Crater Lake National Park Centennial Oral Histories
Murray “Sandy” Brown and Evelyn McKee Brown
The summer experience began when snow still covered the grounds. The owner was Mr. Price; Bob Kron was Hotel Manager. Murray “Sandy” Brown, Jack Blampied, Winnie and another college student were assigned as Bellhops at the Lodge. Sandy was one of the crew who went early to open the Lodge in preparation for the summer tourist season.
In 1948, his second summer as a bellhop, Sandy remembers that employees were trained to run the borrowed fire truck. Apparently, a fire emergency never occurred.
Evelyn worked as a waitress in the Lodge Dining Room in 1947. Carol was hostess. Other remembered names are Pauline Cutter, and Margie.
In the kitchen, Benny Lee, a Portland restaurant owner, managed a crew of Chinese cooks and helpers. Benny catered to the kitchen staff’s taste for ethnic Chinese food and ordered special ingredients, such as “ink fish,” that they cooked for their own meals. Pauline and I (Evelyn) enjoyed the taste sensations and would occasionally be allowed to join in the meal.
I (Evelyn) remember one alarming situation when two of the cooks had an argument and chased one another around the kitchen with knives. Benny hired a new immigrant to work as helper with the salads. He was anxious to learn English and I enjoyed learning a bit of Chinese. We exchanged vocabulary for kitchen utensils. One of the cooks offered to teach me a few Chinese words. Back at the U of O in September, I learned from a Chinese friend that some of those terms should not be used in polite conversation.
Bears were regular visitors at the garbage cans and at the campsite, which was located near the cafeteria. They were always at the garbage dump and walked freely in the hotel parking lot. Sandy remembers that they could sometimes be seen from the second floor of the hotel, jumping from one car roof to another. One bear crashed through the roof of a convertible.
In free time we enjoyed nature talks by Dr. Huestis, a biology professor at the U of O. We hiked down the trail to the lake surface at the boat dock. The boats were then on the south side of the lake below the visitor center. We also rode on the launch to Wizard Island and hiked there. Margie and I (Evelyn) hiked up Garfield peak, still snowy in the middle of summer. We also hiked to the fire lookout station on the western rim.
One memorable evening during a summer storm, we sat behind the Lodge at the edge of the rim and watched as lightning bolts flashed into the cauldron.
At the end of the three summer months, we headed back to our colleges.