a great student... 

Lucas: A real guy, a regular guy... 

Golding: You can’t forget them. 

Lucas: But you have a tough job to remember their names, you know. 

Golding: You remember the face but boy, the names! 

HWB: Yes, right-- and then they get older, too. 

Golding: Oh we’ve seen an awful lot of students go through here. 

HWH: Were you involved in food service during the War? 

Golding: Oh yes, oh yes. 

HWH: So that’s been your entire career. From four years before coming to Amherst until... 

Golding: Right, right. 

Lucas: That’s all we’ve done is food. All we’ve done is the food business. 

Golding: I’ve been in the food business forty-seven years now. That’s a long time. 

HWH: Yes it is. Do you recall for how many people Valentine was built?

Golding: Six-fifty. 

Lucas: Six-fifty. 

HWH: And in 1941 the enrollment was 875. They still thought that they might not get the entire College eating here then. 

Golding: Right. We had table service. 

HWH: You did? 

Golding: Oh yes, we had a printed menu. 

Lucas: We had a printed menu-- as a matter of fact, why don’t I give you this? We served sirloin steaks, tenderloins, we served prime ribs, lamb chops... 

HWH: I’ll be darned. I’ll just say here that Bill is holding up an October 29, 1941 issue of the Amherst Student announcing the opening of Valentine Hall ‘this afternoon.” That’s good to have. 

Golding: We’ve sent printed menus up to the Archives, you know. You see, each dinner we used to have a menu printed about this size (about 2x3 inches) on a stiff paper and we’d place it by their plate. When they came in they could tell the waiter what they wanted and didn’t want. 

HWH: Were all the help in the dining halls students? 

Golding: Yes. 

Lucas: All waiters. 

Golding: All the waiters, right. 

HWH: Didn’t they wear white? 

Golding: Oh yes. 

Lucas: They had to wear a white coat and a tie. 

Golding: And all diners had to wear a coat and a tie. 

HWH: Is that so? 

Golding: Oh yes, neat, very neat. 

Lucas: Nice looking. 

HWH: Well, Valentine, you said, was built for 650, the enrollment here now is roughly 1,550; that’s nearly a thousand more than it was built for. 

Golding: That’s right, Bud.

HWH: The only major addition you’ve had has been the Annex. In addition to more students, you also have Five-College Cooperation... 

Golding: For example, in Five College Cooperation last semester we fed 717 people. 

HWH: Is that so? 

Golding: From the other four colleges. 

HWH: Is that on a regular basis? 

Golding: Oh yes, very regular. 

HWH: That is, they were over here for classes and are entitled to stay here to have their lunch. 

Golding: Right. 

HWH: In the evening did you have... 

Golding: Yes. Dinner they have to have a legitimate reason to be on campus, in other words, a class, a play, Glee Club, or something of that type. And they have to get a form from their dining service stating that. Then we accept it. 

HWH: Does this involve much bookkeeping? 

Golding: Oh it does. Oh yes. 

HWH: So your staff has had to grow tremendously. 

Golding: Staff has grown, but not tremendously. We’ve kept it down quite a bit, so right now we need another part-time secretary. That’s what we’re looking for now. 

HWH: How large is your full—time staff? 

Golding: Roughly 50-- between 45 and 50 people-- that’s counting the Snack Bar, too. 

Lucas: That’s not counting students. 

Golding: No. 

HWH: No, this is full-time. How were you able to take care of so many more people than Valentine was built for? 

Golding: Well I don’t know, but we’ve done it. 

Lucas: We often think about that, Bud, really-- the kitchen, that’s the problem. They’ve enlarged, they’ve remodelled it a little-- you know, put in more freezers and refrigerators and things like that which you’ve got to have-- but other than making it bigger or anything like that, no, they haven’t done a thing. Not a thing!

HWH: Do the students tend to eat over the entire period that Valentine is open, or do they tend to come many at the same time? 

Golding: It all depends on how their classes are scheduled. When the class gets out, if there are a lot of ten-to-eleven classes, they all pile in-- all at once. 

HWH: I see many students here for lunch as early as eleven o’clock, sometimes a little before that. 

Golding: Yes, and we do get “repeats.” In other words, they come in at 11 and then they come back again at one o’clock. 

HWH: Is there any way to control that? 

Golding: Well, there is, but... 

HWH: We needn’t disclose it on this. 

Golding: Security is difficult. 

HWH: You do have some check... 

Golding: Yes we do have checkers. 

Lucas: They’re student checkers. But if you’re my friend, Bud, I’m not going to stop you from coming back. I’m not going to stop you, right? 

Golding: Of course, we have unlimited seconds anyway, on the meals, if you’re in the dining room. 

HWH: Is that standard? Or is that peculiar to Amherst? 

Golding: No, that’s standard. 

HWH: Did the faculty and staff begin using Valentine soon after it opened? 

Golding: They certainly did and especially with the rationing. Like I say, the War really contributed to Valentine Hall in getting it squared away for a lot of these things. 

Lucas: Remember, Bill, the famous steel trays that we used to... 

Golding: Yes, we used to use the G.I. trays. 

Lucas: ...use from the Army, the G.I. trays. 

HWH: Oh, with the sections. 

Lucas: Yes, with the sections in them. 

HWH: Do the faculty and staff use Valentine much now?

Golding: No, not too often. 

HWH: Can you give any reason for that? 

Golding: I don’t know. Maybe they want to get away from the students once in a while. I have no idea why. Because our meal prices are low and they get good meals as far as we’re concerned. I have no idea why. Of course, at lunch time, the Commons is open and that takes away quite a few. 

HWH: Just an aside. When you opened I think the board bill was $9.00 a week. 

Golding: Something like that. 

HWH: Do you know what it is now? 

Golding: No. We don’t break it down that way, Bud. But I do remember that at that time the students were being paid 45¢ an hour and now we’re paying them $3.75 an hour. 

HWH: Well, that’s the minimum wage. 

Golding: Right. Well, no we’re above minimum. 

HWH: I guess the new wage goes in... 

