Interviewee: Sylvia Grabert

Interviewer: Melba Hollingsworth

Date: November 11, 2008

Location: Iberia Parish, Louisiana

Description: Sylvia Grabert is a retired food service director for Iberia Parish in Louisiana. Before coming to Iberia Parish, Sylvia founded the first school food service program in St. James Parish. She holds degrees in both Education and Dietetics, and taught school for several years before going into school food service.

Melba Hollingsworth: Sylvia why don’t you tell us your name, a little about yourself and where you grew up.

Sylvia Grabert: Ok. Well, my name is Sylvia Wattle Grabert, and I was born and raised all my life in Lake Providence, Louisiana. That is in the north-eastern part of the state right on the Mississippi River.

MH: And tell us a little but about how you got into school food service and your schooling.

SG: Oh, ok, well I went to North Western State College in Natchitoches. I had a professor, Mrs. Hamm, who was a graduate from Chicago University and she was a little lady who had a dynamite personality and she taught me Nutrition. And I was in Education at the time but my best friend though was in Dietetics and she kept trying to convince me to go into Dietetics, which she was never successful in doing. So I graduated in Education and I started teaching school. And then I had a health problem with my throat so I had to stop talking so much, so I then went back to school and got a degree in Dietetics. But in the meantime though while I was making this transition I decided that having taught school I had summers free, so I got a job at Dixie Hospital in Hampton, Virginia, as an Assistant Dietitian since I wasn’t certified. It was a huge hospital and the food service director was a retired military Colonel, and he really operated a tight ship and that is where I first began to learn about food service. There were three dietitians on staff, excellent, excellent intelligent women and they taught me so much, so then I decided to go back to school and become one myself.

MH: Oh, did you get a master’s?

SG: Not at the time, but eventually that would happen, but not at that time. I met my husband, got married, and I knew I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. Well that didn’t last long because the superintendents were looking for food service directors. And I think they had to have one on staff in order to continue getting their state and federal reimbursements. So when we moved here in New Iberia the food service director was retiring.

MH: What was her name? Do you remember?

SG: Let me see – it was Porter, Mrs. Porter. I can’t think of her first name right now but she was the first one ever there and she was retiring. And so my then principal knew I had done food service work at St. James Parish before I left to come to do work here so he asked if I would be interested and at first I said, “No.” Anyways there were about eight applicants. I ended up being talked into being one and I ended up getting the job. But part of that, I started the first food service program ever in St. James Parish and that was a real, real challenge, because there were eleven schools. Every school was allowed to make their own menu and I had to then take that menu and critique it to meet the federal guidelines. So I was actually dealing with eleven menus and eleven budgets, because each principal was allowed to pretty much control his or her budget, and every menu was different. And then when I came here the school board, Iberia Parish School Board really wanted a centralized menu and they wanted centralized purchasing, which in Louisiana had never been heard of before. I hadn’t heard of it either, but they had envisioned that I would buy meat and have it cut, wrapped, and delivered. Well I had the experience of working in food service, tremendous organization at the Dixie Hospital in Virginia, and I knew that could not be done. so I had been on staff for about two week when we had an executive meeting and I said, “Well, I’ll have to resign. I really will not be able to do this.” And so the president of the school board said, “Wait just a minute, wait just a minute.” And he said, “What can you do?” and then I began to tell them what I felt like I could do and what could work. And I said, “Well, first of all I can definitely do, you know, centralized menus. That is not a problem. Next thing I can do is I can do a central warehouse”, because Iberia Parish had inherited buildings, what used to be the old navy base, and so there was a mess hall and a big, huge walk-in cooler/ freezer available to them. Not that I had ever done this before, but I really felt like it could be done. So I said that I would be very happy to do that. I said, “Let’s start out with just meats and canned goods.” And then of course we would be storing the USDA commodities there. So really and truly there was not much else to do, but it ended up being a central warehouse for everything from measuring spoons to baking pans to all small equipment, all food, and everything associated with the school food service lunch program was there. And we started out with an open bed oversized pickup truck, to two huge food service trucks, one refrigerated and one just enclosed, and a warehouse staff of two divers, a helper, and a warehouse man that brought the food to all 32 schools in Iberia Parish.

MH: So what year was this?

SG: This all actually started in 1970, 1971.

MH: Really, and you were there until when?

