|Hyde Bay Camp For Boys
Comments and Correspondence 2002
Comments and Correspondence 2002
I took my family to Cooperstown in 2000 and, along with Stewart Wise and family, stayed at Rathbun's (my family was in what used to be the Rathbun's game room, where we sneaked over at night to meet girls. And seriously, this is the place through which in a very strange set of circumstances I met my wife Linda !).
I'd like to write more, and will later, but here are some clues to the pictures in the gallery . . . Hope these help. I'll write more later.
btw, I'm a prof at Wake Forest University, where I teach entrepreneurship and strategy.
best regards - it is truly wonderful to hear about others from camp!
August 30, 2002 -- Braxton Andrews writing -- A fine time was had by all who gathered at the Rice home this past Tuesday night. I was amazed by the bits of ancient history that some of these guys could remember, especially Tom Lynn. He may have known everyone who went to the camp between 1960-1968. It was great to see Pierre and Flush. Thanks Bruce. Hope we can do it again sometime.
August 29, 2002 -- Skipper Hebb writing -- The following campers were signed out to Bruce Rice's back yard:
August 27, 2002 -- Jim Main writing -- Dayman, Dayman ... Does Hillsey or anyone else recall the Musical Spectacular of 1955 "TV in the Tepee" ... I just found the old playbill ... Directed by Al Kerr; Stage Manager, Jeff Williams; Art Department, Giovanni Garver & Ezio Ruestow and Make-up by Gregor Pickett & Elizabeth Arden Mercer ... In the cast were Pete Macky (he and his brother Ian were from Bermuda, I believe) Eric Malm, Bob Morrill, Jim Main, Stan Heuisler, David Ryan, Pete Effinger, Ned Clapp, Al Tyler, John Whitehead, Max Robinson, Eddie Ruestow, Tom Offutt, Ricky Donahoe, George Ruestow and, yes, Warren Hills as Medicine Man Thunderchief. The scary part is I can remember the words of one of the songs from that show ...
August 26, 2002 -- Jim Main writing -- John-John ... how discerning you have become ... Having not collected and only recollected, it seems that the Chiefie poster was not the one that I was recollecting. I recall a painting of Mr. B. peering around the corner of an open theater door. Was this painted on the stage door of the theater or perhaps on the closed doors of the theater? Or was it somewhere else? By the way, I just found some old theater programs from 1955 when Al Kerr directed the theater. Will send them to you by snail-mail ... later ... Jimain
August 26, 2002 -- John Mercer writing -- To recollect accurately, one must first collect accurately; so maybe you're fine at the former but faulty at the latter. Whatever the case, it's the slender Chiefie, not the rotund Spanish teacher, Jim Barriskill. Could it be that you labored all those years in the theater under a delusion? Could it be that you so labored under only one delusion?
August 25, 2002 -- Jim Main writing -- Dayman, Dayman ... my recollections have been put to question ... Hillsey claims that Jack Garver's "man peering into the Theater" was Chiefie ... I thought it was Ole Mr. Barriskill ... has my memory been fogged by the dew?
August 25, 2002 -- Billy Lynn writing -- Pierre Black is in Baltimore for a few days, and there is supposedly a get-together being planned by Bruce Rice to include Tom, Jim, Skip Hebb, Josh, Jolly, and, perhaps, other HBC alums. We'll keep you posted.
August 21, 2002 -- Warren Hills writing -- John John . . . The slides are yours to keep for the ages. You represent the best archive I can think of. The several scans you have posted to date are pretty good, particularly the shot of Jack Garver's "The Chief" adorning the theatre door. When I locate my film transfer reels, I have a shot of McManus, Walt pointing to the same artwork circa 1958. (But I haven't found the film as yet!)
Can't wait to see Tom Offutt's pictures.
FYI.... my final working summer at HBC was 1961... I was waterfront councilor. My final visit to the operating camp was in 1969 when I drove up from Baltimore on a whim. And, of course, there was Durbar 1.
Your web site is excellent.... just enjoyed reading the history section.
Keep it coming"
August 21, 2002 -- Billy Lynn writing -- Can't help too much on the "Quiz" photos. Can do much better on the "New" photos ... Could name everyone, but sadly, #13 is an all-camp photo not containing WDLynn -- who dawdled too long in getting a job request to the Director in 1937 and had to settle for a morose summer working in Baltimore testing samples at the Emerson Dairy (founded by Captain Emerson of Bromo-Seltzer fame). WDL was more prompt the following year and was back in the slow swing of things on Otsego's shore again in 1938. Hope these help, John. Keep up the good work being the thread (glue?) keeping the dwindling old-timers connected to the "youngsters" through that strong, common bond known as The Hyde Bay Camp for Boys.