Golding: It went in, in January. 

HWH: Have you always paid students money? Have you ever paid by meals? 

Golding: Say twenty-five or thirty years ago, students used to have their work bill credited or room bill credited with the money they made at Valentine Hall and they would just receive a slip stating how much money they earned and how much money they still owed. The Comptroller’s office sent that through with the checks. I haven’t seen one since then. 

HWH: Is that so? 

Golding: Oh yes. 

HWH: What’s the range of payment for students? They start at $3.75 an hour? 

Lucas: $3.45 an hour. 

Golding: We have a range of... 

HWH: I just wondered how much a student could work-- one of the top student employees. 

Golding: How much they could work? How many hours? 

HWH: How much they could earn, hourly.

Golding: Well it goes from $3.45 to $3.90, the pay scale. 

HWH: Would the $3.90s be a grey coat? 

Golding: $3.90 would be a special functions head-waiter. 

HWH: That would be outside Valentine Hall? 

Golding: That would be, not necessarily outside Valentine Hall, but we do put on some special functions here. But the $3.45 would be a kitchen worker or a server, new. In other words, in the fall a freshman comes in and he’s given this job. So he would get $3.45. And then he would, as he progressed, he would earn more money. That would be up to say, Bob Follette, who’s in charge of most of the student workers, and/or Walter or Gene Winkler who’s in charge of the student workers in the kitchen. 

HWH: How do you find students to work? 

Golding: Oh, they’re all happy to work at the beginning of the fall. 

HWH: Then it slacks off? 

Golding: Then it slacks off-- especially around exam time. You can’t blame them. 

Lucas: In the spring, springtime, that’s a real bad time of the year, because they just can’t see coming in from outdoors. 

HWH: Are you sometimes hard pressed to have enough students? 

Golding: Oh yes quite a few times. 

HWH: What do you do then? 

Lucas: We go to high school boys. 

Golding: Or girls. 

Lucas: Or girls. 

HWH: You’ve had literally thousands of students working in here. Do any stand out in your mind as being particularly good? 

Lucas: You mean from back in 1941? 

HWH: From the beginning. You haven’t had a President of the United States emerge from Valentine... 

Golding: Not yet, but we’re hoping. 

HWH: But I was thinking more in terms of... 

Golding: Well, we’ve never had a President of the United States, but we’ve had a College president emerge-- two college presidents emerge. One is Julian Gibbs, he used to work here; the Treasurer, George May used to work here. 

HWH: I didn’t know that. 

Golding: We had a Dean, Skip Routh used to be a head-waiter here; Julian Gibbs was a server on the line; and George May washed dishes and Skip Routh was a head-waiter. Alvertus Morse, who is a Judge, worked here. As I told you, Ray Frost, he was president of New England Tel and Tel here until he retired. Mel Taft, president of Milton Bradley, let’s see-- I jotted some names-- Ox Eaton, Willard Weeks, Dr. Weeks. 

HWH: Do these people, not just the ones you mentioned, but those working at Valentine, tend to bring in other students because they’re working here. 

Golding: Yes, they do, they do. As a matter of fact, who was it that dropped down the other day his daughter is starting next fall-- Smith, Smitty? 

Lucas: I call him Smitty, I’ve forgotten what his last name is but he graduated back in 1950. 

Golding: Yes, in the ‘fifties. So, he brought his daughter in. 

Lucas: He brought his daughter in... 

Golding: To see us to see if there might be a job when she comes. This happens quite often. 

Lucas: Oh, and then we’ve got, oh, this football player, what was his name? 

Golding: Ray Smith? 

Lucas: Ray Smith and... 

Golding: Oh there’s so many! 

HWH: Do you get many foreign students applying for jobs? 

Golding: Oh yes. 

HWH: Do they work out all right? 

Golding: Very well, very well. 

HWH: There’s no restriction on them of taking jobs from U.S. citizens? 

Golding: There’s no restrictions on anybody that works at Valentine Hall. You either work or you don’t work. In other words, they keep up with the pace of things or we have to let them go. The Dean’s office does not restrict us; they do not say you have to hire a certain person because he needs the money. We will lean that way to begin with, but if that person does not do the job, then we let him go. We don’t have to keep them. 

HWH: What is your mortality record-- that is, do you have to let many students go during the year? 

Golding: No, not really. 

Lucas: Most of them leave on their own. 

HWH: You now serve special meals-- Kosher meals, vegetarian, maybe there are some other kinds. 

Golding: Well we have ethnic dinners. As a matter of fact, we’re starting pretty soon... 

Lucas: Tomorrow night we have Chinese things. 

Golding: Chinese night, and there’s Chinese New Year’s... 

HWH: That’s for the whole... 

Lucas and Golding: That’s for the whole College. 

Lucas: We’ll have Italian night, we have Spanish night... 

Golding: Spanish night. For example, Spanish night, we just got into a couple of years ago. 

Lucas: Four years ago. 

Golding: A group came down here and wanted to know if we could do something. Yes. 

HWH: These were students? 

Golding: Students. You help us, we said; and we received more help from that group than any other group that we ever had. 

Lucas: They were wonderful, they were wonderful. They came down to the kitchen at five o’clock in the afternoon. 

Golding: We planned the menu with them. 

Lucas: We planned the menu with them. I asked them where I’d buy the stuff from, where do I get the stuff, you know. You can’t buy it around here; it came out of New York. And they were wonderful-- that’s the best group that I’ve had working. 

HWH: Is that group still going? 

Golding: Oh yes.

Lucas: We still have Spanish night and they still come down and help out. 

HWH: Are they still the most helpful? 

Golding: Oh yes, oh yes. 

HWH: That’s curious, because some of the problems on campus have stemmed, the last two or three years, from the Spanish-Latino minority. It’s great to hear that they’ve been so responsible here. 

Golding: Well you know-- well, let’s go back-- you all remember Eric Walgren... 

HWH: Yes indeed. 

Golding: And he created a lot of problems on campus when he was a student. He worked for Valentine Hall. He was one of the best workers we ever had. 