SG: Until 1998, yes, and we were getting lots of wonderful commodities. And of course the bottom line was that the school board quickly learned to trust the school food service supervisor, which was an educational process because you know it’s a big program, lots of money, lots of responsibilities, and when you’re 32 years old you have to prove yourself so to speak and that was a real challenge, but it worked out great. The superintendent was a year from retirement and I guess to him I looked like an adolescent. But anyway, he really learned to trust and depend on me really. The beautiful part was that, well first of all the lunch program was in a deficit and that’s always kind of interesting. That didn’t bother me as a new employee, but the superintendent couldn’t quite understand that I had to get customers, which were the students, in order to build up my income, which were my reimbursements. I couldn’t get the reimbursements without the customers; I couldn’t get the customers without spending money, so that was the real challenge. So he did finally say, “Ok, you just do what you got to do.” So what happened was I did upgrade the lunch menus. We went from feeding an average of, I think at that time school was first grade through 12, and Iberia Parish was feeding about 32% of the children that came to school, attended school, that ate at the cafeteria.

MH: About what enrollment was that?

SG: About 11,700.

MH: And you were feeding 32% out of that?

SG: That is correct. And so what happened was, some very wonderful things happened, and of course the deficit; keep that in mind. So the school board actually put money for our one month’s operation to support the menus that I was planning, with the idea to get these customers in. Well, the customers did start streaming in, and then of course another thing that they had not really taken advantage of at the time was the free-reduced lunch program. There was a lot of myths about that and misconception – you know a free lunch – that they were going to go into debit because there wasn’t going to be any money coming in. So I had to clear up that idea, and actually, clear up meaning to the school board; there were fourteen school board members and this was all totally new. So I mean to them – it had never been explained to them by the previous person and really the previous supervisor was not too much – the director was not into free and reduced lunch very much; he didn’t encourage it so to speak. And so we did start getting the applications out of course to everybody, you know like we were mandated to do, and then I started talking to parent/teacher organizations. I would talk to at least three a month, to clear up any questions or misunderstanding, and so that helped participation a lot. Then of course, when the leaders of the schools, like when the football player, baseball players, the cheerleaders, when all these leaders started coming into the school cafeteria to eat everybody wanted to come. It was just a very social gathering place as well as a place to have lunch.

MH: It increased the participation to what?

SG: Oh, it increased the participation to 82%. So I was happy, because children were getting nutritional food that would help them perform as an athlete and to help them perform as a student. But of course the school board was very excited because we now had money.

MH: And you were able to get more reimbursement for those that were at-risk students.

SG: Yes.

MH: And what percentage were at risk-students?

SG: At that time we only had, I think if I am not mistaken, it was probably around 46% free and reduced.

MH: I still like that number.

SG: And there were many who qualified, but they just would not fill out the paperwork for various reason. And then, like I said, as the principals began to understand that there were no fears involved and that you just had to fill out the information accurately and correctly and that was it. It was just a matter of checking of what you had on your application verses what was approved or disapproved and that is just the way it was. Then or course when we eventually got computers in the schools and the cafeteria manager was doing all the bookkeeping, which was at one time done by teachers, to keep up with if they paid by the week, the month, or whatever, and to also have absolutely no identification, because everybody had money in the computer whether you were free or reduced, it made it a lot easier. In the high schools we went from about 10% participation to about 62%. But over all the whole parish it was about 82%.

MH: Eighty-two percent, now what enrollment was there when you left for the parish, and you grew a lot you say you were 11,000 a little over 11,000 when you first…?

SG: It was about 12,000. Well, we lost some students when the oil business went down; many people transferred; Texaco, for example, closed down. And so we lost a lot of families and so our enrollment actually went down.

MH: What year was that, do you know?

SG: That was 1981 or 1980, something like that I think. It was in the 80’s. And that never did come totally back, but we did get some people back into our parish, but we did lose a lot of families. But ironically speaking, we kept increasing the participation so the numbers never did change that much. So when I retired we were feeding right at 12,000 a day lunch, and about 6,000 breakfasts in 1998.

MH: In 1998. Wow, can you believe that? So did you ever go back and, you said you went back to school and…

SG: Okay, I never did complete my masters’ degree, because I was grandfathered in whenever, in fact what was kind of ironic about this was I sat on the committee that designated for the supervisors to have a master’s degree so that they would be more equitable with salary adjustments and pay. It would equal to that of other educational supervisors, but I did have everything towards my master’s except for my thesis, and I really wasn’t expecting to make this a career so I just never did go back to get it.