August 20, 2002 -- Mac Mellor writing (who is, in an almost perfect memorial gesture to an author, rereading all of Walter Lord's books) -- Tonight or tomorrow I'll finish Walter's The Dawn's Early Light. It was published 30 years ago. Incredible Victory on the battle of Midway and which I read earlier in the summer appeared in 1967. That leaves three to go from my collection. His research obviously was thorough and meticulous, requiring about five years between each book from 1967 on.
August 16, 2002 -- Bruce Rice writing -- Tom Lynn, Jolly Schmick, Josh Shoemaker, and others have been telling me about the Hyde Bay website for months, and being a computer illiterate I could never get to it. My wife today ran into Bracky Andrews who told her about my picture, and she got into the site with Bracky's help.
What a great treat. You have done a wonderful job. That is me in the two pictures. I still look the same (in my own mind).
Any idea where Pierre (Peter Black) or Flu (Todd Mulvaney) are?
Two years ago I dragged my family up to walk down thru Rathbun's and along the old waterfront. It doen't look quite the same.
My brother, Jeff, and Tom Lynn, and I, years ago, went up and camped on Lookout. Great memories.
August 16, 2002 -- Tom Mercer writing --
John John -
Let me say at the outset that the HBC website has become so wholesome, it's a little hard to take. Was everything really always that great? Were our teenage insecurities suspended there? I think not. What we need is an alternative website focusing on the dark side of Hyde Bay - Hyde Bay Noir. What appears there would be as dark as a midnight walk along East Lake Road on a moonless night. What follows could qualify.
The HBC website is a hot compress on the festering boil of my memory - just a short application and those buried memories begin to rise to the surface in assuasively copious suppuration. For instance, Jim Main's reference to Ben Day reminded me of the breathtaking aggressiveness with which the preacher's son drove his maroon Ford station wagon north on East Lake Road. (Since Ben's recklessness was enhanced by his consumption of staggering quantities of foamy amber beverage, the southbound transit, terrifying in its own right, was a Sunday drive by comparison. At least he wore his glasses!) Fortunately Cooperstown at that time seemed to be awash in foamy amber beverage; so the states of his northbound passengers were usually somewhere between dazed and comatose. Very late one evening, being somewhat to the right of dazed, I remember having the dubious privilege of accompanying the horse councilor on the ride back to camp. Amber beverage has a way of discouraging memory formation; so the vividness of the memory is testament to the intensity of the experience itself. Etched on my brain is a scene, looking from the back seat* of the Ford (redolent of horse) past the back of Ben's head (cowboy hat firmly planted thereon but glasses nowhere to be seen) through the windshield at trees, lit by headlights at close range, moving leftward in a blur, the only sounds the squeal of tires and the maniacal laughter of the preacher's son. Ah, "mort curve"!
There were good days, bad days, and Ben Days.
On the other end of the spectrum, I wonder what ever happened to Nat "Sneaks" Cravener.
After I go to the Cooks, I'm going to swim my A Test.
8/14/2002 -- Sandy Jencks writing -- I just got the July 9, 2002 Hyde Bay Home Letter and checked the website. Nostalgia! Do add me to your e-mail list, at the address above. Sandy Jencks
8/10/2002 -- Tom Offutt writing -- Gib Carey and I were recently fishing on the Gaspe and started talking about the arrival of the Home Letter. Those were golden years - it was Hyde Bay Camp for Counselors, right? I like your idea of a Durbar at Putnam Camp or the Adirondack League Club which has a similar ( but probably larger capability). Durbar II was glorious and with this new means of communication, you will have an outpouring of ex-grubby little meatballs ( no one has mentioned the Beezer thus far).
I have 100's of negatives and will get them printed, on a disk and off to you. Some are wonderful - Uncle Ed and the Commodore at an 8" Regatta - Bob Russell being mauled at a "Kill the Counselor Day" and Jack painting the doors at the "theater".
8/3/2002 -- Jim Main writing -- Dayman, dayman ... just read the wonderful letter from Jack Garver ... went to the library and read the July issue of American Artist magazine ... His work is beautiful and it has whet our appetite to travel to the Mediterranean ... we'll leave in October for Rome ... I'll never forget the painting he did on the theater door of Mr. James Barriskill peering around a partially open stage door to gaze within. His artwork around camp was priceless ... We are already planning our summer'03 trip east ... to attend the GDA reunion and hopefully a Hyde Bay reunion, and to visit family. I do hope it will be in a hotel and not on top of Mt. Nebo ... ciao for now ...
7/25/2002 -- Warren Hills writing -- I remember being the Directress's UL which generally consisted of riding into town with her to pick up frozen food out of a locker. The UL program was a great scam.... very little work in return for a $150 reduction in the camp fee.
Sandy Cochran started out the summer "54 as Head UL, but had to give it up in order to be tutored, in what subject(s) I don't know. I took over by default.