HWH: Is that so? 

Golding: Yes. Never had any trouble with him. We had an understanding, or I had an understanding with Eric. I just told him that I didn’t want any of the things that he was doing in other places and so forth. We do have an understanding, I think, with all the students here. They know that what we do, we try to please them in every way we can. And we lean over backwards a lot of times for some of these things, and I think that a lot of this is why Valentine doesn’t get... 

Lucas: We beg them to come in and give us ideas. “Come on in and sit down with us and talk to us, and we can put on something that you’d like, and if we can’t, we’ll tell you why we can’t.” We love to work with the kids. 

HWH: That’s very good. I was curious, also, this is off what we’re talking about at the moment, of whether student behaviour in Valentine reflects what’s going on outside Valentine-- that is, you recall, over the years, particularly during Vietnam, there were protests. Do you get protests in Valentine? 

Golding: The last protest we had-- and it didn’t come from Amherst College students we finally found out-- we, as you know, we used to have the Lord Jeffery china-- Lord Jeffery chasing the Indians around the rim of the plate. 

HWH: Which I think Peg King picked out. 

Golding: That’s right, Stanley and Peg. You know how that came about, don’t you? 

HWH: No.

Golding: They were on tour that summer, the Kings, and they stopped at quite a few china places, for example, Walker China. Walker graduated from Amherst College and they stopped there in Ohio to talk to him and he had no ideas. They wanted something really different and they ended up at Jones, McDuffie and Stratton down in Boston, and the designer was a Smith girl and of course she knew the song and she took a paper plate and sketched that design on the edge of the paper plate. 

HWH: Is that so? 

Golding: And Stanley King said, “Hey, this is it!” And that’s how we arrived at the china. Well, Jones, McDuffie and Stratton handled only Syracuse china, so they shipped it to Syracuse and they made the china. 

HWH: I didn’t know that. It’s a shame that attitudes changed the way they did so that French chasing the Indians, the Indians chasing the French, is no longer here. 

Golding: Yes, I know it. 

Lucas: That was a beautiful pattern. 

Golding: So we had a lot of breakage in that particular china. 

HWH: I imagine you had quite a few removed from Valentine. 

Golding: Oh I guess we did! We had a lot removed from Valentine! They’re all over the world, I think. 

HWH: We’ll get back to that a little later, as I’m curious about behavior and some of the problems you’ve had here, but we started on special meals and special kinds of food. When did you start that? 

Golding: About 14 years ago. 

Lucas: We started the vegetarian meals, I’d say, a good 16, 17 years ago. 

Golding: That could be. 

HWH: Are those pretty well used? 

Golding: Oh, they’re well received. 

Lucas: Well received now, very well. They have their own room. 

HWH: That’s the old snack bar? 

Lucas: The old snack bar. We have around anywhere from 175 to 200 of them every meal. 

HWH: Is that so?

Lucas: Oh yes. That’s at night only, and their lunches, they have a vegetarian lunch in the Garden Dining Room. They’re quite strong. 

HWH: How about kosher service? 

Golding: Well, Kosher, years ago, about what? about 10 or 12 years ago... 

Lucas: I think it was 12. 

Golding: . ..was very good, very good. We had a student here, can you remember his name, Walter? 

Lucas: Lasher, Dave... 

Golding: Lasher, Dave Lasher. 

HWH: I remember him. 

Golding: Very interested. 

Lucas: Nice fellow. 

Golding: Very good. He and I and Kurt Hertzfeld and Rabbi Lander sat down and we sketched the thing out and I decided we could handle it all right with the help of Dave Lasher and his friends. 

Lucas: They had their own room, own kitchen... 

Golding: A little kitchen. We bought small stoves for them. They had their own china and silverware. It was a very, very good set-up. And then through the years it’s gone down hill, down hill. If you don’t have somebody who’s really interested in a program such as that... 

Lucas: You have to have so many involved... 

[END OF SIDE ONE, TAPE ONE. Beginning of Side Two] 

HWH: Continuing Tape #1 of conversation with Bill Golding and Walt Lucas. 

Bill, you were commenting on the expense of Kosher. 

Golding: We, at Valentine, never charged extra for the Kosher food or for any of these extra meals that we put on. But as of this year, we had one person come down here and ask about Kosher meals, and we set everything up so that (it was a girl) she could participate in this program and then she finally dropped off because she said she felt funny about being the only one in the College eating Kosher meals.

HWH: So you don’t have them at the moment. 

Golding: We don’t have them at the moment, but if somebody did come in and say they’d like to have a Kosher meal, we could take care of it. 

During Passover we do have about 200-- isn’t it about 200 or 300 extra meals we purchase during that period? 

Lucas: Oh about 150, only we get a drop to about 100 because a lot of them go home. 

Golding: So we make an effort to take care of any of the ethnic people. 

HWH: Another area of special service: I recall back in the ‘forties, the only catering Valentine did then was the Faculty Club, down next to the Gym. 

Golding: That’s right. Always prime rib. [Chuckle] 

HWH: Always delicious. 

Gradually you’ve taken on considerable catering service. 

Golding: Oh yes. All catering. 

HWH: How did you get into that? 

Golding: We do all catering. Well, we set it up so that Valentine could make a dollar out of this thing. I would see other caterers coming on campus and I didn’t like it, so I decided that I would do all of it. I spoke to Kurt Hertzfeld and we set it up so that we had a catering program going. Then, Walter and I were taking care of all of the catering plus all of Valentine and so forth, and it just got to be too much. We just couldn’t-- we were working seven days a week, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen hours a day, and so I had to hire another person-- that was when Tom Harvey came in. 

HWH: This must have meant considerable investment, too. 

Golding: No, no. We did have to buy a few things, but it didn’t mean much. 

HWH: Does your staff enjoy being involved in the catering? 

Golding: It’s time-and-a-half for them and they like the extra money. 

HWH: Do you cater anywhere on campus? Do you do it off campus? 

