Interviewee: Julia Johnson & Peggy Chaney
Interviewer: Annette Hopgood
Description: Julia Johnson and Peggy Chaney served as child nutrition directors in Georgia.
Annette Hopgood: I’m Annette Bomar Hopgood, and I was the state agency director in Georgia from 1979-2006, and we’re here today in Savannah, Georgia, at the Georgia School Nutrition Association Conference, and we’re going to be interviewing some of the people that had significant roles in the Georgia School Nutrition Program. I’m here today with Julia Johnson –
AH: – and Peggy Chaney –
Peggy Chaney: Hey!
AH: – and they’re here today as a team, and I want them to tell us today why they became introduced as a team. It has something to do with some consolidation of school districts. Who wants to go first and sort of talk about that for a minute?
JJ: Well, Peggy was with Waycross City Schools and I was with Ware County Schools, and in the fall of 1989 the city voted to drop their charter, and that in essence meant that beginning January 1 Ware County Schools absorbed the city schools. And they were a great school system. Peggy had been there about the same time I had been in Ware County.
PC: I think you started about a year before I did or something like that.
JJ: As director. But at that point, January 1 we realized it was happening, and it shocked, but within a couple of weeks they told me and my bookkeeper to move to the city office. And they welcomed us so sweetly. I know that it was a really hard time for them, but they were so sweet to us. It was Peggy and Latrelle Maxwell, and then me and Tammy Boyd. And we started working together in 1990 and we worked together until Peggy retired about five years ago, and then I retired, and then Latrelle retired, and Tammy’s still there.
AH: So that’s it in a nutshell.
JJ: We stayed there all those years, and we LOVED working together.
PC: We had no idea what they were going to do with me.
AH: Right, right. I’m sure you were anxious about everything.
PC: And he didn’t call – the superintendent didn’t call me, he didn’t tell me anything. Finally he called me and he said, “You can be the associate director.” And I said, “Thank you.”
AH: Just whatever huh?
JJ: And truly, we sat down and decided. Peggy said, “I like doing the food.” I said, “Well, I’ll do the equipment.” And we just kind of worked it out.
PC: That’s what we did.
AH: You just divided up the responsibility because you’ve always been recognized as being a team, not as a director and an associate or an assistant in any way, because it was like y’all had a TEAM directorship.
PC: Our two school things that they did – they were used to all of us, each other -because we had worked together when we were separated. When we went in it really wasn’t that hard.
AH: You probably taught each other.
PC: We did.
JJ: We taught training classes. Even our chapter was one chapter for a while.
PC: It worked out fine like that.
AH: Well I wanted to explain that up front so people wouldn’t say ‘What are they doing? They’re not twins. Why are they there?’ Now let’s go back and find out about you individually. Peggy, tell us first about your hometown and your education.
PC: OK. I was born and raised in Waycross.
AH: And Waycross, let’s make sure everybody understands. That’s right on the Georgia-Florida line.
PC: Right on the Georgia-Florida line. I guess it’s about forty miles from Florida, and we’re sixty miles from Brunswick, so that’s where we are, in the (Okefenokee) swamp! I graduated from high school in Waycross and then I went to Milledgeville to school – and they let me out!
AH: People don’t necessarily know that Milledgeville (Central State Hospital) is where a state mental institution is.
PC: It was also where the Women’s College of Georgia was.
AH: The women’s college. You were there when Georgia College at Milledgeville, a coed college was a women’s college.
PC: I got my BS there in Home Economics, went back and got my master’s from there in Nutrition, and also at the University of Georgia to get to be a director.
AH: Certified director in the state. What about you? [to Julia]
JJ: I graduated from Ware County High School and went to Georgia College, same college –
PC: Isn’t that strange?
JJ: – and got my Home Economics degree, and came right back to Ware County to teach Home Economics for three years, and then at that point there were too many Home Ec teachers and the school nutrition director was leaving and I was invited to go apply for the nutrition director job – and it was the best day of my life – it was a great choice.
AH: Let’s go back to Peggy. Tell me your first recollections of school nutrition and what it was like when you were in school – and tell us the story about your mother.
PC: My mother was for twenty-eight years a manager at an elementary school, but before that she just worked with the people in the school and got them – from the first grade we had something to eat every day, and it was a quarter a week, and we’d have something like soup and a sandwich.
AH: So your mother was responsible for pulling all that together.
PC: Yes she was. And so then finally they hired her as a manager, but I was in college by that time. But she loved it. I mean she thought there was no other association like this.