I remember the Commodore being very "state-of-the-art" in the photography world. In addition to his ever-present RolliFlex around his neck, I think he had one of the earliest Polaroid Land cameras .... which he made use of in generating visual "clues" for the Treasure Hunts (or was it Hot Rocks?)
And remember the dash to claim orange crates from under the tutoring School, to serve as bedside tables in the tents? And how many of us remember th pre-electricity days when an oil lamp was the only tent illumination?
But I babble on.
July 24, 2002 -- Jack Garver writing by regular mail -- What fun it was to chat with you last week: I was very sorry, however, to learn of the deaths of your mother and sister--still hard to believe. To say that the Home Letter project is enthusiastically embraced by the Garvers is a monumental understatement. Shirley and I (Kristen, too) feel that some of the happiest, most memorable times of our lives occurred during the years spent in that zany, wonderful unique zoological garden known as Hyde Bay Camp. Even while recalling events that happened a half: century ago, we experience doubts that such a place ever really existed. Of course, it was the inmates of the zoo (sui generis) who made it work - or whatever. Thank you for wrangling up some of them who remember.
As one of the oldest living dinosaurs, I'm guessing that I have returned to The Site more often than anyone (open to challenge). For the last 35 or 40 years I've averaged nearly 2 trips a year to Cooperstown delivering and retrieving paintings to and from the Pioneer Gallery. I always go by Camp, sometimes fighting my way through the tangled underbrush that used to be a road past the Chandlee, Garver, and Mercer cabins, the tennis and basketball courts, the Theater, Little Bohemia, the Lodge, etc. Those who have also made that pilgrimage in recent years know it's hard to put things into focus any more, but, as Irving Berlin said, The Memory Lingers on."
My most recent visit was in early June. I was holed up in a motel across the lake which overlooked my beloved Sunken Islands. It was just a few days after we heard of the Commodore's death. At Shirley's suggestion, I scrounged up the makings of an Eight-Inch-Regatta boat from an abandoned shed and manufactured one final entry. The accompanying photographs record the moment the brave little craft touched the shore of Lake Otsego. Microscopic observation of the date in the lower right corner will reveal that the event happened on 6/3/02. I'm sorry the photos are not better - I paint better pictures than I take.
In our phone conversation I promised to send a shot of the "Chiefie" poster from the old Theater door which now graces our back porch. Unfortunately, those pictures are on the front end of a largely undeveloped roll of film in my camera. Stay tuned.
Again - bravo! Although the Garvers still cling to a 19th Century mentality bereft of E-mail, I hope we have found a place mailing list.Warmest regards to all.
By the way, if anybody has access to a copy of the July, 2002 issue of AMERICAN ARTIST magazine, there's an article by a guy named Garver and a bunch of his recent watercolors therein.
7/24/2002 -- Warren Hills writing (in response to a question about what "klatuu barada nickto" meant -- You must be one of the younger fellows....Remember the Wednesday night movies in the theatre? Around 1956 we ran the great Robert Wise's sci-fi thriller "The Day the Earth Stood Still," in which an alien being (Michael Renne) with the help of a giant robot "Gort" arrive on Earth to save or destroy it. The alien's name was "Klatuu" and the robot was named "Gort." The line I quoted was delivered by the wounded Renne to the robot to cancel its instructions for Earth destruction. The phrase was quite popular around camp (and remains "camp" to this day) and the movie spawned mysterious footprints in the beachmuck the morning after.
Then there was the running gag about the film "Decision Before Dawn" which the camp scheduled to run several seasons in a row, but the film never showed up.
Thanks for the address. I'll get the slides off to you, hopefully properly packed to protect their glass mounts (for the archives.)
P.S. I was one of the lucky Hyde Bayers to have Heb Evans as councilor...Tent 16 in 1954 when I inherited the "head UL label" when Sandy Cochran dropped out.
7/23/2002 -- Kristen Garver Writing -- ...like you I feel that keeping our collective memories together is an important part of the journey we all are making. We have been through a lot recently (all of us for different reasons), and you have brought lots of us back together.
...by the way my husband, Del, is fascinated with all this and seeing all of the photos - it is great to have such things to share with him - now he won't have to feel like he's a third wheel when my parents and I get going on tales from camp - I will make sure that Dad gets good shots of the Chiefie Door - we will be up on the Cape with them next week for a couple of weeks - also I have a painting of Dad's (done a very long time ago) of campers in front of the Dining Hall which is kind of fun - don't know if we can get it shot before we go to the Cape this time but I'll definitely get that to you and we'll look around for more - I know he's still got some - as for the Durbar, I was talking to my mother last night and we both thought that a good time for all of us would be in late June before all hell breaks loose for the summer season - Dad was in Cooperstown at that time this year and said it was lovely and still kind of uncrowded. Dont' know how others feel. July would probably be ok too - August and September are not great for me, as I am a stage director at New York City Opera and we ge into rehearsal for our Fall Season rather early in August and open Early Sept. My early Hyde Bay stage experiences are still paying off!
