Carl Andreasen - Transcript

Transcript of “I Was an Elevator Operator at the Edgewater Beach Hotel”
Interviewee: Carl Andreasen
Interviewer: Dorothy Nygren
Place: Phone interview with Carl Andreasen, Silver Springs, MD
Date: June 27, 2012
Time: 4:33 minutes

CA: I worked there as an elevator operator the summers of 1957, 58 and 59, I was eighteen years old in 1957.

DN: Do you recall what your uniform looked like?

CA: Oh… black shiny shoes, dark green pants and a short white jacket. The only addition to that was when the Shiners had their convention there. We all had to wear little red fezzes that nobody liked. I made twelve dollars a day. I worked all three shifts at one time or another. It was eight to four thirty, four thirty to midnight. When I wanted to relax a little, the midnight shift was fine because I could take along a book. You could read that when there no customers at three in the morning.

There was Summer Theater at the hotel for a few years. Sometimes the stars of the show would be staying there. Probably the biggest name was Groucho Marx. I had him in my elevators a few times. Hans Conried was there. Ann Sheridan was there. There was a road show of Music Man. Joan Weldon was there. She was Marion the Librarian. She had her little poodle, I think it was. That was Robert (French pronunciation). One of the bell boys used to walk Robert for Joan Weldon. I went to see Zero Mostel in Rhinoceros, which was a weird play. Zero Mostel changed into a rhinoceros right on stage.

DN: Were there any permanent guests at the hotel whom you recall?

CA: The president of Pabst Blue Ribbon was Nathan Pearlstein. He was a very quiet modest man because every time he got on the elevator he would say, “Thirteen,” and that was his floor. Now from day one I knew who he was and I knew what floor he was but he never assumed that anyone automatically would know where he would want to go.

DN: I think you said you remembered another permanent guest. Who was that?

CA: I don’t remember his real first name, but everyone called him The Colonel. He was Colonel Yellowby. Nice man, southern accent, the works. He was very high up in prohibition enforcement. He was the man that they were supposed to be afraid of. So he was living in retirement at the Edgewater [Beach Hotel], walked with a cane, a little unsteadily. But if a woman came on [the elevator], he would offer her his arm when they were leaving the elevator to make sure she got off safely, even though he needed the help more than she did.

DN: You said something about some unruly guests?

CA: Oh, they were not celebrities. They were just some partiers – young people who had evidently had a very good time. There must have been five or six of them, men and women. They were very loud and they were very funny – they thought. They had confetti and they were throwing it all over. So they wanted the tenth floor and then they were poking me. These elevators were maybe not the fastest in the world, but they were the fastest at accelerating and decelerating. So I just pretended to forget they wanted the tenth floor and we went by. They said “We wanted ten! We wanted ten!” So I went from high speed up to high speed down and they all became very silent very quickly.

DN: What would you say made the Edgewater Beach Hotel distinctive or special?

CA: It was a destination point.