AH: So she probably was working in the program when if first started.
PC: Yes, she was. And our schools had lunchrooms, except for the junior-high school, and there was no room because it was real old, so they just had like a – you could go in and get sandwiches or things like that for lunch – but in the high school we had hot lunches. It was interesting.
AH: She was also involved in the state association, as you were too.
PC: Very much.
AH: What role did she play.
PC: She started out as different kinds of chairman of things, but she ended up as the president.
AH: And you were too.
AH: What year were you president?
PC: I went in as ’83-’84, and she went in in ’58-’59. I think that’s right.
AH: And your first job with food service management?
PC: – was in an elementary school.
AH: What about you Julia? How did you get involved in school nutrition?
JJ: Like I say, I was teaching Home Ec and then needed a nutrition director, and so they said, “Go apply.”
AH: So you didn’t necessarily have a mother to follow in the footsteps of?
JJ: Actually – one of the questions was a mentor – the manager of the school that I was teaching in was Mrs. Faustine Banks, and Mrs. Banks said, “Julia, you go take that job. We’ll all help ya.” And truly they did.
AH: Now were you the first food service director in that –
JJ: No. Juanita Ringo was there.
AH: Oh, Juanita was there?
JJ: For about a year and a half.
AH: And did Juanita go to the State Department of Education or did she go somewhere else?
JJ: I think she moved somewhere at that point, Mississippi or somewhere.
PC: She did move away didn’t she? I don’t know where she moved to.
AH: And then probably she came back to do all of that (work with Georgia Department of Education). [To Peggy] So you had your mother as a mentor, [To Julia] and you had Mrs. Banks as a mentor. Julia you had some comments about how your educational background helped you in your job. Talk a little bit about that.
JJ: Well, I majored in Home Economics and I feel that the Home Ec background and the child development that I also took in college gave me a real good background for meal planning – meals for kids. Then as I took my master’s degree at Valdosta State in School Administration I got a lot of personnel training and financial training, legal stuff, and then we picked up our courses (for certification by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission) – Peggy and I did it together – we got our courses at the University of Georgia for school nutrition – at Georgia Southern College – go get a lot of purchasing and things like that.
AH: So you have the same master’s degree as your principals then that you were working with.
JJ: I do.
AH: So I’m sure that added to your creditability.
JJ: I think they were VERY impressed. [Laughter]
AH: Both of you mentioned working with the State Department of Education because you worked with area people and state people. Talk a little bit about your experiences there and what you remember Peggy.
PC: Well the funniest thing I think we had was when we were fixing to have a new change, and we stayed in I think it was Macon –
PC: Yeah. We got there and had been there for a week, and y’all had been just really putting us to it, and then y’all stopped there ’cause y’all had to get something, and came back in and said, “Throw it all away!”
AH: Because they had voted a change?
JJ & PC: They had voted it out!
PC: Don’t you remember?
AH: I don’t remember that. It had to have something about changing the nutrition requirements.
PC: That was it. You said, “We’ve got to change all over.” And we said, “Oh goody, we’ve got that window.”
AH: Oh gosh. Well, things were apt to change pretty rapidly in the state agency. What were the program changes that y’all experienced?
JJ: Well, the most significant one I think is with the USDA (commodity food) deliveries. Early on most of the time Waycross City accepted the deliveries in our area, but sometimes I would, and I would get a call that there was a delivery of cheese to be coming in at the railroad, and I would get a list of school systems –
AH: Because y’all didn’t have warehouses.
JJ: No, nothing. I love this story. It would come in and they would tell us, and I would get on the phone and I would dial 0 and wait, and the operator would say, “May I help you?” and I would say, “Well, I have several collect calls to make. Could you come back on the line after each one?” and she would say, “Sure, what’s the first one?” and I would tell her the number and she would call it, they would answer, and she would say, “Will you accept a collect call from Ware County Schools?” and they would say, “Yes.” And I would tell them that they have commodities, so many cases of cheese to pick up Thursday morning at 9 o’clock at the railroad in Waycross.” They would say, ” Thank you.” And then I would wait and she would come back on and I would give her the next number and we would go through it again.
AH: Now you were calling your peers, you were calling other school districts, because you were what they called a consignee.
JJ: I was calling other schools, yes.
AH: You got the food and you had to get it out.
JJ: That’s right.
AH: You were like a mini warehouse without a warehouse.
JJ: So Thursday morning at 9 o’clock everybody would show up with their flatbed trucks, the maintenance guys, and load it up on their trucks and head out all over.
