A local man dines at California Baptist University’s Alumni Dinning Commons and sets an arrangement of roses at the center of the table every time he eats.
Robert Dick, a retired iron worker, hops on his bike and makes his way down to the cafeteria on Tuesday afternoons and said he is flooded with memories of what once was CBU property.
Dick recalls growing up with children who lived on a farm made up of eight houses once covering the land now known as The Colony. The middle school he attended was only a block away and the open fields were once his stomping ground where he would enjoy baseball with his pals.
Dick remembers CBU when it was formerly California Baptist College in the year 1967. As a high school student, he would join
his older college friends on campus in the old, large amphitheater where they would hang out and watch television together.
“It was a nice environment,” Dick said. “It got you off the street and you didn’t have to worry about all the other
Although CBU has changed over the years, Dick said he has found his way back to campus and has rejoined CBU
for the past eight years, enjoying a few meals a week at the ADC. He said he enjoys the variety of foods offered at the cafeteria and said while the other dining options are lovely, the ambiance of the cafeteria is simply fascinating.
Dick enjoys the ADC because of all the options available to him throughout the week, especially when sushi is offered on Mondays and Tuesdays. He said it is nice because he does not have to think about what he is going to eat, he just walks around and thinks, “well that’s going to be good.”
Although he does not have a meal plan, he recieves a senior disocunt and makes an effort to dine at the ADC a t least three times a week.
Dick said he also prefers the ADC when he is feeling a little grumpy. He can come to see the activity and said it makes him feel better since he is still a part of the community.
“I found that the cafeteria is the domain of females and (men) have to mind their manners, because females won’t put up with that,” Dick said. “That’s why it’s so relaxing to come in here because it’s a female-dominant area. So people mind their manners.”
Some students take notice of Dick and his flowers on the table, but few rarely take the time to go and ask him about his reasons for bringing them to the Alumni Dining Commons.
“I’ve seen him a few times in the caf and I think it’s nice that he brings flowers with him,” said Shane Fleming, junior business administration major. “I’m not exactly sure what they’re for, but it must mean something special to him, so I think it’s pretty cool.”
Eric DaCosta, assistant director of food services, said he assumes the reason for Dick’s flower arrangement is possibly because of his age and is a part of his personality.
Dick said being respectful and having manners are important to him. He explained there was a woman he used to be in a relationship with once. She told him they must always remember to eat their meals with placemats in front of them and flowers placed at the center of their table.
Dick said about 10 years ago he was rumaging around his garage and uncovered a box of old vases. He was reminded of this woman and her statement about the rules of dining she had given him. He said this dining experience lightens the mood and he
sees others take notice of this rare act.
Since then, he said he has never eaten another meal without flowers in the middle of the table in honor of his old flame.
Dick said he has many stories to tell of the university and he enjoys every meal with a smile on his face, a a placemat set and
a flower arrangement at the center of the table.