Waiting on the Angels

It Was Even Better Than Dishwashing

By Karlene Bayok Edwards

In 1966, not long after my thirteenth birthday,  I began washing dishes eight hours a day, forty hours a week, for $1.65 an hour at the now-defunct Kitchen Café in McCall. The waitresses bussed their own tables and stacked the dirty dishes on the stainless steel shelf in the back room. I took it from there, soaking the silverware, using a spatula to scrape food from the plates, and pouring leftover soft drinks and shakes into a drainage bowl aswirl with water.

After pulling on heavy yellow rubber gloves to my elbows, I washed everything with hot soapy water and then placed each item in a large square rubberized dish-basket with handles. When it was full, I lowered the basket into the disinfectant-treated water in the next sink. After ten minutes, I lifted the basket over to the steaming hot rinse water in a third sink, waited, and then raised the basket onto the drainboard so the dishes could air dry before I put them away. Meanwhile, I washed more dishes.

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Karlene Bayok Edwards

About Karlene Bayok Edwards

Karlene Bayok Edwards grew up in McCall and graduated from McCall-Donnelly High School. She volunteered at the McCall Library and later had a thirty-four-year career as a school librarian. She earned degrees in English literature and library science in Arizona, where she and her husband settled. Now retired, she writes from the vivid memories of her childhood and from the Idaho backcountry stories told by her parents, Joe and Marcella Bayok.