AH: And the food was still sitting there in the railcars?
JJ: & PC: Yes.
AH: So they took it directly off the cars?
JJ: Yes. It was sealed.
PC: It was sealed until we got there, yes.
AH: For each of the districts.
JJ: SUCH AN IMPROVEMENT.
PC: It was – when they started bringing those trucks in to us it was wonderful.
AH: That probably was one of the most major changes, along with nutrient menu planning kind of stuff.
JJ: But to go from that to the improvements in the system over the years, and now – then, we didn’t know the cheese was coming in until we got that telephone call. And now we order it months ahead, exactly the amount that we want, that we know we could use.
AH: And y’all have being doing that since like early ’90s I think when y’all actually started ordering amounts. Tell about how y’all went through the process of ordering foods.
JJ: We did it as a region. Peggy did most of that. Like we would decide which cheese we wanted.
PC: We’d say, “We want this.” And somebody else would say, “No, we want this one.” But the majority won.
AH: Democracy in action, huh?
PC: And that helped so much because we didn’t have all this leftover stuff that we couldn’t use, or we didn’t like.
AH: So you bought (with commodity entitlement dollars) large quantities of a select item.
PC: Yes. For whatever money we had that’s what we would do, and we would go over what we were supposed to so we could make sure and get what we wanted.
AH: Right, because there would always be cancellations and things like that too.
PC: But it was SO much better than it was before.
AH: And then rolling the years along, ultimately you ordered everything online.
PC: And that was wonderful. I really liked that.
AH: You were there when they started that weren’t you?
PC: Yes. And that was really – I liked that. It was much easier to handle and everything.
JJ: It kind of got to the point where we would only order products that we knew we would use. We didn’t order a lot of different products. We ordered the ones that we knew Ware County would use.
AH: You had a more limited list of things that you knew you were going to order.
PC: Because each district had different kinds of foods that they liked. And so a lot of that, we would try to give it to other schools or something to use because we just couldn’t handle it.
AH: The thing that was always interesting to me was to watch y’all go through that process, to go to one of the meetings where y’all got together to determine what you were going to order for the next year, and how you would work together to get to a consensus, without too many blows. You really did.
PC: It was very good, it really was.
JJ: Another change over the years was the computer systems in the state. Even early on they sent us printouts of data. It wasn’t really timely because we had to mail those four or five-part 0106 forms with all those numbers –
AH: You mailed in the paper and all of that had to be key-punched into the big state mainframe.
JJ: Yes. And then finally we would get the printouts back –
AH: Six months later!
JJ: – telling us the costs. But at least we had it. And then as time went by it improved so much. I was in the office the other day – I help them once in a while – and we found an error on the inventory for month before last, and we went in there and clicked a couple of things, redid it, and it gave us our new cost. Wow! It’s awesome. It is really awesome, the data that is available now.
AH: And it’s all based on the original, old structure from the 1970s, even though it looks a little different because of technology.
PC: It’s so much better now than it was.
AH: What kind of reports – we haven’t really talked about this a lot with other people – but what kind of reports did y’all get and use from the state, because I think that was pretty exceptional that you got the information back? A lot of states would get information from their local people, but not necessarily give it back.
JJ: We got printouts breaking down participation and meal cost, breakfast cost and lunch cost, and it was broken down – food, labor, the central office, overhead, and all those things, years ago – you know, looking back now it’s phenomenal.
AH: And you have profit and loss reports right there.
JJ: Yes, starting several years ago we did.
AH: Potential revenue and all those things.
JJ: Non-reimbursable foods cost – in cost and income.
AH: Y’all had pretty high rates of participation among your children I think in your schools. That was a really important thing in the state and something everybody emphasized a lot. How did you manage that? What did you do to appeal to kids?
PC: Well, we did a lot of tasting of food before we ever put it out on the line, and they got a chance to see how it was and then the managers did the same thing. We had people down there a lot working out with us and it just worked out. They liked what they were getting.
AH: You paid attention to the cafeteria.
PC: We did. I’d go into a school and I’d walk around and talk to them and say, “Did you like this? Is there something else that you’d rather have?” and they’d tell me. If I’d go to wherever my grandchildren were they’d say, “Well you tell her and she’ll do right.”
AH: I have some nieces and nephews that’ll call me every once in a while and they will say, “Can’t you do something about -“, whatever it is. Both of y’all have been involved in the state association at different levels, so talk a little bit about, Peggy first, about your relationship with us – you were president as you said – about the state association and what kind of experiences you have had with them.