MH: So how many years were you a supervisor?

SG: Well it was from, I worked in this parish from 1970 to 1998, whatever that equates, and then I worked one year in St. James Parish.

MH: Yes, so that’s how many years?

SG: Let’s see, 70, 80, 90 that’s 28, 29 years.

MH: Twenty-nine years, and you saw a lot of changes didn’t you?

SG: Oh yes, yes.

MH: Are there some things that stick in your mind?

SG: Well, oh yes, oh my goodness yes. The biggest changes in school food service from whenever I first began to whenever I retired were that, well two things, number one is employees and number two was equipment. When I first began all cooking was done on open-burner stoves and huge pots like this (gestures broadly). There was a saying in Iberia Parish that went like this, “You could always tell the cafeteria employees because they have the biggest muscles and most scars.” And I said to the board and to the superintendent, “That will change.” And you know, they’re looking at me, I’m 31 years old and they’re like, “This lady, she really is a pipe dreamer.” Well they learned later that was not the case at any rate. But again the biggest challenge was educating the already educated, like the principals for example. I had a huge high school, Iberia Senior High School. They had six huge 12-burner stoves. Could you image the kind of heat that caused whenever all those burners would light up? Well anyway –

MH: And no air conditioning?

SG: No air conditioning. So anyway, and these big pots steaming on them, well anyway I was going to take four of these big stove ranges out and I was going to replace them with convection ovens, a steamer and a kettle. And I just thought nothing of doing that, so I just went ahead and did it, basically. And the new equipment came in and I got a telephone call from the principal and he said, “Sylvia, you need to get over here right away.” And he is a tremendous gentleman, I mean just a delightful person. I said, “Oh, did someone get hurt?” He said, “Oh, no.” He says, “It’s in reference to that equipment that’s coming in.” I said, “Well, I’ll be right there.” So immediately I was there and he said, “I just want you to know that you did not discuss this with me and this is not going to be installed.” I said, “Well why not?” He said, “You have frightened these employees to death, and there is not going to be anybody come into this school and make these women work any harder than they are already working.” I said, “I don’t blame you.” Then he says, “Well, then we understand each other/” And I said, “Yes we do, but I have a request.” He says, “What is that?” I said, “I have the same goal that you have. I don’t want these women to work any harder. That’s what this is all about.” I said, “Allow me to install this equipment and to train them how to use it. Then in just six weeks, that’s all I want, six weeks, if you’re not totally satisfied with this equipment I will then take it all out.” “Oh, no” he said, “I’ve heard that story before.” I said, “Well, what else?” He says, “Well, this equipment will not leave this premises.” I said, “Oh, no problem.” So we found a space in the gymnasium somewhere and we put these ranges there, and we covered them with bisquine and they stayed right there and I said, “Okay, if you don’t like what I’m doing then we’ll take it out and put this right back in and it will stay right here.” He said, “That’s a deal.” Well we never did put them back in.

MH: The ladies learned how to use them.

SG: Oh, did they and did they love it. And no more scars because of those big fry pans and the ovens, and the kettles and the steamers. And we were like a tremendous restaurant really, and they caught on quickly. I had teased them later though; I had put it on my calendar six weeks so I came back before I went to the principal and I went to them and I said, “Okay, today is the day of reckoning. Do I or do I not bring back those ranges?” “What are you talking about?” I said, “Well, that was the agreement.” “You’re not taking out our equipment.” I said, “Only if you ask me to.” “Oh Mrs. Grabert, now you know better then that.” So anyway I did go to the principal and I said, “Really, let’s make sure.” He just laughed and said, “Oh no; we love the equipment Sylvia.” He said, “In fact I was going to call you and tell you to pick up those old stoves.” So then you know equipment, that was a huge change. And the next thing that was a big, tremendous difference when I first started and as I worked through the process was employees. When I first began it was really a trial and error type thing, you know cornbread today might taste good if Jane was on it, but cornbread next week might taste like something totally different if Sue was on it doing the recipe. And so of course again, people really listened to money. I explained to the ladies, to the employees I said, “You know, we’re working on salaries, we’re working on improved work conditions, and I work through the managers on these issues. I said, “We can’t have it both. You have to help me help you so to speak. In other words we have to save money and build trust with our customers.” So I said, “If we have corn bread on this week it’s got to taste exactly the same next week. Because if our customers come in and say, “Oh I like corn bread,” and then they come next week and say “Is this corn bread?”, so we started doing recipes.