7/22/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- Query: Did Betty Pickett, who tirelessly did all the typing at Hyde Bay in its latter years, mean to be subversive when she typed the ending of "My Fair Pierre," a Main/Mellor opera?
(At this, the end of the opera, the chorus starts to remove their costumes after congratulating the cast, they cut the line holding out the curtains. They go up to the catwalk and pull up the curtains and the first backdrop, leaving the stage bear. The remainder of the cast mills around on stage center.)
7/22/2002 -- Warren Hills writing -- I've located a trove of about 170 b&w slides that we assembled from a variety of early and mid-years for a reunion in Baltimore (before "Durbar" became the standard) back in March of 1970. I will ship them off to you as soon as you give me a mailing address. Many, if not most, have a year superimposed. I assume you'll develop a numbering system for your website photos. I can identify a fair number of faces, and Eddie Brown seems an endless source for ID's. He also appears in a large number of the shots (as he does in much of my movie footage.) Let me have your shipping address and I'll get this collection off to you. I also hope you'll take permanent possession of it for your archives! klatuu barada nickto w hills.... movie U.L.
7/21/2002 -- Jim Main writing -- Dayman, Dayman ... Whatever happened to Ben Day from Christmas Cove, Maine? I remember that his dad was the holy man Rev. Ga[r]dner M. Day, D.D., D.D.. Was Ben somehow connected to the stables, or does my memory (which had been totally purged at Charlie Reedy's Bar in Cooperstown) failed me? Jimmain
7/19/2002 -- Peter Black writing -- Of course a reunion would be a marvelous adventure. What is all the concern about where to stay? Of course there are only a few options Lookout, Rum Hill or the old ball field, the Field of Dreams. Some of these dreams can be told, many are left best untold unless it is around a fire sipping UC. Just a note, if this is the spot please do not forget me in town so that I have to make the dreaded walk. I will be there and will assist in any way. Thank you for sending me down memory lane recapturing 30 years. What a great time in all of our lives. I sincerely hope all who read this note are in great health and happy. Love and Kisses, Fat Pierre.
7/16/2002 -- Warren Hills writing -- What a great creation! I just lost several hours of my life cruising through the material. I'm starting to search my collection immediately. Hillsy
7/15/2002 -- Mac Mellor writing -- I flew back to Nashville via Detroit yesterday before the family threw me out of the Beach House [in Maine]. As you know, the weather in the Northeast was perfect. Consequently, I enjoyed an unbelievably fine view of Lake Otsego and Hyde Bay.
7/11/2002 -- Kristen Garver writing -- My Dad called me this morning to report that he had just received (via snail mail) a copy of one of your wonderful Home Letters. He knew that I, who am more familiar than he with this "instrument of the devil" as he has sometimes called it, would get right on it and find out more. So here I am, responding joyfully for all Garvers.
This does bring back so many very special memories for me and of course for both of my parents. I am sure you will hear from them shortly, if you have not already. Dad is much more comfortable with the phone! He actually does have e-mail but has to go to the library to use it. But enough of that.
Please do put me on your list for further missives. As for other news, I went to the Commodore's Memorial at the New York Historical Society, which was a truly wonderful affair, as you may have heard from other Hyde Bayers who were there. We were a small but strong group. The tribute here to Walter is wonderful - I have always counted my winning the Eight Inch Regatta as one of my greatest achievments (of course I had no help whatsoever from other parties no matter what ugly rumors still abound).
At any rate, it has made my day to read your Home Letter. And as for the idea of Durbar 2003, I believe that I can assure you that if it happens there will be Garvers present. By the way, a few years ago, my husband Del Bach and I were married in Fly Creek and spent our honeymoon in Cooperstown - much of it tramping around camp with me trying to describe where everything was. He was and still is a great sport and really enjoys hearing all the old tales from me and my folks. He would have been a good camper, a quality I find very good in a husband!
7/11/2002 -- Gibby Carey writing -- I am delighted to receive the July 9 Home Letter! Hyde Bay remains a vitally important experience for me - as both camper and counselor.
While we live in Cincinnati, we have a summer home in the Adirondacks and regularly come to the Glimmerglass Opera. We routinely visit the tiny, weedfilled clearing that was once our camp. What memories!
Thank you for getting in touch with me! I would welcome further contacts...
7/2/2002 -- Eddie Brown writing -- One decade morphs into another seamlessly. There are not many among us who wouldn't love to slide into those years once again.
