Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

Dear Editor:
I liked Jim Rehderís challenge to give $250 to the refurbishing of the Community Hall.  I canít afford $250 right now although I would certainly like to contribute that much.  I am sending a check for $100 which is considerable since I make a living telemarketing and I am a struggling writer.  I think my contribution in the past outweighs any money I contribute now.  Some of us keep on giving.
Back in 1970 when I was a sophomore in high school I was the Hallís Custodian (a nice word for janitor) until I graduated from High School in 1972 and then turned it over to my Mom.
I remember many things about cleaning the Hall.  I got paid minimum wage which was $1.60/hour back then.  Feeling the sting of poverty, the Hall job wasnít much money but it was more money, more than the 50 cents an hour I made babysitting the Jerry Wren family of ten kids, a job I had for seven years.
I remember I put in ten or twelve-hour days back then and always worked weekends.  While my friends went to away basketball or football games or studied, among other things I washed and waxed the main floor of the Hall in preparation for the weekly Saturday night dances.  I wanted it spotless and to shine.  Trouble was the wax made us slip and slide on the dance floor.  It was a hoot to watch.  Guess I got a little carried away with the wax.
I remember cleaning up after the Saturday night dances.  The stench-filled bathrooms were the worst.  The upstairs girlsí bathroom had paper towels all over the floor and used tampons and unsanitary napkins strewn all over.  The boysí bathroom in the basement, however, stifled me.  It had feces and excrement covering the walls, not exactly a cheery job for a high school kid to clean up but somehow I did it.  I even contracted a staph infection from it and had to be hospitalized (without any health insurance) for a few days in my junior year.  I felt the Cottonwood Jaycees should have helped clean up the mess since they were responsible for renting out the Hall for the dances but I cleaned it up myself at $1.60/hour.
I also remember cleaning up after weddings.  Normally the keg of beer completely destroyed my clean, waxed floors.  After it was over about 5 or 6 p.m., I had to hurry and clean it in preparation for the Saturday night dance.
I remember cleaning the former stage and imagining myself to be a celebrity up there in front of a swelled audience giving an important speech.  Even a janitor has dreams.
And, every year the torrential rains would flood the basement and I would enlist my Mom and brothers and sisters to help me clean the residue of water and mud.  It took us days.  And, it wasnít easy.  We didnít have a vacuum that sucked up the water and mud but rather mopped it up by hand using a standard household mop.  The basement also had a small jail which spooked the hell out of me to think that one day there might actually be a prisoner in it who I happened to come upon while cleaning.
The responsibility was great considering I was a high school kid and considering I usually worked alone.  It never dawned on me that life could have been different.
And now, a word of advice.  I would highly recommend that those who rent the Hall in the future pay a damage deposit in addition to a userís fee.  The deposit can be refunded in part or whole if there is no damage done to the facility.  I recently paid a $375 deposit to use the party room at my condo so it is not an uncommon request.  Iíd just hate to see the newly refurbished Community Hall be destroyed by disrespect.
All the best to you,
Joan Kopczynski 
(a former Janitor)

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
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