MH: Standardized recipes.

SG: Many recipes. You know, in fact I ran into a cafeteria manager not long ago and she said she gave her composition book to another manager in another parish or something. But at any rate I said, “It can be your recipe but it has got to be written down where the next person can take that and do it exactly.” Of course the USDA recipes were wonderful. We only I think found two that didn’t work and put big X’s on them so that they were never repeated again. Well, one was a devil’s food cake and I will never forget it went over in the oven, it was just too much liquid and it was no big deal. It tasted good but we just couldn’t do that.” So we eliminated that and started really getting a library of wonderful, trustworthy recipes, and so they always like to say who cooks the best but I said, “You know, we don’t want to hear that. We want to know who cooks the same and its got to be measured to the best”, and so that was the situation. Even the warehouse men, you know, that was way before mission statements, but we definitely in Iberia had a mission statement. And the employees were part of helping me too, and I said, “What are your expectations as a cafeteria employee?”, and this became more then just a job. It then became serving children, and serving them the best meal that we could at the lowest cost. And even the warehouse men, like I said, were involved in this. It was a cost-based thing, but I said, “You know, when you burst open a case of frozen green beans it costs money, and if you do this three times a week it costs more money.” This put it into dollars and cents and showed them how important it was that they were careful and that they were accurate and that they put out a good product.

MH: Can you tell me some of the foods that you cooked that were indicative of this area?

SG: Okay. Well, the first thing that I put in that received some attention I guess you could say was fried fish.

MH: Oh, catfish?

SG: Fried catfish. And it was expensive, but again I brought in customers and the people in this area, they fish for a living, many people do, they’re used to good fish, not just any kind of fish. In fact I think there were two people who came and asked if we had fish at a reasonable price, how often would I serve it. One of them actually put in a pond in Mississippi by the way, Mississippi Catfish, because they have really great catfish. So that was one thing and another thing was once a year I would have crawfish etouffee, so they would always look forward to that. Crawfish comes in the spring and I would wait for the price to drop and again bringing in the employees now, we wanted to have crawfish etouffee; we could not have any mistakes. “If you’re doing fish sticks for example, I don’t want you to burn them,” because that did happen once and I had to write up a negative report on this lady, I said, “I love you but I just cant afford you; you have just got to be specific.” And when they understood that it would go better. But if we were careful we could have these nicer things, another thing of course – chicken gumbo. I will have tell you a story, my name is not the easiest name to deal with – Grabert. However, one Sunday afternoon my home phone rings and it’s this lady and she and her family had moved in with the oil business and they are from Denver, Colorado. She said, “If you don’t mind I’d like for you to tell me what my child ate at school on Friday.” I said, “Well, ma’am I am not at my desk and I do not have the menus memorized but I can call you Monday.” “Well,” she said, “I’ll tell you what they said it was, what they said it was ‘water from the ditch'”. She said, “I’m sure it’s something that’s eaten around here.” I said, “Oh, that’s chicken and sausage gumbo.” And I said, “You know, I can understand how that might equate to their little minds.” So she said, “I want to know what it is, how it’s prepared, and where can I go to a restaurant and buy it, because I want my children to know what Acadian lifestyle is all about.” So I told her exactly how we made it and how it is a grayish-brownish color, and she sent me a very nice thank-you note; her husband ended up loving it. But anyway, we did gumbo.

MH: What did you serve on Mondays?

SG: I beg your pardon?

MH: Did you by any chance serve red beans and rice on Mondays?

SG: Oh, and that is something else my customers did not like, I learned that from a survey; they did not like one thing on Monday and one thing on Friday. They liked it to be, in quote ‘a surprise’. So we did have the menus on the radio and I became a radio personality I guess you could say, I could go to the grocery store and some kid behind me would say, “That’s the lady on the radio.” But nevertheless we did put the menus on the radio and they were always different. You do repeat things but like if I had fried chicken for example it would never always be with rice dressing and green beans, it would be fried chicken with mashed potatoes one time and maybe rice dressing another time. Something with fried fish, it was never just fried fish and French fries; maybe it might be fried fish with fries one time but the next time it would be fried fish with white beans and rice, which is a very favorite of this area. But I would try to move around that which went with the entrée so it would always be somewhat of a surprise.

