Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Memorium for a Mentor: Walter Griffin (1945-2009)

"The Griffin family mourns the loss of Walter Griffin. He died peacefully and unexpectedly in his home November 2. He has been actively retired as Phillips Exeter Academy Food Service Director since 2004 and enjoying spending time with his family, traveling, contributing to his community, and working as a maitre d' at the Stageneck Inn in York Harbor, Maine. He is survived by his wife Sandra, son Charles "Chip," daughter Alison Seuter, and grandchildren Avery and Griffin Seuter. This loss comes as a complete shock to family, friends, loved ones, community members etc. He was an incredibly generous and loving man that will be missed."
And so...there I was online e-mailing back and forth with some friends and I get this e-mail from Walter Griffin's e-mail account. I thought "Wow! This is a blast from the past!" I open it, only to find this sad news.
Walter was the Director of Dining Services at P.E.A. back when I was the dinner chef (1995-1997). He was a big guy who always believed that anything that could be envisioned could be set into motion. He also had high standards so that the guests (the students, faculty, alumni) would be happy. Dining Services there was self-contained (not a contract company) and it was an amazing experience for me in my career.
Walter, his wife, and others had dinner with me in New Orleans, when the city hosted a Summer Food Service Convention. I remember fondly an after-dinner walk with the crazy bunch on Bourbon Street, laughing at almost everything. Walter, aside from a strict boss, was a "good guy." I missed New England dearly in those days and was touched that he took time to have dinner that evening--and to foot the bill! Oh, how much the 8 of us laughed that evening!
The industry has lost a great man with Walter's passing. His memory and standards will always live on in my work at the inn. And, I guess that is just one legacy--one blessing--that mentors of this caliber leave behind...
"Rest and Dance with the Angels, Walter Griffin" (1945-2009)

Monday, November 2, 2009


Greetings, Blog Readers!

The lovely picture above was sent to me by Ron and Kathy S. from Clifton, VA. Ron and Kathy stayed here in mid-October for 4 nights. As you can see, some of the leaf colors were still vibrant at that time (maybe due to so much rain in June).

This coming weekend Inn at Long Lake hosts its 19th Annual Holiday Craft Show. I enjoy this event. It is refreshing to see some of the local artisans who have such passion for their crafting (jewelry, lamp shades, sewn items, wood products--the list is endless). Plus, my Mom (Elaine---perhaps most famous for Elaine's Pistachio Coffee Cake) will be coming up with her knitted mittens and scarves. Many locals pass through the inn to get some early holiday shopping done. Always nice to say "Hello" to them.

Now is the time, by the way, to maybe to begin looking at some holiday appetizers on your favorite food sites. Of course, bring your specialty---but take the next step forward and try something new

That's all for today. Thanks again to Ron & Kathy for the memory of Autumn in New England!

Your Maine Innkeeper,

Keith A. Neubert