The Last Howard Johnson’s in the Universe – Eater

Maintaining consistent quality at each location — a hallmark in the era before chains guaranteed predictability for drivers across the country — despite the dizzying scope of the menu was made possible by the enormous Howard Johnson’s commissary system, which produced, froze, and distributed much of the food to individual restaurants, where franchisees strictly adhered to the minutely detailed preparations laid out in the “Howard Johnson Bible.” For nearly a decade, the commissaries were overseen by the famed French chefs Pierre Franey and Jacques Pépin, who were hired by Johnson in 1960 from Le Pavillon, one of the great fine-dining restaurants in New York at the time.

Source: The Last Howard Johnson’s in the Universe – Eater

Reconnections: Doug

randallgThe facebook strikes again. Someone I sat next to at Santa Teresa HS in San Jose messaged me after all these XX years. I used to drive him home and tak about whatever it is that Californian high schoolers talk about. It swiftly brought back memories of the photography class we were in and my favorite teacher, Mr. Strauss, or Mighty Strauss as he called himself. I was pretty good in the class (somehow with a 110% grade) so he let me use his Hasselblat in the second year. I once had a photo that I thought had beautiful clouds and a landscape, and I didn’t understand why he kept laughing. He finally told me to look more closely and see that the cloud is actually my hair falling over the top of the frame (though the 2×2 film in the hasselblat is expoosed normally, the viewfinder is film sized and located at the top and you have to lean over and look inside to compose the shot). I still thought it looked good and asked him. He said he had to back up a bit to evaluate it … a little more … a little more … he actually went outside and ran to the other side of campus and yelled “Oh, Okay, it looks good from here!” Another time I asked him to correct a photo so he took out some magic markers and started coloring all elements of the pic a-la-coloring book. I was shocked and he said only that next time I might say what I mean and ask him to grade the photo rather than correct it. So long as I’m on a nostalgia trip, have a gander at that golden age above, my HS graduation.