MH: But you did have a kind of cycled menu planned though?

SG: In a way, yes. In other words my cycle menu type of thinking was, once a month in there I will serve fried fish, one week I’ll serve brown meat fixed somehow three times a week, and the next week I’ll serve it two times, I will do chicken once a week, red beans and rice once every five weeks; they eat that a lot at home so they like something new when they get to school, or something that they don’t always get at home, at school. Then meatloaf was never a popular item but I would do it about once every six or eight weeks, things like that.

MH: What changes have you seen in the child nutrition programs over the years since you have been in it?

SG: Over the years what I see now, well we used to cook from scratch. We used recipes and really utilized the USDA commodities in the kitchen and we would always try and prepare the food as close to the serving time as possible so it would be a very fresh product. But now its more a heat-and-serve type thing and more conventional foods, that sort of thing. But whenever I was involved in the program it was really, the students used to refer to it as real food. We did have fish sticks for example, but again I would purchase the cod, not the pollock, because again these children are used to the real quality fish and they didn’t care for the pollock, with that black line running through it. So I would pay more money for it, but again all the employees were helping me to save money so we could have quality food items.

MH: And you knew quality too.

SG: Yes. And then of course we had open campuses, especially in the high schools, that they could come and go when they wanted. And so I was competing basically with every food chain, and the food chains incidentally, are right up and down the drag from the high school. Children would actually, those that were half-day students would stay for lunch and then go to their jobs, home, or whereever they wanted. And the students loved the homemade bread; they loved the cinnamon rolls. You want to hear a cinnamon roll story?

MH: Yes, I want to hear a cinnamon roll story.

SG: Well one time I was going to a meeting and I was flying and it was me and one more person on the plane. On this particular flight we had to go to Dallas and then from Dallas back into Atlanta. And so this young man was sitting in another part of the plane, but eventually he came and sat by me and we began to talk, and come to find out he was from Virginia, I believe, but he had married a girl from New Iberia, and we had boarded this plane in Baton Rouge. Well, at any rate, we began talking and he said, “Oh, do you have anything to do with the cinnamon rolls at New Iberia Senior High?” And I said, “Well, I don’t know what you are talking about.” I said, “That is my job; I am a child nutrition director for all the schools in Iberia.” But I said, “What about cinnamon rolls?” “Well,” he said, “my mother-in-law makes sure when she substitute teaches she always asks ‘Are we having cinnamon rolls?'” So anyway I couldn’t believe I’m hearing a story 5,000 feet in the air about one of our high schools with a complete stranger. So what you do is very much noticed in your community, at least it was when I was working.

MH: It travels doesn’t it?

SG: Oh, yes.

MH: So what do you think is one of your most significant contributions to the field?

SG: Contributions to the field of education?

MH: What have you seen change in the field itself, the people who are coming up? Food service directors; have you seen changes in the directors who are now in the child nutrition programs?

SG: Well once I retired I truly have not been back in the cafeteria and I can only share with you what I hear, parents tell me whenever I go places. For example this summer I was at a baseball game to watch my grandchildren play baseball and a lady came up to me and said, “Are you Sylvia Grabert?” I said, “Yes.” And she said, I come to find out she is a school teacher and she said, “I’m sorry to say, but there is just great disgruntlement in our schools in this particular parish in regards to the child nutrition programs as far as the menus.” And she said, “I tell them it wasn’t always that way. We had an entrée, we had homemade bread, we had fresh vegetables, we had fresh salads.” But in this particular parish, in Iberia Parish, they really had basically gone to heat and serve items. And I don’t know what the participation is anymore, but I do know according to the public that I run into, it is not very popular.

MH: They remember more of the scratch cooking type. I’m sure that’s what it is.

SG: Well, yes. There was one school teacher, his family are very well known caterers in town, and somebody said, “Well, I guess you bring your lunch.” And he said, “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss school lunch.” So we had a lot of adult participation, which was very helpful, because when students see teachers going in the cafeteria to eat, that’s a lot of clout. But anyway, like I said, the cost is much more expensive too, and it’s a big change.

