During one of the “waiting periods” after adding the starter to the milk, The Lady asked the Roth Kase Licensed Cheesemaker supervising (think making sure they didn’t screw anything up) how he came to this career. Knowing that two of the other Cheese Stewards on the trip had partied hearty the night before, Bob pointed to them and said, “In my younger days, like these fine ladies, I liked to party.”
“To party respectably, you need money and to have enough money to party respectably, you need to have a job.”
At the time he was working in construction and construction work can be “spotty”, especially in Wisconsin in the dead of winter. My fellow observers in the Upper Midwest Quadrant tell me in the winter Wisconsin is colder than a ditch-digger’s…well, you get the idea…
When construction work was spotty, money was spotty and that meant partying was spotty…
One winter Bob took a job at the cheese plant to get him through the winter without cutting into his partying…spring came and he decided to stay on for a while longer because the money was at a level that kept him comfortable…but just through the spring. Before he knew it, it was winter…so…”I had to stay till the next spring in order to maintain my partying lifestyle and before I knew it I had eighteen months in at the plant and could apply for my license to be a cheesemaker. I took the test and passed.”
Then, as with many humankinds, he matured, married, had kids and alas, his partying days were behind him. He had other obligations and the cheese mines beckoned.
Now, more than ten years later, he will take the Master Cheesemaker test this August and join the august ranks of less than fifty Master Cheesemakers working in the Wisconsin cheese mines…funny how life takes interesting turns, isn’t it?