Today we had two special visitors at the hotel, as Bill and Margie Scott stopped by the Tavern for lunch. By itself not a unique experience, were it not that Bill mentioned to us that he was the hotel manager in the early 50’s, when he worked for the American Hotels Corporation.
Noting with quick wit that “that made him 3 years old” when he managed the property, Bill shared some great stories of how life was as a General Manager 60 years ago. While it included lots of parties with fellow AHC GM’s, it equally was a hectic lifestyle of moving to various cities every few years and living in hotels.
Bill and Margie had their first child while they were at the Hawthorne, and part of the perks included having their own accommodations on the third floor. They equally recalled the front desk being on the other side of the lobby and the mezzanine overlooking it. Asking if the current owner provided me with living accommodations in the hotel, I had to disappoint Bill, but told him that I at least I was given an office.
Prior to moving to Salem, the Scott’s were in Newport Rhode Island, where they managed another Historic Hotels of America property – Hotel Viking – which opened a year after the Hawthorne Hotel did. When they were asked to move to Salem in the early 50’s, they recalled that “there were so many more trees on the Commons” back then.
Bill and Margie were delighted when I offered to have their picture taken at my desk. They currently reside in Brooksby Village and I hope to see them back many times at the Tavern for more great stories!
(in the picture left to right: current GM Patrick Cornelissen, former GM Bill Scott and his wife Margie Scott)