MH: Wages probably also, don’t you think?

SG: Well, I think salaries have gone up, which is good for the school food service employees. And what was really neat, in this particular parish they passed a bond issue for salaries so that was really good. It made sure that it included the school food service people as well. So that helped out and we didn’t have to ask parents to go up on the price of lunch to pay for the wage increase. It was covered in the bond issue.

MH: That was so gracious of them.

SG: Oh very, but it was only correct and justified, because school food service employees are a staff member in the school of education.

MH: Is there anything else that you want to add, any more stories or anything you can think of?

SG: I just really say that it was a great experience for me and, when I would plan the menus I would actually go to the library where it would be really quiet. And just looking out at the fountains and watching the people in this area go by would be an inspiration to me number one, but number two, I would always consider the mom and dad with 3 to 4 children. They weren’t eligible for free and reduced lunch and yet through their taxes were paying for that, but yet they were struggling financially to keep their kids in school. So I would always consider this little family. Or the single mom who was struggling and maybe she had two jobs, which would mean she wouldn’t actually get free lunch but maybe she would qualify for reduced lunch. But there was still money leaving the home to have lunch, so I would always try to consider them and keep the lunch quality up, but the lunch price down, so that everybody could participate if they wanted to.

MH: Do you remember how much the meals were back then?

SG: Well, when I first started they were thirty cents.

MH: For lunch?

SG: For lunch.

MH: And for breakfast, even though that came in later?

SG: When breakfast came in it was fifteen cents, and then when I retired, I think it was twenty-five cents, and lunch, when I retired we were up to sixty cents.

MH: That bond money really helped didn’t it?

SG: And they still have the bond money but they are up to $1.00 now.

MH: Anything else, are you still a part of or do you still go to ADA, and American School Food Service Association?

SG: No, because when I retired it was just like my life took a whole different turn, so no, I don’t. I’m not basically connected at all. I do a lot of civic things, and my school food service background and experience, it just helps a lot. I’m doing some things with Keep New Iberia Beautiful and also a clean city. It brings me with the mayor and the parish president and my experience working with the school board has helped a lot. I did have a, I guess you could say, a conversation with the new superintendent about a year ago in reference to some, believe it or not, oak trees, but they are building a new school and they have a lot of oak trees, so our New Iberia Garden Club was very interested in them not cutting them down, which, thank God, they did not.

MH: You’re enjoying it.

SG: Yes I am. It’s really a lot of fun.

MH: Well, I’m really excited to get to see you again.

SG: Well, same here.

MH: We had such a wonderful district, really great people.

SG: Yes we did. That was another thing that was so neat about the job, your co-workers in other parishes so to speak, because I learned so much from you people, really did.

MH: We really did network didn’t we?

SG: Very much so. What was so wonderful was the honesty in our particular group. I just felt like it just was not touchable, I mean you know we could differ and yet we could say what the lesson is. And then sure you might be sincere about what you are doing but you might also be sincerely wrong and so the debate would begin, who was sincerely right and wrong because everybody was sincere. But it was very stimulating, very motivating, and I really enjoyed, always, our meeting, and left refreshed and challenged to say the least, and very proud of all our programs. It wasn’t, I know, ever feeling jealous over any other parish or their program. It just felt so good. If you could take an idea that I had and use it, wonderful. I just felt so blessed that you would give me ideas that I could take home, and it wasn’t a matter of who got the credit. It was just does it work? If it does, go do it.

MH: We definitely shared didn’t we?

SG: Oh yes.

MH: It was a unique bond.

SG: Very much so; it helped to make very strong programs. I think all of our programs were strong and it was just a tremendous networking. And what was so neat was that it wasn’t just at meetings, but you could pick up the phone and say, “Look, I’m having problems with whatever. Do you have any suggestions?”, or “I’m having an in-service and my employees in my parish really need help. I’ve got about 20 new employees. Do you know a good person that I could bring in to teach them how to do yeast breads, because they are just tired of hearing me talk? And in my parish we used so and so, and we had this result and it was really good, I really enjoyed it.” And it really enriched the program here at Iberia, because of all the other programs in the area.

MH: Again, thank you so much. I’m so glad we got to catch up.

SG: Well good. I hope I didn’t talk your head off.