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.
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.
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.