7/1/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- "The Commodore’s flagship was a make-shift structure with a throne, which rested on two latched-together canoes. The flagship was manned by 4 oarsmen in moth-eaten sailor’s uniforms borrowed from the Hyde Bay Theater." says Harry Turner. Well, that was true of a few years, but before the lashed-together-canoes years, it was The Slob, which seemed to be designed to sink every year and hardly needed any pirates to do the job. It was made primarily of wood planks, was painted black and orange (Princeton colors were always mixed somewhere with the Hyde Bay green), and in many years was a side-wheeler, powered by bare-chested slaves apparently being lashed by rough-looking turks with whips. There was a poop deck from which the Commodore lorded it over all his minions. So does anyone have a picture of The Slob?
6/29/2002 -- Jim Main writing -- Dayman, Dayman ... Gee, you're doing a great job!!! Someday I'll have a chance to look for some old pictures if I can ever get the old trunk out from under a five tiered stack of moving company boxes. Keep up the good work.
6/28/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- The offer below comes from the Mercer brother who has actually made some money. If his offer interests you in any way, you should drop him an e-mail an firstname.lastname@example.org.
I replied this way: "Put me down for two large polo shirts or t-shirts, preferably the former; in other words, Tom Tom, I want some product, and I want it now. And by the way, what about the HBC sleep shirt for my wife? Paperwork and Tootsie Rolls to follow--no back rubs"
John John - As you know, I am the posessor of an authentic Hyde Bay Camp T shirt (through your generosity, I believe). It would probably be neither complex nor expensive to find someone to knock it off. Do you think there would be any takers? We could also duplicate that fancy polo shirt with the green Indian & Dog logo in miniature, if that would be of interest.
Naturally a purchase of one of these items would require a veritable mountain of paperwork, including incotrovertible proof of Hyde Bay residency and, of course, many, many Tootsie Rolls....or perhaps a back rub. - Tom Tom
6/28/2002 -- Larry Pickett writing -- I fear I have fallen behind on my schedule of one Home Letter per week. It's been a busy month.
I'll search through the boxes and see if the formal tent pictures are there. From a brief survey I haven't located them as yet but will be more detailed in the search shortly. If it's a good time I'll ship some other pictures, brochures, etc. to you for inclusion in the archives.
Otherwise summer in St. Louis is becoming it's recognizable hot humid self and makes me long for the shores of Otsego where heat was easily escaped by running--nope, scratch that--walking off the end of the dock.
6/28/2002 -- John Mercer to Betty Pickett -- As to the end of Hyde Bay, in retrospect, I am amazed that you and Bob could run it as late as you did. The world was rapidly changing in ways inimical to camps and, most specifically, inimical to the Director's free-wheeling, optimistic sense of what a camp should be.
I, like others, I am sure, have always assumed that the State made its demand to see if it could move the camp off of property it would like to have had clear of habitation. Had it not been this request, it would have been another, and if not a request, it would have been one sort of legal tangle or another or one sort of liability or another. Part of what makes Hyde Bay seem so distant and so, well, ideal is that it was fueled into the late 1960s on ideas and behaviors of the 1920s. As an actual place of actual people on actual days, it's a long way off now, isn't it? It's power within the imagination, though, is little short of awesome, and certainly part of that power is its distance from today's modes of behavior.
Am I saying that Hyde Bay was old-fashioned? I am, but I am also admitting that it never for one moment felt old-fashioned to me.
6/27/2002 -- Betty Pickett writing -- (In response to a query about the end of Hyde Bay, the lease, and the like) -- ) I never remember seeing or hearing about an official written agreement of the lease. Your information is correct about the duration and that's all I was ever in on. On the other hand, it's hard to believe that Mr. Clark would ever have had just a verbal agreement and handshake with the Director. Again, Herb, with his fantastic memory, may recall more details.
The deciding factor in the termination of HBC was that the State Health Dept. said we had to put in a whole new septic system - complete renovation and hook up to a disposal system across the main road (supposedly for leaching purposes of the liquids). There were not sufficient profits from camp to undertake such an enormous project so, since Bob and I had already acquired Beaver Valley, it was decided that the time had come to make a change. The decision was certainly not an easy one and we agonized many months before coming to the final conclusion. I need not go into the emotional details of separating ourselves from so many years of wonderful and rewarding assocations with the great parents, campers and friends we knew. Suffice it to say that it was a wrenching experience.
I'm sorry I can't be a little more help but maybe this will clear up a few things.
6/20/2002 -- Herbert Pickett, Jr. writing -- I am glad to get the copies of the pictures Betty sent. The picture of Rathbun's Hotel is good and important, as it was the site of the camp for the first two years, when it was basically a tutoring school. During the war it was housing for teachers and other staff.
The auto pictures have particular meaning to me. The Model T Ford pick-up was the one from which I fell fell on the way back from the milk run to Rathbun's farm. The wooden 1929 Ford Station Wagon was one I drove from Baltimore loaded to the roof with camp supplies and equipment, and then back with a similar load in September two or three times. With its rather tiny brake drums, ( on all four wheels, a first for Ford,) and mechanical linkage, stopping was sometimes a problem under a heavy load. In Baltimore, it was my particular vehicle. I took a date to a movie in it, and she said, "You know this car pretty well, don't you."
