The Orphanage

“Living and working in Put-in-Bay was a vicious cycle of inhumane work hours, copious amounts of liquor and the illusion that what was happening around you was real. As for the orphanage… I don’t know how to sum that up in one sentence.”

“A noisy, dysfunctional box – concealing a group of coworkers thoughts [not to ever be repeated] over many, many [omit] bottles and laughs.”

“It’s more than a love/hate. It’s like Christmas everyday, but sometimes you’ve just got to put down the egg nog.”

-All quotes from residents of 310 [or was it 210?] Doller Ave.

Imagine a room the size of a living room. Now stick a bedroom for 4 girls [but usually including a guy… sometimes even a handful of visitors], a kitchen, dining room, living room and bathroom in that space. Obnoxious, yes? Make you think of Annie, a more terrifying college dorm room, an orphanage? Exactly. Which is why my glorified residence while working on South Bass Island aka Put in Bay for the past two summers, was deemed this name that held so MUCH MEANING – The Orphanage.

I always knew The Orphanage would be a great anecdote. [I need to show you a picture of this aptly named place.]

Okay, so I couldn’t find a full pic- but, at least you see what we were working with.

I have to hand it to the people I lived with. It took a certain kind of person to accept the weird, naked [really, no pun intended], intense environment. We bitched, we complained, we hated our lives most days… but, that moment when we were all off work – totally exhausted, laying in our beds and sometimes too tired to take even our hideous Hawaiian work shirts off – we could dine in hell together. Misery loves company, and I was lucky to have a great group.

There aren’t enough words to describe this place. And, I’m sure no one in the cyber world wants to read the millions of chapters I could detail on it. So, while when I left this little slice of heaven, I was more than ready to go – I feel the need to reflect… so that I can later reflect in life – and laugh.

1. The porch was indeed almost caught on fire.

2. This was the birthplace of Chip Merritt-Kearney, Bartender Olympics – 2011. A victorious event.


3. It was like a hostel…. but living, eating, breathing, working [12+ hour days, 6 days a week] and emerging yourself into the life of every single one of your roommates.

4. And we can’t forget the many friends who called The O “home” for a weekend or two.

5. And finally.. I’ll leave you with this last quote.

“….waking up to an alarm with an apartment filled with people, like a smelly sardine can. All of us awaking at the same time… to walk to work and do the 24 hour routine again.”

DISCLAIMER: This post was intended purely for reflection, reminiscing and to hopefully ensue epiphanies shall any of its’ past inhabitants attempt to re-locate and return. 


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