Thanks for printing the article about Bill and Bea Steele in the April 13, 2021 issue. I was fortunate to work for and learn from Bill Steele from the summer of 1961 until I left Tillamook for college in the fall of 1962. This was the first real job I had, starting as a busboy/dishwasher, working my way up to fry cook. I learned how to work hard, work under time pressure, and work with many people in a small area. As mentioned, the Kentucky Fried Chicken (this was well before "KFC" days) came encased in chipped ice. We had to free the chickens from the ice by hand, cut them on a bandsaw, then count our fingers after they thawed out, just to make sure we hadn't lost any. Other occupational hazards included forearm burns when dropping the chicken pieces into the boiling oil in the pressure cookers, and minor cuts from the hand operated vegetable slicers. No silly OSHA safety regulations back then! The article did not mention Bill's considerable skill at baking praise-worthy pies. Many readers may remember my mother, Fran Smouse. Before each shift, she would remind me to cook up an extra "last batch" of chicken, so that there would always be some unsold pieces to bring home along with the left-over pie. After all that, I still love Kentucky Fried Chicken!
-Scott Smouse, Bellevue, Wash.