Pot washing pays off

By John Toth / Bulletin Publisher

I didn’t need one, but Sharon, my wife, wanted it. We have not used one in years. I have not missed it. But now we have a nice shiny black one.

Recently, we had the old, broken dishwasher in the kitchen hauled off, to be replaced by a modern, push button, computerized, slick-looking dishwasher that now makes the rest of the kitchen look shabby.

The old one has been broken for many years.

The reason why we didn’t rush out to replace it dates back to Camp Cody, where in 1973, Karl the chef, wanted his pots squeaky clean. Three times a day at the age of 15, I made those pots shine.

I’m going back almost four decades, so don’t expect me to recall every detail. But I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I never had to trim my fingernails while working there, and I was paid $175 for the entire summer.

You may think the pay stunk – it did. But, I also got room and board for two months and a chance to get away from the big, dirty city. I couldn’t afford to be a camper, so I went there as a pot washer.

A good friend of mine, Terry Wade, who used to own all of the Subway restaurants in Brazoria County, also started as a pot washer. He worked at a restaurant on the Galveston Seawall, but probably made more than what I did at the camp.

Since Terry and I have done OK, maybe there is some connection between success and pot washing. Colleges may want to add Pot Washing 101 to their business courses.

I actually had a good time at Camp Cody and returned in different capacities for seven summers until I finished college and moved to Texas to start my first writing job at the Daily Tribune in Bay City in 1979.

Washing dishes while looking out of the window onto the street often reminds me of Karl’s kitchen and all of the good times I had my first year at Cody. It even breaks up the pressure of producing The Bulletin on deadline. That’s partly why I never worried much about replacing the dishwasher.

But it was getting a little raggedy looking. O.K., it was time to toss it.

Now its time to figure out what all these buttons are for. Man, this is complicated.

Read the instructions.

I’m a guy. I don’t read instructions. What’s this button for? It doesn’t do anything.

It is slick-looking, though.