"Yes," I said, "But why do you ask?" She said, "You haven't looked at the road for the last five minutes." I have particular feelings for that vehicle. We must have kept it until 1935 or so when it was replaced with the 1933 wagon, the first V-8.
The trailer loaded with canoes is headed either to Trenton Falls or maybe the Susquehanna. You may remember the story of the trailer. Dad bought a Model T Ford sedan form the farm next door, hauled it down to camp and said to all. "Here it is, boys. All I want is the frame and the wheels. Take it apart." We did in about two hours. Sears Roebuck provided the hitch designed for the Ford. Dad took it to Harry Baird, the East Springfield blacksmith, who attached the 4" by 4" oak bars on which the canoes rested. Being a four wheel trailer, it was practically impossible to back up. (I looked at the prints with a magnifier and noted they are half-tones. Where were they printed? Why? An old catalogue maybe.)
One other incident: The ball joint hitch had not yet been invented, so the trailer was attached to the wagon by a bolt. One day I had the trailer going toward Cooperstown on some errand. I didn't bother to put a nut on the connecting bolt. A couple of hundred yard past the camp gate, I looked in the mirror, and the trailer was up on its hind wheels about to crash into the back of the station wagon. I hit the throttle, the safety chain broke and the trailer ended up across the fence on the side of the road, undamaged. Whoever was with me helped me lift the vehicle off the barbed wire, rehitched with a nut, and went on our merry way.
6/20/2002 -- Jolly Schmick writing -- I saw Warren Hills (Hillsy) at the Commodore's memorial service on Sunday, June 16th. He took early retirement from his job as a director at WBAL TV. I told him about the web site and he was very excited about it. I can try to get in touch with him to see if the films are still around. The Commodore's memorial service was a terrific ceremony, and lots of Hyde Bay was in there. I have some copies of the service and I will arrange to get one to you.
6/19/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- Campers, or (as I believe that The Beezer [Tootsie Rolls available] used to say) Grubby Little Meatballs:
It's been a busy week. Last Saturday on a windy, stormy day, my wife, Florence, and I went about 45 minutes north to Kennebunk to see Mac Mellor, his and my first meeting since probably 1966. He seemed much the same: calm, orderly, and pleasant, speaking, as ever, in paragraphs with topic sentences. He had some astounding HBC theatre lore: scripts, scores, and playbills. He also had a fairly complete set on HBC Homeletters from the middle 1960's, which I will slowly scan, correct, and launch to you. Our meeting got me started on tracking down some HBC people, as a result of which I think have a loose lasso all around Ned Atwater's position, but not yet binding him.
Mac did mention that Warren Hills's films should be preserved and perhaps used somehow on the web site or otherwise. I tried to find Warren by Googling around, but could not. I have an address from 1992 on West 29th Street in Baltimore. Does anyone have any later news or an e-mail address or a phone number?
Betty Pickett also sent a really interesting package, including a great listing of nicknames from the 1930's, originally compiled by William Hudson. See the History section for "Nicknames of the 1930s" and "Hartzell Obit."
I've had a couple of e-mails from Eddie Brown, doing great ID work in the 1950s; so he is now the winner of the most Tootsie Rolls.
I need someone (Harry Turner?) to send along a description of the service at Gilman to complete our records on the Commodore's obsequies.
6/19/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- Eddie's got a good point; I should have put numbers on the pictures and may well do so if I have time someday soon. Eddie finally identified them the way Chooch did earlier, by giving row then picture number from a thumbnail page; #10 #4 means tenth row fourth picture from the left. So until I do better at identifying them myself, you can try that technique, or you can just copy the page name from your browser if you are looking at an individual picture. Eddie then went on to do a slew of IDs in the 1950 gallery.
6/19/2002 -- Eddie Brown writing -- I don't know what button I pushed, but it appears as if I can now respond. At first, I could open up the web page but couldn't open up any of the features, the photographs in particular. That was two or four months ago. Tommy Lynn gave me the address again at the Commodore's service on Sunday so I've been playing around with it again. I haven't got a clue as to how I opened up this thing I'm on now which permits me to respond to you, and I don't know that I'll be able to do it again. But please let me know if you receive this.
6/15/2002 -- Harry Turner writing to the speakers for the Walter Lord Memorial --
Below is the lineup for the program on Sunday:
Before and after, Big Band music will be playing in the background
1) Jon McGill will open the program and read a passage from one of Walter’s works;
Please remember your audience and the short attention span of the Gilman boy, or, as Walter might say, “Edit, edit, edit.”