Golding; No. We’ve been asked to do it off campus. As a matter of fact, we’ve been asked to take care of the Rotary Club here in town, and I don’t feel as though Valentine Hall and Amherst College should be involved in anything like that. We are non-profit and there are people around town that this is their business, their livelihood... 

Lucas: And we’d have to apply for a liquor license. 

Golding: Right. And it’s not fair to them to... 

Lucas: take business away. 

Golding: That’s the way I feel, anyway. 

HWH: At Reunion times in June I think you’re particularly busy, not only with the parents’ luncheon, the alumni luncheon, but with Reunion classes. But that catering you do either in Valentine or up in the Merrill Center. 

Golding: Right. 

HWH: You don’t go to a fraternity. 

Golding: No. What we do there, Bud, we don’t cater the fraternity. We will prepare food-- cold plates and potato salad and things like that-- and they can pick up and take it to their fraternity. We do that for four or five fraternities. 

Lucas: Both for Friday night and Saturday night, too. As long as you come down and pick it up. 

Golding: The alumni dinners have been so popular that we’re signed up for three dinners in 1985 right now. 

HWH: That far ahead? 

Golding: Yes. 

HWH: Four years from now. 

Golding: As a matter of fact, I think Tom is turning people away now. We’re filled right up for this year. 

HWH: Tell me a little about your experience with the full-time staff. Do they tend to stay with you over a considerable period of time? 

Golding: Oh yes. 

Lucas: Oh yes. He’s got a couple of men, one out there that’s been here about 28 or 29 years. There are a lot of them with 5 and 10 and 12, but on the whole they’re pretty steady. 

Golding: What happens to them, Bud, is that they retire. 

HWH: Well that answers the question.

Golding: As a matter of fact, during the summer time we have a hard time scheduling help because they have so much vacation time coming to them. 

HWH: You mean from overtime? 

Golding: No, no. 

Lucas: No, from years of service, here. 

HWH: Oh I see. 

Golding: We couldn’t possibly have them take time off for over-time. We don’t have a staff large enough to do that. And now of course we are so busy in the summertime, also, that... 

HWH: That’s another area that I wanted to get to, also. Before we do, however, have you had any union problems? 

Golding: We did one time a few years ago; we had a union here. 

HWH: We don’t now. 

Golding: No, we don’t. They voted it out themselves. It was nothing that management at Valentine had to do with having a union come in. It was somebody else on campus. And that’s the reason they elected to have the union come in. And then it took us, what? about two years, three years... 

Lucas: three years. And they voted 100%. 

HWH: Is that the same union that now operates at the Lord Jeff? 

Lucas: Yes, yes. 

Golding: Right. 

HWH: It seems to me that one of your distinguished former employees is now the Police Chief of Amherst. 

Golding: Don Maia? His father was the chef here at one time. 

HWH: I think when Don was in High School he worked here. 

Golding: Oh yes, he worked here. He ate an awful lot of ice cream, too. [laughter] 

HWH: I’ll bet he still does. 

Golding: He looks it anyway. 

HWH: Do you feel that despite the growth of the College and the additional activities that you’re in, that Valentine was well-planned?

Golding: Yes, in this respect, that the separate dining rooms and serving rooms make a big difference in the type of serving, especially now. We have approximately 12-- at least 12 entrees at noontime and we couldn’t do this unless we had the separate dining rooms. 

HWH: Each dining room has different food? 

Golding: Right. 

Lucas: We have a Deli Room; we have a hot-dog/hamburg room; we have for people who like a heavy lunch-- well, like a roast beef sandwich with gravy-- we have that; we have the vegetarian room. 

HWH: Can you tell if the students shop around, or do they tend to go to the same room? 

Lucas: Oh yes. 

Golding: We post our menus... 

Lucas: And they’ll look and see where they’re going to eat for lunch from that. 

HWH: As I recall, when you first opened fraternities tended to eat as a group-- that is, each fraternity would choose a space and usually go to that room. 

Golding: Well, they still do, really, Bud. The East Room and the Garden were fraternity dining rooms, the West was for guests, freshmen, and so forth. The Dekes still sit at the same tables in the East Room that they did in 1941; Psi U is up in the West Room. 

Lucas: Yes, Psi U, you go up there and they’re all there right in the corner. 

Golding: A. D. is downstairs, Kappa Theta is at the end of the East Room. It’s really strange. 

HWH: Well you also have Blacks tending to eat with each other, I believe. Do women? 

Golding: I wouldn’t say so. 

HWH: Did the admission of women change the way Valentine operates at all? 

Golding: Oh yes, it changed Valentine completely. 

HWH: How? 

Lucas: I think it made things better. 

Golding: Yes, much better. Everything is better since the women came here.

HWH: You mean decorum, behavior? 

Golding: Right, behavior, the whole works. 

Lucas: All the way down the line. 

Golding: And the women are the best workers that we have here. 

Lucas: Right, they certainly are! I agree 100%. 

Golding: They are the best workers we have. 

HWH: So admission of women is a plus where Valentine is concerned. 

Golding: It certainly is a plus. 

HWH: That’s interesting. 

Lucas; I’ve got women to get breakfasts ready-- they do all the breakfast cooking, make the omelets, cook the pancakes, whatever. 

HWH: Women students? 

Lucas: Oh yes, oh yes. They’re in here at 6:30 in the morning and they work until 9 or 9:30-- every morning. 

HWH: That’s interesting. 

We started discussing about whether Valentine was well-planned. I think it’s one of the few dining halls that I know of where you also have dormitory space. Has that made any difference? 

Golding: No, not really. The only difference, years ago, when we had milk deliveries at 5:30 and 6 o’clock in the morning, with milk cans, we used to get quite a bit of flak from the students who lived upstairs because the noise was so terrible, you know. 

Lucas: I’ll never forget the time-- we used to cut our own meat, did our own butchering, and we’d render off fat and things like that and we’d have the rendering company pick up the excess. They’d get here early in the morning and this guy would be rolling the barrels around the truck. All of a sudden this one kid from up above heaved out a bucket of water at him. Boy!! was he mad! But this is the way it goes. That was the only problem we had then, with the kids living upstairs. 

