Breakfast at Laurie's

Laurie Litowinsky

Mac Hall cafeteria legend Laurie Litowinsky retires after 50 years at OHSU

Dec. 7, 2017

After 50 years of working in the Mackenzie Hall cafeteria, Laurie Litowinsky retired from OHSU earlier this year. The beloved cashier and Mac Hall mainstay is known for her friendly chitchat, Trailblazers mania, wall of pet photos and a raucous sense of humor. This fall, Bridges sat down to reminisce with Litowinsky on her long career. Here are highlights.

Back in the day, the hospital had a mental ward. They used to bring patients into the lunchroom to have a treat and a coffee. I remember one of the fellows, he didn't want to go back. He ended up eating cigarette butts under the table. But he got a little outing. Everyone was welcome in the lunchroom.

Speaking of cigarettes, all the doctors and nurses smoked back then. They were smoking like all get out!

For a while, I was the doughnut lady. I made the doughnuts and frosted them. I taste-tested so many of those doughnuts, it wasn't even funny. There's nothing like a homemade doughnut. Nothing.

The medical students, bless their hearts, they were risqué and wild. I think this was back in the seventies. The students put in for a pot of money, and they talked a guy into doing it. This guy came through the lunchroom streaking. No one knew who this guy was he was so fast. People were just laughing their heads off! They couldn't get anyone to do it without getting paid. But I understand that. Medical school is expensive.

These days, I'm reading a lot. I go to farmers' markets. I went to Alaska on a boat, and I loved it. I was worried about falling off the toilet on that boat, but just so you know, they have handles on either side so you can't fall off.

I don't miss getting in my car at 4 a.m. to get up that hill to make coffee. But do I miss my peeps. I made so many good friends over the years. A big hug and kiss to all my OHSU peeps.