PC: I learned so much and it was just wonderful – I loved it, every bit of it. And Joy goaded me into going to Washington.
AH: Joy Huie (Clayton County, GA)
PC: Yes. She really worked with me on that because I was scared to death to get up there.
AH: There used to be only a handful of people that would go to Washington for the American School Food Service Association legislative conference.
PC: Yes, about five or six, and that was all.
AH: You were part of that elite group though.
PC: I remember Dr. Josephine Martin going down those halls, and Mother had told me, she said, “You know what? When she walks down that aisle, those men pay attention to her.” And they do, they do. Everything I got with that experience, I thought it was just wonderful. It changed me every way. I’m not afraid to talk to anybody now, and I used to be kind of shy, not talk.
AH: Yeah, right. I remember the Peggy for Congress campaign.
PC: Oh my!
JJ: That’s right! I forgot about that.
AH: Tell us a little bit about. I bet Julia will talk about that. Tell us about that one.
JJ: Well, it was when she was going to retire and instead of just having a retirement party here we had an Elect Peggy for Congress campaign, and we had buttons and signs and everything. Oh that was a great memory.
AH: I’ve got one of those buttons.
PC: I forgot about buttons. That was one of Janet Littleton’s things too.
JJ: Yeah, she did it, it was great.
AH: That sounds like something that Janet would have done.
PC: I have such good memories of this work that I’ve done. I love the children and I love the people. And the state really was great. We had good leaders, we really did.
AH: And good directors – y’all were some of that elite group before the early 1980s, and then all of the number of directors has really boomed when we had the Supervisory Assistance Program. Now a lot of those people are retiring and there are going to be a lot of vacancies. Julia, what would you tell somebody about the profession to try to encourage them to come on in?
JJ: I think it’s one of the most noble professions in the world. I always said I have the best job in the world. I work with the best people, and the women that I worked with were just awesome, both locally and our area directors were also supportive. It was a really great, great career, AND you’re impacting a kid’s life. You’re impacting a generation when you impact their nutrition and you’re impacting a generation of women. I feel like I made a difference in women in Ware County because I helped them grow professionally and personally and be the best they could be – and it was fun.
PC: We can walk down the street sometimes and some of them will say, “You used to cook for me.”
JJ: See, I never got to cook for them. I taught them Home Ec but I wasn’t ever a manager.
PC: They saw me in the kitchen so they thought I was cooking. “Mama, that’s my cook.”
AH: This week there were comments due on the new proposed meal pattern changes. Some of the interesting things that I thought in there were going back to the old color-coding kind of things like Vitamin A or C-rich foods. They talk about serve a bright orange or deep green food. Talk a little bit about the meal pattern changes you saw over the years because I know for either one of you they have been pretty significant.
PC: I know chocolate milk is either zero fat or half percent fat.
AH: And I think some of that started in Atlanta – chocolate skim milk – some of the directors in the Atlanta area started that.
PC: That was in the ’70s when they started that.
JJ: We both started with Type-A. You started when you still had butter requirements.
PC: Yeah, I did.
JJ: It wasn’t in place when I started, but it was the Type-A meal with the three ounces of protein and two breads, three-fourths cup vegetable, Vitamin A twice a week, Vitamin C three times a week, and the milk, and the first change I saw was implementing Offer vs. Serve, and allowing the high school students, at that point, to decline part of the meal. And then came SMI – isn’t that what we called it, School Meal Initiative? – was that one. We had a choice of going with that food-based or going with the nutrient standards. We were consolidated at that time and Peggy felt like we should go with the nutrient standards in Ware County. She said, “If we don’t analyze every meal we won’t ever know if we’re meeting the requirements.” So we went with nutrient standards, and a lot of the counties in our area did, and we analyzed every meal.
AH: Other than the menu and nutrient standards, were there some other benefits Peggy that you saw based on the analysis? Were you able to change like quantities or anything like that from what you normally would have done?
PC: Probably yes. When we put our menus in there we got – everything, we knew, was right, and then if we had to change anything though, we had to make sure that was the same thing for it.
AH: So y’all were right in there with the nutrient analysis?
PC: We started off from the very beginning as soon as we could get it.
AH: And you got it done and moved on.
AH: Where a lot of people are still sort of agonizing on it.
JJ: And then because we went to that software – Peggy implemented the production record – so we did the electronic production record in that software.
AH: So it generated production records for them. That’s great.
