Sunday, May 15, 2016

At the Club - What not to read.

Going back to the "Club" days.

I was hired to work nights at the Lake Placid Club in 1983.  My shift was 11 PM to 7 AM.  I was one of the auditor responsible for posting charges to customers room bills. Balancing the days work for the hotel/bar/restaurant and stores.

This is just one of the stories I will write about the LPClub.

It was really early in the morning, about 2 AM, and our work was done.  We could not leave and both brought books with us to pass the time.  Dave was near the switchboard reading and I was on the couch in the outer office by the big fireplace.  The security guards were out on patrol of the grounds.  The LPC was huge and large portions of the property were closed off.  Kids and people loved to sneak in. About 100 rooms in this one wing were so run down it never opened while I worked there.  As you entered the massive lobby this wing was on the right, just past the salon.  I remember several time hearing the saloon type wooded doors swing and gently rub each other as they passed in the night. Probably just the security guards checking the salon and the wing of unused guest rooms.

I mentioned the club was OLD, (founded in 1895) The Lake Placid Club was a social and recreation club founded 1895 in a hotel on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, New York, under Melvil Dewey's leadership and according to his ideals. It was instrumental in Lake Placid's development as an internationally known resort. 
By New England Ski Museum - New England Ski Museum, CC BY-SA 3.0,

it was also in receivership so not a lot of upkeep was being done.  It was so bad you could not run the heat and have hot water.  You could only have one at a time. We generally had heat running during the night and about 6 AM we would turn the boiler over to water so the guest would have hot water for their shower in the morning. One night the pipes were making so much noise it was hard to concentrate on our work.  We kept going into the lobby to see if we could figure out where the noise was coming from.  The 2 security guards were with us as we walked around the lobby, up stairs and down this hall towards the library.  We hear the swish of those doors down stairs and all four of us look at each other.  If we are the only ones here - WHO is swinging the door.  Clearly not the security guards because they were right next to us.  hmmm.  The pipes quieted down and we went back to the desk and the guards continued down the hall.  

Dave went back to sitting at the switchboard ready, and I went back to the couch.  After a short time the pipes started up again and we looked over at the security office to see if the guys were close by so we could check it out again.  It seemed like the noise was coming from a different room.  No security so Dave and I left the front office and head down this outer hall in the direction of the noise.  It sounded like music, but through the pipes.  Looking at each other almost afraid to ask if the other hears music, we keep walking down this hall.  Silent. We round this corner when above us we feel heavy footsteps and they are running.  Again, Dave and I look at each other, afraid to ask... We get to the stairway and the 2 security guys are running down them asking if we hear music.  I feel relieved.  I'm not crazy.  We, together, head towards the music.  Since this building is so old and was constructed at different times the floors and sections change a lot.  It's not easy to get from one spot to the next without a lot of work.  The music is louder now as we reach the Agora section of the hotel.  The security guards ask us to return to the desk, just in case anyone calls.  Our eyes were bugging out - me thinking I am not going back there ALONE!!!  Dave, I'm sure, has the same thought as neither of us moved.  The four of us approach the chapel, which is beautiful.  Stain glass windows, huge windows.  I bet the Sun coming in them makes beautiful colors.  There are the church pews, and they are big, wooden and smell musty, but we can make them out and don't run into them.  There is a large pipe organ in the center of the room on a stage and it's playing!  No one, however, is  playing it.  The piano seat is empty.  The music is beautiful... It is playing on it's own.  Dave and I stand there staring at the organ and the security guards don't move.  One of the guards clears his throat and the music stops immediately and I felt this calm body of air pass by me and leave the room.  No more music that night.  All Quiet as we return to our assigned posts.  I pick up my book from the couch and the security guard Frances ask me if I am really reading "The Shining" by Steven King.

Yep, I was, actually, didn't really think about it.  I never brought that book back to work.  I started doing word searches.

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