Education: Something for James

At 117-year-old Peekskill (N.Y.) Military Academy, Head Chef James Hankins is almost as much a tradition as the oak at the corner of the parade ground which once served as a gallows, for a Revolutionary War spy. White-capped James, a Virginia-born Negro who has been known to generations of Peekskill cadets, has a simple explanation for his steady popularity. "Good cooking is the main thing with boys."

James has been backing up this philosophy for 50 years with such Hankins specialties as " Southern fried chicken, corn muffins, peanut-butter ice cream, and jumbo apple pies.

When James joined the P.M.A. kitchen staff as...

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