6/15/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- Jimain, Jimain! Like any good sailing councilor, Sandy Jencks was always out sailing; Harry Parker was the swimming councilor, not the sailing councilor. Harry was the Harvard crew coach, who had many successes on the college as well as the international and Olympic circuit. You're right about Coco Murray, and I thank you for the last name; it's been eluding me; he had an older brother Eric. They were two very different guys. I am not sure whether SuperSchwartz was a theater guy; it sounds right. Certainly my brother Tom would remember -- Dayman
6/14/2002 -- Jim Main-- Dayman, Dayman ... Is Sandy Jencks out sailing? And didn't Harry Parker come back to camp to replace Sandy Jencks after he left? Was he the same Harry Parker that captained the America's Cup team later in his life? And who was in the theatre before Mellor, Main and Atwater? Wasn't that Phil Schwartz ... and didn't he know the Commodore? Coco Murray was Enrico Caruso's grandson, right? And what ever happened to Binky Armistead? I first came to Hyde Bay in 1955, as a tutoring student with your father and a UL. In '56 I was a Jr. Counselor and a Counselor in '57. I skipped two years in '58 after graduating from Governor Dummer Academy and '59, and then came back in '60 as counselor of Tent 14 (I think my dates are right ) and ... some of the names that rang a bell from that era... the Malms, I think Eric was one of them and Tim Sharp...they were all from Rochester ... we were in tent 18 in '55... My eyes are getting tired and my memory waning ... so we'll sign off ... ciao ... Jim
6/12/2002 -- Betty Pickett writing -- I am sendiing via snail mail some pics that I have in an album. Thought you might get some info from them. Probably should keep them on file here so at your convenience they can be returned. Real nice letter about Walter's NY service. He had such an enormous circle of friends.
6/11/2002 -- Harry Turner writing -- There was a dearth of campers at Walter Lord’s memorial service at the New York Historical Society yesterday. The dearth, however, was very conspicuous. I figure campers are holding out for the Baltimore Lord celebration on June 16th. Besides myself, the other campers I could identify were Eddie Brown ( three-time winner of the 8” Regatta) and Pete Powell.
Sidney Woodd-Cahusac spoke first. He was a Yale Law School classmate of Walter’s, who left the law and became an Episcopal minister in 1968. He spoke of Walter’s penchant for inventing instantaneous traditions: ex. : Walter had one day announced to his law fraternity that they were all “little lambs who had lost there way” and that henceforth he would be their shepherd — the herding of which included “an excessive amount of bourbon.”
A friend, William Zinsser, talked next. He read a letter from Walter he received in the 1980s on the eve of Walter hospital admission for an operation on his “plumbing problems.” Confronted with the execution of a hospital release and consent form, Walter had written Zinsser of what sort of memorial he wanted if he didn’t survive the operation — nothing but Big Band and jazz played at the Princeton Club at lunchtime in an appropriate room in which his friends might gather and have a good time.
Edward de Groot, and writer and documentary producer, had flown from the Netherlands for the service. He spoke of his adventures in New York, London, and Paris with Walter.
Marshall Hornblower then spoke of the irony of Walter’s having adopted so many families while having none of his own. Then all the Princetonians (and everybody else) in the room rose to sing “Old Nassau.”
Then followed “in absentia” tributes from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Bob Ballard. The best tribute was that of Evan Thomas, who spoke of his father at Harper’s as Walter’s editor and of Walter’s lifelong influence on him.
Toby Thacher ended the talks with personal accounts of Walter, including one of how they’d run out of gas in the mountains of Yugoslavia at night in the early ‘70s, how Toby had left Walter with the car and hitched into Sarajevo, only to return more than two hours later to find no Walter but, after searching and listening, found that Walter had been befriended by a native, gone to his house in the woods WITH a full bottle of bourbon from the car, had downed the bottle with his new friend, neither of whom could understand a word the other was saying. Every Christmas thereafter, Walter and his friend would exchange letters which, since his friend was illiterate, were translated by someone in the village.
The highlight was a 20 minute slide/audio presentation, which was more affecting yesterday than it had been at Walter’s 60th at the Explorer’s Club many years ago. It covered it all — Baltimore pictures, Gilman pictures, Hyde Bay pictures, etc. The most moving moment (for me) came when there was a period of photographs in quick succession of a laughing Walter surrounded by kids — one of somebody’s kids whom Walter had taken to Gettysburg — Walter and all the kids were lying on the ground reenacting dead Confederate soldiers. Really wonderful stuff.
The service ending with a standing, rousing rendering of “Ship Titanic.” Lots of smiling faces filled with tears.
The reception afterwards was a little awkward for me. I’d been handed Walter’s ashes in a box in a paper bag for transport back to Baltimore but had to tote Walter all through the reception. “Once Walter’s U.L., always Walter’s U.L.,” I figured. I was very understated about the whole thing, except when I few would ask me what’s in the bag and I’d reply, “Oh, Walter. He asked me to be his bag man.”