HWH: When my wife and I first came to Amherst there was no space in faculty housing so we lived for several months in the second-floor suite. 

Golding: Yes, and Oscar Schotté, too. Remember Oscar?

Lucas: Yes, sure. 

HWH: And the students couldn’t have been more helpful and cooperative, because our two children, who were very young at the time, used to go into the Men’s room and lock the door from the inside of the Johns and then climb out under. They’d been doing this for quite a while before anyone ever said anything. 

But there are no major changes that you’ve contemplated if you were re-building or starting over... 

Golding: Yes, a larger kitchen. They didn’t foresee that Amherst College would grow. You can see that there’s absolutely no way that this kitchen can be made larger. We have College Street to the North, and to the east we have a driveway-- we have to have a service entrance-- and going this way it’s almost physically impossible to tear out that way onto the campus area. 

HWH: One question occurred to me, that is, is your location on probably the thinnest strip of Route 9 an advantage or a disadvantage on College Street? 

Golding: Well it’s a disadvantage for the truck drivers. They hate it here, trying to back into the yard. But also the students-- we’ve had a few of them get hit by the cars out here. 

Lucas: I don’t like it, Route 9 is a busy route, and I’m really surprised that there haven’t been more kids get hit by cars out there at night. It’s pretty dark as you walk out that front door. 

HWH: I didn’t hear that. 

Lucas: It’s pretty dark out, it’s not a well-lit place, and I think we’ve been very lucky, really, that there haven’t been more kids that have been hit. What do you think, Bill? 

Golding: Oh, I know that we’ve been very lucky. 

HWH: Now both of you were away for a large part of the War, but you’re certainly familiar with the period that you were still here. Were those difficult years? 

Golding: During the War? 

HWH: During the War. 

Golding: No, no. 

HWH: Did you get any help from the fact that you had some military aboard? 

Golding: Oh yes, they were more than happy to work-- make an extra dollar you know-- that was great in their estimation.

HWH: How about getting food and other things? 

Golding: Food-- that was another thing. That was a problem, because, of course, you had stamps regardless of who you were, whether you were a family, or whether it was Amherst College-- you still had the stamps. The one big thing that helped Gordon Bridges at that time was the fact that he’d been doing business with certain companies in Boston for a good many years, and consequently they took care of him, I mean, you know, they did the best they possibly could. 

HWH: But the presence of the U.S. military officials cut no ice... with the rationing board? 

Golding: No, absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, a lot of it was ridiculous, you know, as the Army can be. It was stupid. One incident you might like to hear about. There was a Colonel-- I forget what group we had here-- but he was a very demanding person and he didn’t want to stand in line and go through the line like his troops. He and his missus used to come into the dining room and they would say, “Go sit at the back of the East Dining Room,” as I remember... 

Lucas: So they’d be waited on.

Golding: Well it got to be really something, I guess, and so Gordon told Stanley King and Stanley said I’ll take care of that. I don’t know whether you knew Stanley King or not... 

HWH: Very well. 

Lucas: Yes, I did, too. 

Golding: And he said, “Yes, I’ll take care of that. I’ll be down tonight with Mrs. King and we will-- about what time does he come in?” Oh, a certain time. And so they met them in the lobby up there, and they greeted one another and had a few things to say, and then “Well, let’s go into dinner,” Stanley says. “Well,” says the Colonel, “I have a special table. Why don’t you come up with us and we’ll be waited on?” And Stanley King says, “Well is that the general way, do all the students do that, all the servicemen do that?” “Oh no, but” he says, “you know, I’m the Colonel.” “Well, I’ll go right along with the way the rest of the people eat here.” And he forced the Colonel and his wife to go along with him and that was the last time the Colonel ever had anybody wait on him while he was here. [Laughter] So I thought it was pretty well done. But if you knew Stanley King, why he was a very accomplished person. 

HWH: You said when you began you had a menu and service at all the tables. I gather that stopped during the War. 

Golding: It had stopped; we were feeding too many servicemen so it went to cafeteria style with the tin trays-- those famous steel trays. Prior to that, and then right after the last service group left here, we tried to go back to the plates again, but the students-- oh I wouldn’t say they rebelled, but they didn’t like it. They claimed that they wouldn’t get as much food on a dinner plate as they got on the stainless steel trays-- so we stuck with the stainless steel trays. 

Lucas: For quite a while. As a matter of fact, Bud, we’re still buying from some of the same purveyors that took care of us during the war. 

HWH: Is that so? 

Lucas: This is one reason why they take care of you in case of a shortage in anything. They’re right there with you and do the best they can to help you out. 

HWH: You have a history of long association with your suppliers. 

Golding: Well, you see when you’re ninety miles away from your source, you have to be conscious of all the things that could go wrong. We might get a big snow storm and the delivery can’t be made and so we keep... 

Lucas: You’ve got to be prepared. 

Golding: ...at least three days worth of food on hand. We could go without any deliveries at all for three or four days. 

HWH: I’m surprised you have sufficient space for all that food. 

Golding: Well, that’s one thing that I insisted on when we renovated the kitchen. 

HWH: That the space would be sufficient when they remodeled the kitchen? 

Golding: Right. And it’s paid off. It’s saved the College an awful lot of money because we have three freezers now, one real big one, and we can buy when the price is right rather than have to buy at the time. 

HWH: That was going to be one of my questions, that is, the renovation of the kitchen and storage area which you did-- what, about four or five years ago? Correction: make that about 7 years ago. 

Lucas: About seven years ago. 

HWH: That must have been tremendously disruptive. How did you manage? 

Lucas: We had a real tough summer. 

Golding: Real bad. 

Lucas: ...because we kept all the summer programs going. But what we did, we had to cook in Milliken Infirmary, we had to cook on some of the grills up in the dining rooms, we had to use the Commons and just shuffle food all around. And we had rented a big refrigerated truck and we kept that up on the hill up by the Commons and we worked out of that. And we did buy a lot of prepared food that summer-- so all you had to do was heat it, really. 

