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The Banner Staff

A large staff ran the resort. Many staffers came back year after year. For that matter, so did many of the guests. Jobs were divided into "adult" jobs and "kid" jobs. The grownup jobs were taken by a longtime group, primarily Jack's immediate  family, who were also his partners. 

Jack's wife Cecelia ("Ceil") managed the guest room operation, including housekeeping. Ceil's sister Mary Jewett managed the laundry, which ran 24/7 to service the demanding needs of the resort. Jack's sister Flo Levowitz oversaw the front desk, including reservations, her husband Irv handled the back office, including bookkeeping. Jack's other sister Claire Goldblatt ran the dining room, while her husband Lou kept things humming in the sometimes chaotic kitchen.

Among other well-known Banner employees in the "grownup" jobs were entertainment directors Alan "Foozie" Gordon in the early years and later the affable Jack Mathers; Harry Molbert, the corny dance instructor, who held forth at the pool most afternoons; Irv Jeffries and his band performed nightly either onstage or in the  lounge; Pistol Pete, the gate guard, whose belt buckle sported an impressive pistol motif; longtime chef Abe Flaks and  pastry king Werner Oppenheimer provided the food, no small feat given that a typical meal accommodated more than 300 guests at a time in its two dining rooms sometimes with two separate seatings. In addition, weekly lakeside barbecues were eagerly anticipated events.

From the 1940s through the early 1960s, the Banner social staff was an integral part of the entertainment, performing skits and providing musical entertainment. Click here for photos of these classic routines.

As with many other Moodus resorts, college kids came from across the Northeast for the dozens of jobs available for the summer. Some jobs were clearly coveted. For instance, the sports director and lifeguard positions offered mostly pleasant outdoor work and plenty of opportunity for social interaction. Other jobs required more sweat and less sunshine: dining room work, for instance. Still others like kitchen jobs and anything in the laundry, for example, provided little opportunity for pleasant interludes. Many of these positions were held by Caribbean and other immigrants.

Some jobs generated big tips and a nice income (wait staff, lifeguards) while others hovered at minimum wage (groundskeeper, camp counselor). Rustic staff cabins housed most of the summer workers while others commuted from area towns. For many of the kids who competed for jobs at the resort,  part of the attraction was the chance of a summer romance.

Here are some pictures of staff through the years.

Click here for a fifties Banner brochure
Read users' stories of Banner summers

Banner-Front-Desk.jpg (23305 bytes) Jack Banner's sister Flo Levowitz (left) and the front desk staff during the 1950s. BL-Pistol-Pete.jpg (12572 bytes) Often the first staffer a guest would see is Pistol Peter (left), the security guard who manned the front gate, shown here in a gag pose with another staffer.
BL DR-Board-1950s.jpg (32370 bytes) Every morning the athletic director chalked up the day's events on the board outside the dining room.  This shot is from the 1950s. BL DR-Board-1960s.jpg (21539 bytes) Athletic Director Bob Bernstein chalks the activities available on the last day of a 1960s summer season -- Labor Day Monday
BL Molbert-Bossa-Nova-1961.jpg (12812 bytes) Dance instructor Harry Molbert gave free group lessons twice a day. Here he teaches the Bossa Nova in 1961 at the outdoor stage. BL Molbert-w-Guests.jpg (10235 bytes) Harry Molbert (right) became part of many guests' memories -- and photo albums.
Irv_Howard.jpg (11977 bytes) Jack Banner's brother-in-law, Irv Levowitz, ran the office operations. Here Irv poses with Elston Howard, the 1950s NY Yankees catcher and coach. Irv_Unknown.jpg (17416 bytes) Irv Levowitz poses with an unidentified  visiting athlete.
Susan_Victorian.jpg (13414 bytes) Costumed in Victorian garb, Susan Banner, Jack and Ceil's daughter, poses with guests in front of the Olympic-sized pool  BL-Werner.jpg (15545 bytes) Werner Oppenheimer was the longtime pastry chef, turning out spectacular pastries by the hundreds every day.

MORE CLASSIC PHOTOS FROM BACK IN THE DAY OF BANNER LODGE 

Here's Jack! The main man at Banner Lodge
The Banner Staff
Work, play and a great summer tan
Country Cabins A comfy knotty pine experience
Food, So Much Food
No hunger allowed
The Social Scene
Mixing it up in Moodus 
Good Sports for All From bocce to baseball and more
The Main Stage
The stars came out at night

If you would like to share memories of your time spent at a Moodus resort, or if you have photographs of the old resorts, please click here to e-mail us.

OLD MOODUS CENTER
BACK IN THE DAY


From the Early 1900s
to Its Teardown

HISTORIC VIEWS OF
MOODUS RESORTS

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Ads & Flyers

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Banner Lodge


Camp Wopowog


Cave Hill


Ted Hilton's


Other Resorts

EARLY VIEWS OF
EAST HADDAM

Goodspeed, Gelston, Vistas, Travel & More

1913 BRIDGE
OPENING SOUVENIR

Celebrating a
River Crossing

 
 

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