PC: Yes. I had looked at them when I was with Waycross and my superintendent was very interested in what we were doing and he backed me up with it. So we started out – I had one computer in the kitchen at the high school and one computer in the kitchen at Williams Heights. We got them going good and then we put another one in, and about that time we moved over to Ware County, so we just went ahead and bit the bullet and we just got them all in there.
AH: That’s the thing I’ve noticed about most of our directors – it may take a couple of days to grieve over something because we may not necessarily agree with it, but then we just go on and get it done and move on.
PC: That’s it.
AH: Which is what you have to do with a program that changes so often.
PC: They fussed about it and they hated it and all this. We’d bring them back over there to the office – we had a place over there that all of them could sit at a computer and work.
AH: But you had to train them to use the computer period – from scratch.
PC: We did, and some of them would catch on real quick and some of them still haven’t got it all!
AH: Still working on it, huh?
PC: Still working on it – but it was really good. They finally got to the place that they could use it. Then they found out that they could do a few other things, so it was really good. It was one of the best things we did I think.
AH: Are there some stories or special memories you wanted to share in particular?
JJ: I wanted to share my computer story because I was at Wacona Elementary and I realized that in the office out there they were using a computer to do some things, and it was Apple computers. And I asked the principal – I knew him – and I said, “Any chance you’ve got an old computer I could have?” because we didn’t have any computers. And I talked him out of an old Apple computer. I’m not sure I even had a printer at that point. But anyway I took it to the office, and he gave me the book – I can’t remember the name of the program now – but you had a spreadsheet. And I took the book home and I remember sitting up all night highlighting through that book – reading the book on how to set up a spreadsheet. And I set up a spreadsheet and went to work on that computer. It had two floppies, two five-inch floppies; you put the program in one and the data in the other one. As a matter of fact, I think the first one only had one. I had to put the program in and load it and then put the data one in. So then later on I got one with two floppies, and then I got those little tiny floppies, and when I got a computer that would save the stuff in the computer I thought I was – and the time Annette I went to a meeting and you pulled out a memory stick I said, “WHAT IS THAT?!” I thought I was UPTOWN. I bet it had 256 megs on it.
AH: I could tell you something that’s really funny – when I got a new cell phone – and this tells you I’m not really automated now – but I got my new cell phone, and I’m always interested in taking pictures of flowers and things, so I couldn’t figure out – there was this little bump about as big as the end of my fingernail, and this little plastic thing, and I looked at it and I couldn’t figure out what it did. I knew that they had given me some piece of hardware to take the pictures off of my cell phone to put them onto the hard-drive so I called the girl and I said, “You didn’t give me what I needed to do this” because I was expecting something like a USB drive or something a little bit longer than that, and she said, “That little thing as big as your fingernail is what you need.” And so I went back home and figured it out and so I can successfully do that now. I think the technological changes that we’ve experienced and y’all were out there in front of everybody in doing – and I think I really have to give credit to the State Department of Education and the State Legislature because they really did push technology there and put a lot of money into it for so many years that I think we benefitted from.
JJ & PC: Oh yes.
PC: Y’all were so good – y’all helped us with everything that we did – we really think y’all were the best ones in the United States.
JJ: The training and the vision – you were a visionary, you know, you know that. You just gave us a vision of what we could do and it was bigger than we could ever imagine, but it gave us somewhere to go and it was really good.
PC: Because we knew if you saw that then we were going to do it!
JJ: We were going to try anyway!
AH: My vision now is just keeping the floors swept on a daily basis, and trying to get the dishes run through the dishwasher on a daily basis! I think the ability for the state to do anything was because we had people like you in the local school districts, and we worked hard, all of us together, to get people in your positions, and then when we got you in their positions I think we did work hard together. And I would like to think it was a joint effort in the state. Ware County is not better off for you two having retired, but I’m sure you left it good hands.
PC: We did – she’s really good.
AH: Now tell me a little bit about the person who came behind y’all.
PC: Well, I found her in Washington. She was sitting at the (Child Nutrition Foundation) gala –
AH: What’s her name?
PC: Stephanie Taylor. She was sitting back-to-back with Joyce Akins, and she had known her when she was at Cook County (GA). And so I heard them and I asked Joyce, “Is she looking for a job?” And she said, “Yes. She’d do anything. She’d mop the floor – she’d do anything to get back to Georgia.”
JJ: She was in Sarasota, Florida.
AH: She was in an internship program with Beverly Girard.
JJ: She’d been to an internship program there, but then she took the job in Cook County for seven months and then that didn’t work out, and she went back to Sarasota and worked for Beverly for two or three years as an area supervisor over about fifteen schools.
