AMERICANA: Salad Days

Davis Bates, 23, is in his last term at experimental Hampshire College in Massachusetts, majoring in "political theater and mime." So when his work in the college kitchen began to get boring, he turned to the salads to provide drama.

NO NUKES! he proclaimed with carrot sticks surrounded by mushrooms. He made solar power symbols out of lemon slices on Jell-O and hammers and sickles out of cheese rinds. He even constructed a nuclear power plant out of cottage cheese, tilted slightly to signify a meltdown.

The food service director preferred culinary to political art, however, and...

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