Alcalá View 1992 8.17
Bussey Ends Production After 23 Years By Jacqueline Genovese When John Bussey came to San Diego as a 19-year-old Navy recruit in 1951, he visited Alcala Park several times, but never dreamt he'd eventually work there. ''That was the farthest thing from my mind," he laughs. But thanks to pneumonia, Bussey did end up at USO some 18 years later. "Catch- ing pneumonia changed my whole life," he explains. "When I joined the Navy, I wanted to be in the construction battalion, but on my way over to Japan, I caught pneumonia, and the Navy sent me back to the U.S. Then I had to change billets, so I became a cook." Bussey was in the Navy for 15 years and served in Vietnam and Korea before he found his way back to Alcala Park in 1969. That's when he landed a job as a relief cook with the company that provided food ser- vice to the university. In 1971, Bussey was promoted to head chef, and was responsible for the prepara- tion and cooking of the lunch and dinner meals for the campus. In 1973, when the university decided to create its own Dining Services Department, Tom Burke, dean of Student Affairs, asked Bussey if he would like to stay on and help. "It was a challenge," Bussey says. ''We went from a Mom and Pop set-up to a high- tech operation. In 1979, we were serving more students than we had room for." The building of the Hahn University Center was a highlight for Bussey, who provided input on the design for the kitchen area. In 1988 the father of five was promoted to production supervisor, and his respon- sibilities included overseeing not only the production of the meals, but the conduct of the students in the dining rooms. "If a stu- dent ever got out of line, I would approach
Benefit Briefs By Vicki Coscia
them like a son or daughter," Bussey says. ''They always listened, I never really had a problem with that." The Ohio native says his world travel with the Navy has come in handy at USO, especially with the international students. ''You should see their faces when I talk to them, especially the students from Japan, they are so surprised to hear me speaking their language!" Working with the students was one high- light of his tenure at USO, but Bussey says his fondest USO memory has nothing to do with food or students. "It was when Alex Haley came here in 1970. He was scheduled to speak in Camino (now Shiley) Theatre, and there were only about 10 of us, so we moved to a classroom. We ended up staying there talking until one in the morning. He talked about his research for Roots. He was incredible, I'll never forget that." Bussey is reluctantly saying good-bye to USO after 23 years. "I have arthritis in my fingers, and I can't bend them. I just can't do things the way I used to," he explains. Retirement will allow Bussey to devote more time to his Linda Vista community: he is on the Linda Vista Beautiful committee and has been involved with the Linda Vista Multi-Cultural Fair since its creation in 1985. He'll also have more time with Ethel, his wife of 40 years, and his seven grand- children. ''You know, if it weren't for that pneumonia, I may have never met Ethel," Bussey says with a twinkle in his eye. "I met her at a ship's party after I was sent back from Japan. Six weeks later, we were mar- ried." Will the man who has cooked so many meals for countless USO students continue to cook at home? "John likes to cook when the whole family is together," Ethel says with a smile, ''because then he can cook in quantity. When it's just the two of us, I'll cook."
Did you know that laughing speeds up the heart rate, raises blood pressure, accelerates breath- ing, and increases oxygen con- sumption? Do it 100 to 200 times a day and you have the same benefits as 10 minutes of rowing. A good belly-laugh is like an apple a day. It's good for us and problems you may have with the medical or dental carriers. If you are not already aware, there is a formal process to express your questions and concerns. This process brings the problems lo the carriers' attention, and re- quires them to respond to your concerns. Special forms to start this process are available in Human Resources. StaffMedical/Maternity Leaves of Absence...During the time employees are receiving coordinated paychecks from USD and SDI, they are considered on paid leave. Once accrued sick and then vacation hours are ex- makes us feel good, too. We are interested in any coverage is directly affected by any type of leave. According to the university's policy, medical coverage for the employee is paid by USO up to four months from the start of the leave. This guaran- tee is processed two ways: through BenUflex payments while the employee is on paid leave, and then as a departmental expense when the employee goes on leave without pay. Look for more information about staff leaves in the next Alcala View...Have a great sum- mer! ...... Don't forget to cast your vote for the Administrator of the Year. (See insert.) The award will be presented at the July 31 Staff Employee Recognition Picnic by the Staff Employee Association. hausted, their leave status changes from paid to leave without pay. An employee's insurance
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