PC: And so I talked to her after the dinner was over and I said, “Were you really serious about that? Would you really like to come back to Georgia?” She said, “Yes.” So I told Julia, I said, “I’m going to ask Vince when we get back”, he was doing the hiring, so I went back and I said, “Vince, I found somebody that I think would really be good.” And he said, “Ok.” I said, “When’s the deadline?” He said, “Tomorrow.” I said, “Well can we do something about it?” He said, “I tell you what I’ll do. I’ll give you until Monday, and when I turn on my computer Monday morning if it’s on there I’ll take it.” So I called her and told her and she said, “I’ll have it there.” And she did.
AH: So she took your position?
PC: She took my position.
AH: And so you still had the ‘team’ there for a couple of years. Does she work alone now? Did one person replace the two of you?
JJ: We worked together for three years I think and then we had promoted a manager to a lead manager and she promoted her to fulltime lead manager.
AH: So she’s in the central office with her.
JJ: Actually she keeps that person, Pam Studstill, Pam actually stays in the schools most of the time doing the onsite supervision. Stephanie does the other stuff.
PC: Everything else.
AH: Administrative kinds of things.
JJ: And she’s got a terrific program.
PC: She does and she’s done a lot of things that’s really good – some things that Julia and I should have done, but she did.
AH: There are times that I say this about my own retirement – that you just feel like you’ve done what you needed to do and you need to move on and let somebody else have the opportunity to come in, and that’s just a part of life.
JJ: You can’t do it all. There were some things I wanted to do before that I didn’t do.
AH: Talk about that. Talk about things that you would have liked to have done, because I think about that myself with my own position.
JJ: Primarily I would have liked to have rearranged some staff, and I didn’t, but she did that in the last year or so, transferred some managers around and just reshuffled some things, but you know, I told her when she came to work, I said, “Don’t rush into decisions, because it’s hard to follow a strong, popular leader, and I’ve been here thirty years. Peggy and I have been here a long time. You just need to take your time.” And she listened and she did that, and then this past year she – after studying it a couple of years – she made the decisions and reshuffled a bunch of managers and she’s really got the program in good condition. Also, our finances weren’t in as good a condition as I would have liked when I left, and she has done that too. She’s done a great job with that.
AH: Well it’s been fun to reminisce with both of you about what’s been going on, so I’ll give you one last chance to say anything you’d like to say about things we’ve not talked about. Can you think of anything?
PC: I have a funny story.
AH: Well tell us.
PC: Myrtie Dockery was in Coffee County. We went to Macon to work on what we were doing with our bids, procurement. We had been there two or three days. And when they said we all had to go up there to it, and then we had to go through our bids like that, she came out – she said, “I’M THROUGH. I’M THROUGH. I’M GOING TO TOWN RIGHT NOW. I’M GOING HOME!” And she did. And that was IT. We didn’t see her anymore.
AH: Who was it that told her she had to go to this meeting?
PC: We told her she had to go.
AH: So y’all were responsible.
PC: We told everybody they had to go. But she was so funny about it. She said, “That’s it. I’ve had it. I can’t do that. I can’t do that.” And then she threw her hands up. We thought she was just talking because she was so funny anyway. But boy, she didn’t. She went home and told them in there on Monday morning, “I’m quittin’.”
PC: That was it wasn’t it?
JJ: She retired.
AH: There were probably a lot of days I’d have liked to have said that over the years.
PC: She really meant it.
AH: Julia can you think of anything you want to add?
JJ: My best early memory as a director is a smell, and it’s that smell of yeast and the butter, and I still remember it, walking up to those kitchens and they’re making those rolls and using that real butter from USDA and that real, old-fashioned yeast that had to develop – it just smelled so good – and we don’t get that anymore. They have to use margarine and instant yeast – if they get to use any margarine.
AH: Yes, if they’re allowed to use any margarine. I think those are all trends in time that we will remember and cherish for a long time. And on behalf of the state I think we’ve all been very fortunate to be able to work with you two and work together as I feel we have always worked together. Y’all were a team and then you were a team with the rest of us also, partners with the rest of us also.
JJ: We all were a team. I’m glad we got to work with you Annette.
PC: We enjoyed it.
AH: I did want to acknowledge [to Peggy] that there was this birthday celebration yesterday – and I forgot it, I said if I don’t have a secretary I can’t get anywhere – but you celebrated what’s going to be an eightieth birthday – and congratulations, you look forty.
PC: Thank you!
AH: Thank you for the interview.
JJ: Thank you.
PC: Thank you.