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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with J. W. Mask, February 15, 1991. Interview M-0013. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Creating a cafeteria without county support

Mask had to create a cafeteria without help from the county, he recalls, converting a basement room and providing utensils.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with J. W. Mask, February 15, 1991. Interview M-0013. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

GOLDIE F. WELLS:
What about the cafeteria management?
J. W. MASK:
We began by having our home economics teacher manage the first cafeteria that we had. That person was in charge of the menus however; I employed the personnel. We did not receive any money from the local school funds as payment for personnel. We did that through our office and through the profits that we made but we did get the USDA commodities you see, so that made it possible for us to do that. I supervised the cafeteria and it wasn't until quite sometime later that we had a Food Service Supervisor for the whole school system.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Did you literally start your own cafeteria?
J. W. MASK:
Yes, I did. I saw a need for it. As a matter of fact we took a part of the building that was not in use and refurbished it. It was a basement room and we converted it into a cafeteria. That is where we had our first cafeteria. But now let me say this. When we moved to that point, the superintendent through his office made sure that tables were provided. But we bought our utensils, we bought the dishes and maybe the silverware; however, as I think about it maybe most of the cooking utensils we bought ourselves but with the help of the parents, through school activities, we raised money to get dishes and to get the utensils that we needed. If I am not mistaken, I could be wrong about this and I don't like to be, I would just rather give the administration the credit for providing the first gas range that we had.