HWH: But still to get it where you wanted it was a problem. Lucas: It was a problem. 

Golding: Oh it was a tough summer! 

HWH: A kitchen on wheels, almost. 

Lucas: It was a real tough summer. And I figure anybody that could go through that can do anything. 

Golding: As a matter of fact, we went through Commencement. We allowed the contractor to come in here early because he was crying, oh I’ll never get it done for fall. We decided, well, we’ll let him come in here in May-- yes, in May-- and we had to practically walk a tightrope between Valentine and the back area here for the Commencement luncheons and all of that. 

Lucas: All those cookouts. 

Golding: It was just planks with a hole that was about 20 feet deep there, you know. They had to get into the steam lines and all that. 

HWH: But you got through with no casualties. 

Lucas: No we didn’t have any problem. [Chuckles] 

HWH: Well this, where we are now, is so much, it seems to me, more convenient, more efficient than the way it used to be. 

Golding: But Bud, when they, like just recently, when Julian Gibbs made the statement that we might go to 1800, well, they’ll never go to 1800 and feed them at Valentine Hall. Never. You can expand your dining rooms, which is no great problem, but you can’t expand this. We have no bench room; we have no place to work here; so they’ve got to do a lot more than just say, “Well, we’ll go to 1800.” They’ve got to do some thinking. 

Lucas: Your days out there are pretty tight now. 

Golding: We have to plan our menus, Bud, because of the equipment that we have. In other words, we couldn’t make a homemade soup and have stew on the same day-- or something on that idea.

HWH: Was the building of the dining room, The Common of the Merrill Center, a problem to you? Since you’ve taken it over, you really cater up there. 

Golding: Yes. No problem. 

Lucas: Most of the preparing is done right here and then brought up there, so really there’s no problem. 

Golding: You see, the kitchen up there, Bud, is what they call a catering kitchen. It’s not a kitchen that you prepare any amount, any large quantity of meals. When they were designing that, both Gordon and I wanted them to take in that patio area and make that all dining room and kitchen so that we could take one class at a time from here and take them up there and have a sit-down dinner for them-- get them away from Valentine Hall. You do get sick and tired, Walter and I get sick and tired of eating every meal and every day here. You’re bound to. You do at home. That’s why you go out to eat. But Cal Plimpton wouldn’t do it. That was his baby. Stanley King had Valentine and Plimpton had The Commons. That was his elbow-bending room-- that’s what he called it. 

HWH: That’s among the questions on my list. Stanley King looked on three structures as really, I won’t say his contributions to the College, but he was extremely proud of them. One was Kirby Theatre, and the first was the Alumni Gymnasium, and I’d say Valentine undoubtedly was right up there among them. 

Golding: Yes it was. 

HWH: You certainly had strong support from Stanley during his presidency. 

Golding: Oh yes. 

HWH: Probably the strongest of... 

Golding: Strongest of any of the presidents. Yes. Although Charlie Cole was very good, very good. Bud, we’ve worked for five presidents, you know? 

HWH: Well I guess Stanley was the most supportive and Charlie was probably next, and how did you make out with Cal? 

Golding: No, no. 

HWH: He didn’t have much interest in this. 

Golding: No, no. 

HWH: And Bill Ward? 

Lucas: More than Cal but...

Golding: At least Bill Ward was the type of person that would-- he’d make it a point of once in a while coming down here, and he’d talk to the people, and just say Hi, how are you, what are you doing... 

Lucas: How are things going? 

Golding: And that means an awful lot to people like this. 

HWH: It does. Bill was very much that way with everybody. 

Lucas; Bill would come in every now and then. 

Golding: He stood behind me-- I have no complaints there, or anything like that. He often said that, you know, he was satisfied with the way things were going. 

Lucas: We haven’t seen Mr. Gibbs in here yet. 

Golding: No-- two years, now. 

HWH: The Snack Bar has moved around quite a bit. It started, of course, in what was intended to be The Lord Jeff Club on the ground floor to the south. Then it moved into the basement of the Annex and was there quite a few years, and now I presume you still manage and run the snack bar. How’s it working out down in Fayerweather? 

Golding: Not good. It should never have been moved. The first thing they said-- when Kurt Hertzfeld told me the Snack Bar’s going to be moved to Fayerweather, and we’re going to have the Post Office there, and we’re going to have the Bus Stop there, and I spent I don’t know how many mornings up by Converse counting the number of students who were going to use that bus and so forth, I saw the dollar signs, and I said “Hey, this is going to be great!” 

Lucas: That’d been great! Great! Boy, loads of business! Beautiful! Everyone’s going to stop, you know, for a hotdog, a hamburg and a cup of coffee or something. 

Golding: But then the Post Office didn’t go through, and the Bus Stop didn’t go through, and now we’ve got a load on our hands. Which we don’t need. 

HWB: Which presents problems. 

Golding: It does. 

HWH: No one is happy, apparently. 

Golding: Nobody’s happy now. No, no. They weren’t happy with the dungeon and I don’t blame them. We told Cal Plimpton at the time, but he insisted on having a snack bar down there. The best snack bar that we had was in the old Lord Jeff room. We made money there.

Lucas: That was right upstairs. 

Golding: And what we wanted to do rather than spend all that money was to push the front of that snack bar-- all that glass-- right out even with the dining room-- back of the dining rooms. And it would have been large enough-- because that was the complaint-- ”Oh, it’s not large enough, it’s filled up all the time.” 

HWH: You’d also get sunshine. 

Golding: Yes. And you’re on campus, right on campus. 

HWH: It was amusing when the snack bar in the Annex was planned, that they had that little tiny room set aside for faculty. 

Golding: I know it. 

HWH: ...and it was never used. 

Golding: Never used, never. 

HWH: It’s storage now isn’t it? 

Golding: Yes, storage. Right 

You see, when the architects design something-- it happens every place not just Amherst College, but in every place, evidently-- they never plan for a janitor’s closet, they never plan for storage-- oh you don’t need things like that, you know. When they designed the Annex there was no janitor’s closet, none whatsoever. But that was a hands-off thing, the Annex. You couldn’t even breathe about that. 

