Laton High School Gets A Cafeteria by Vernon Hennesay (Class of 1945)
I attended Conejo Elementary School then in the fall of 1941, I started my freshman year at Laton High School. At that time there was no cafeteria at the school. I think that construction on the cafeteria was started in 1942. To begin with, a hole was made in the foundation in the north end of the building. The dirt was dug out to form a ramp. The unfinished basement had a high ceiling but a considerable amount of dirt still had to removed to enable people to walk in the basement.
The students shoveled the dirt into wheelbarrows and pushed them up the ramp through the hole in the foundation into the front yard. I weighed only ninety-two pounds at the time so I didn't push a lot of wheelbarrows but I did a lot of shoveling. I don't remember how the dirt was removed from the front yard but it went somewhere. After the dirt was removed and the floor leveled, a professional crew came in and poured concrete over the floor.
After the floor was finished the walls were finished and the students did the painting. That is where I did most of my work. I was accused of getting more paint on me than on the wall.
Under the guidance of the shop teacher, Jim Maynard, the older students in the shop class built a lot of the cupboards and counter top for the kitchen.
I'll deviate a little here because Jim Maynard was my favorite teacher of all the teachers or college instructors I ever had. He could show us where we could use any subject we took in school no matter what career we chose. One day someone complained about having to write an essay in English class. After all we were going to be just farmers. Mr. Maynard threw his lesson plan out the window and spent the entire hour explaining that as a farmer we needed to know how to write a letter to get information about the proper seeds needed, or the correct fertilizer for a certain crop, etc. He could show us how we could use what we learned in everyday use. Enough about Mr. Maynard and back to the cafeteria!
As I recall two cooks were hired to manage the cafeteria and the Home Economics girls helped serve at lunch time. My junior year (1943/44) we held the football banquet in the cafeteria.