HWH: Shifting to another area, do students customarily eat breakfast? 

Golding: Fifty percent. 

HWH: Has it always been about that? 

Golding: Always, always. And then, depending on the weather, it may drop to thirty percent. Who wants to get up if it’s snowing or raining hard or something like that? 

HWH: Do you notice whether men or women tend to be breakfast-eaters? 

Golding: No it’s about the same. 

Lucas: About fifty-fifty. 

HWH: Is pilferage a problem, that is, say china? 

Golding: It’s always been. Oh yes, we can’t keep up with it, Bud. It’s awful.

Lucas: It’s terrible. Salad bowls, silverware,... 

Golding: It’s always been that way and then about 10 years ago I decided, well, maybe I can do something about it and in the summer time I had the women and the janitors, when they weren’t doing anything, make up a little package in a plastic bag-- plastic silverware, 2 or 5 plastic glasses, and some ashtrays and some things like that. Then in the beginning of the first semester we handed them out. 

Lucas: Right from the cash desk. 

HWH: For them to take to their rooms. 

Golding: They did. They took them to their rooms. It was wonderful! And they still stole the silver and stuff. So I discontinued that. I was spending a lot of money here and I was still not getting anything out of it. 

HWH Is this true of furniture? 

Golding: Yes they take-- like we have... 

Lucas: Checkers’ stools. 

Golding: They just stole one the other day. I’ve had to have some of them chained to the checkers’ stands. This one we just bought, B&G hadn’t had a chance to come and chain it and they stole it. 

HWH: Obviously, you more or less expect this. 

Golding: Well, Bud, I don’t think it’s quite fair for the College to assume that Valentine Hall is going to supply some... 


This is Tape #2 with Horace Hewlett talking with Bill Golding and Walter Lucas in Valentine Hall on Wednesday, February 4, 1981 

HWH: We were talking a moment ago about the loss of equipment and furniture from Valentine and we may have missed a line or two here. My last comment was that you almost have to expect pilferage, but at the same time it’s too bad that Valentine supports furnishings, of one kind or another, for a number of students. 

Golding: Well there’s no other place on campus that you can get glasses and everybody has to have a glass in their room. And I feel, that gee, Building and Grounds should supply the glasses, but they don’t and Valentine has to. I bought how many cases, 50 cases of glasses this year?

Lucas: Was it 50 or 100? 

Golding: No, 200-- 200, and 50 cases went out the first week. We lost 50 cases of glasses-- that’s 72 glasses to a case-- the first week of school! 

HWH: That’s hard to believe. Did it fall off after that, I hope? 

Golding: It does, but then when the glass gets too dirty or it’s broken, they get another one. You can go around the campus and you can see dinner plates, silverware, glasses, the whole works. They throw them out the windows. When they get dirty they heave them out the windows. 

Lucas: Whenever school closes, like interterm or spring vacation, we go around with Security, we, or the janitors, go around with Security and go through some of the rooms and you’d be amazed at the stuff that we pick up that came from here. 

HWH: Is food an object of pilferage? 

Golding: No, not too much. 

Lucas: I wouldn’t really say so. 

HWH: They wouldn’t fill a glass they’re swiping with peanut butter? 

Lucas: or a bowl of cereal? 

Golding: Oh that could be, but not a big thing. No, not a big thing. 

Lucas: If I weren’t coming in tomorrow morning, I’d say, well I’m going to get me a package of cereal before I forget for tomorrow morning. So let them have the package of cereal, we’re saving on the eggs and the bacon, the sausages, whatever. 

HWH: Even the milk. 

Golding: Even the milk. 

HWH: There’s another operation that you’ve undertaken in recent years and that’s feeding summer guests, that is, largely the tennis camp. I think I counted last summer that there were something like 28 different organizations here. 

Golding: Oh yes. More so this year. 

HWH: Is that good, or is it a problem? 

Golding: Oh it’s very good. No problem at all.

Lucas: The more the better, Bud, the more the better. It takes in all the help, keeps them busy, you don’t have any lay-offs. 

HWH: And the help generally would prefer to stay here than find summer work elsewhere. 

Golding: Oh yes. Absolutely. 

Lucas: The more we have the better it is. 

HWH: Is it difficult to staff during the summer? 

Golding: No, no. 

HWH: Just like during the year. 

Golding: No, because we don’t have the student labor of course, so we have to fall back on some students. Some students stay around. But, we do use some high school and people like that. Our own staff, as Walter said before, they’ve been here so long that their vacations are so long, that it makes it a difficult problem sometimes. 

HWH: Do you have any problems with largely foreign students, or perhaps even those of the west coast who can’t go home either during vacation or summer? 

Lucas and Golding: No, no. 

Golding: Our dining rooms are open. If they want to eat, they can pay for their meal. 

HWH: For the summer? How do you work out payment for that? 

Golding: They pay cash as they go through. 

HWH: Not on a weekly basis or... 

Golding: No, per meal, per meal. Some of these foreign students and/or students that live far away feel-- well, you know, I can buy it cheaper-- and they try it for a week maybe and they find out they can’t buy it cheaper. 

HWH: You mean bring it back to their rooms? 

Golding: Yes. 

HWH: Or go out to eat? 

Golding: No, bring it back to their rooms. Go to the grocery store and get crackers and bread, cold meats and things like that. They can’t buy it cheaper and eat as well by any means. 

HWH: How about interterm, because you never know how many you’re going to have then, I would think.

Golding: Well, we’ve been through it for a number of years and it follows a pattern. 

Lucas: We know more than the... 

Golding: Dean’s Office knows, I’ll tell you that right now. [Laughter] 

Lucas: They haven’t been very helpful, have they? 

Golding: No. 

HWH: Do you charge them by the week? 

Chorus: Oh no, no, there’s no charge! 

HWH: They’ve already paid. 

Golding: Oh, there’s no charge. If there’s a student, an incoming student, starting the second semester and he arrives here January 5th, say, he can eat on his second semester board rate. Oh yes. Valentine supports a lot more than you realize or anybody realizes. 

HWH: I think it would be difficult to know how many to feed. 

Golding: Well, like I say, it follows a pattern. 

Lucas: During interterm? Well, we go by previous years. And like Bill says, it follows a pretty close pattern. 

HWH: What would you think have been your major problems in operating Valentine over the years? 

Lucas: Major ones? 

Golding: I don’t, can’t think... 

HWH: I suppose you’d say that one of them was extending the kitchen which solved a big problem. 

Lucas: That could be a big one. Other than that I can’t think of any real, great problems, really. 

Golding: No. You could, you know, like yourself you could say, well, maybe a major problem was the sit-down dinner for 800 people that we had just recently at the gym. Well, it’s a problem, it’s a little outside of what we do normally day to day or year to year... 

HWH: That was the opening of the Campaign for Amherst? A delicious meal. 

Golding: Right. We get everybody together, Walter and I and the other two managers...

Lucas: To talk, you know. And we all get in there and we’ll do it, we’ll do a great job, and things turn out all right. 

HWH: Well, that was probably as big a meal as you’ve served. 

Golding: It is the biggest we’ve served. 

Lucas: Plus what we served in Valentine that night, too, where we had about 1300. 

Golding: Of course, during Commencement we serve for the special dinners, we’ll hit sometimes 800, yes an easy 800. You know, in the different dining rooms. 

HWH: That’s buffet. 

Golding: No, oh no, that’s table service. 

HWH: Oh, excuse me. 

Golding: At Alumni dinners. 

Lucas: That’s Alumni Weekend we’re talking about. 

HWH: Right. I was thinking of the tremendous tent you put up. Since it opened Valentine has been closed to all but students, faculty, staff and alumni. Have you ever had any problem with outsiders trying to come in here to eat? 

Golding: Well now, supposedly Valentine was closed; but Valentine is not closed. In other words, we do have teachers from the High School, Junior High, etcetera, townspeople come in here to have their meals. 

HWH: Sit down with a meal-- not the snack bar. 

Golding: Our dinners, our luncheons here. 

HWH: I hadn’t realized that. 

Lucas: We don’t have any problem with it though. 

Golding: Oh no. I would never go up to anybody and say, “Well now, you’re not an alumnus,” because how do you know they’re not. So it’s not worth it. 

HWH: How do you identify students as to whether or not they should be eating here? 

Golding: Oh they have to show an ID card. 

Lucas: A meal card. 

Golding: And/or if they’re a Five-College student they have to show a slip from their home institution. We have it pretty well down to a-- as close as we can with student checkers.

HWH: Now both of you have been here for forty years. Would you do it again? 

Golding: Certainly. 

Lucas: Certainly, certainly. We love it. 

Golding: We like Amherst. 

Lucas: There are a lot of tough days when you say to Hell with it, I wouldn’t do it over again, but you’re right back the next morning and things are looking better and everything's going smooth. 

Golding: Well as you know, Bud, you have to like young people in order to work at a College. I don’t care what job you have at the College, you’d better like young people in order to do your job. And we do. We have a lot of young people come down, a lot of students come down just to shoot the breeze, you know. 

HWH: I meant to ask you before whether you have any connection at all with the Lord Jeffery Inn. 

Golding: None. None. Except that we supply at times dishes, silverware, foods, things like that. Over the years they have run out of things there, you know. 

Lucas: Or if they have a big catering party and they may want some silverware or... 

HWH: You just assist them if they need it. 

Lucas: That’s right. 

HWH: How about your own plans? Are you going to go hunting and fishing? 

Golding: Right. Going to Vermont from here. 

HWH: You’re going where? 

Golding: To Vermont. I have a home in Vermont. 

HWH: What part? 

Golding: Newbury. And from there, we’re heading west. I have a big trailer. I bought it before the gas situation, and we’re headed for Arizona. 

HWH: To live or just to... 

Golding: No, just to look around, because I don’t want to pull that trailer any further than I have to. It’s 30 feet long so I want to see. We know Florida, so we might end up back in Florida, but I want to go to Arizona, Texas, California, New Mexico, and so forth.

HWH: You’d like to look the country over for possible places to settle down. 

Golding: Right. 

HWH: How about you, Walter? 

Lucas: Well Bud, I’ve got one thing in mind. I’m trying to go for Bill's job. I figure out to 40 years, it’s what I’ve done all my life, I’ve worked with kids; I love them... 

HWH: Well you haven’t reached the mandatory... 

Lucas: I’ve got 9 more years to go, so I’m hoping I get Bill’s job. 

HWH: Well I hope you do. Is there anything else you can think of? 

Golding: I don’t know of a thing, Bud. Of course the minute you leave here we’ll think of something. It’s bound to happen. 

HWH: Well if something comes up that should be recorded, I’m almost next door. 

Golding: All right. 

Lucas: Sure, love to do it. Really. 

HWH: Well I’ve enjoyed this and appreciate your taking all this time. I’ve learned a lot. 

Golding: Well unless you work right here, you don’t realize some of the things that go on. 

HWH: What I propose to do is give you a typed copy of our conversation and I’ll go over it to put in periods and commas where needed. And then I’ll give it to you to go over to make any corrections. 

Golding: All right. 

Lucas: A super idea, a super idea, Bud. 

HWH: Well thanks very much. 

Golding: Bud, any time, any time. 

Lucas: Any way we can help. 

[Final Draft completed 4/29/81]

Rights and Citation Information

The interviewer and interviewee place no restrictions -- other than standard literary credit -- on the use of this transcript.

Suggested citation format:
Oral history interview with William Golding and Walter Luchas, 1981 February 4, in Amherst College Oral History Project Records, (Box 1, Folder 9), Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library <https://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/holdings/amherst-college-oral-history-project/william-golding-and-walter-luchas>

For information about the Amherst College Oral History Project Records please see the collection's finding aid.

For further information, please contact Archives & Special Collections at archives@amherst.edu. 

Related Materials

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