6/9/2002 -- Tom Lynn writing -- "Fireball" Evans was so named not because of his red hair, but because he could hold until dissolution a vast quantity (six?) of atomic "fireballs" in his mouth at one time. (I myself preferred the rock candy from the Farmers' Museum as well as frozen Zero bars from the candy store.) Of course there were the obvious "Bergie" Bergstrom and "Dutch" Master. It was my councilor John "Honeybear" McKay. It was written in Mouldy City of Matt Brock "Breaker of Men (and Women, too)." Also, though not quite a nickname, I recall that whenever Charlie Tracy walked by us little campers, we were obligated to say in a sing-song manner: "Charlie Tracy - wooooooo-wooo!" implying that he was some kind of hot stuff. Does anyone know why we did this? I think Lou Higgins might have had a nickname of some sort, and we referred to "Little Stevie" Cunningham (I don't know if that was related to the music connection or to differentiate from "Big Bob" Cunningham). On another note, my father thinks that it's he in the stern of that canoe with Billy Middendorf (future Sec. of Navy) in the bow. I'll have to double check with Dad and Chooch on it. John, keep up the good work and, campers, keep those memories coming!
6/9/2002 -- Braxton Andrews writing -- What a great bit of information from Chooch. It is amazing that he made that kind of lasting connection during the summer. I remember pairing up with Mr. Pratt's (he of the pizza fame) daughter for a time during my last year. However, she dropped me like a hot rock about two weeks before the end of the summer.
I have so many great memories, but maybe the best was after the summer was over. I was probably 9 or 10, sitting at dinner with my family. I guess we were discussing camp experiences. I told them how we had a new horse named Gonads. My parents just howled, and I had no idea what was so funny. Those older guys really taught me so much of life's lessons.
6/7/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- So who has a trove of Home Letters out there, especially early ones? Rusty? Herb?
5/29/2002 -- Larry Pickett writing -- Attached is first of 1932 Home Letters. I suspect this is only the first page of the issue. I have no second page and the back of the copy is blank unlike the successive issues. How about a request for complete copy if anyone has one?
Issue two of this Volume is absent. How about a blank place holder with a request for a copy if one exists somewhere out there? Not much chance but stranger things have happened.
6/10/2002 -- John Hebb writing -- The name I had forgotten was: John "Honeybear" McKay.
6/5/2002 -- John Hebb writing -- "Fluah" was my counselor in Tent 17. You have recorded the legend as it was conveyed to me.
John "Honeybear"...... I can't remember his last name, but never knew the origin of "Honeybear".
Matt Brock had a nickname that escapes me at the moment. His nickname involves [Dayman omits scandalous events he will not own up to] . . . how tough he was.
What was the origin of "Pierrery" for Peter Black? Remember the Greek chorus that sang: "Pierrery"...."Pierrery"...."The Mouldy City fairy". Peter would pause, turn slightly red, grin, and grab the nearest offending camper.
What about "Chooch" Turner? Probably a nickname from Baltimore.
6/2/2002 -- Tom Mercer writing -- Fireball Roberts was a stock car race driver of the 50s and 60s. Our "Fireball" was a little red-headed fella by the name of Dick Evans.
6/1/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- This week, it occurred to me that the only functionally named authorities at camp were The Director and The Commodore. Somehow Chiefie doesn't quite qualify. And as I thought about that, I thought about how Hyde Bay was really a kind of balance between those two forces. The Director (and his family) were of course the true spine of Hyde Bay, but somehow my own feeling is that Walter supplied some sort of counterpoint to what was primarily Pickett at Hyde Bay.
6/4/2002 -- John Mercer is response to Chooch -- Hey, Chooch-- I have a feeling, but not a certainty, that the guy in the stern of the canoe with your father in the bow is Leslie Manning. Whoever it is is also shown in this picture, I think. I have two more pictures (though not very good ones) of your dad on the web site: Picture 1 and Picture 2.
You should probably spend a good of time on the pages above and other ones of pictures from Billy Lynn; there may be more of your dad in them, and they are small enough to spare your bandwidth. I apologize for my part in your exceeding the bandwidth limit and the pictures' taking so much of the bandwidth. Early on, I was putting up really large pictures (12 inches in one direction), but have recently reduced the maximum size to eight inches. I'll go back and reduce the others sometime soon.
Yes, about the web site. It was time for it; we're all getting to an age where we'd better start remembering because no one will do it for us.
6/3/2002 -- Chooch Turner -- I just took some time to review the gallery and was able to make some identifications before I exceeded "The daily bandwidth limit."
In the 1961 - gallery, besides finding myself, I recognize Boo Rice in Pic #37 & Jimmy Stone in #39. I was at Hyde Bay as a four-week camper in the early 60's and went back as a U.L. in '65 & J.C. in '66. As a U.L. Jimmy Stone & I shared the two-man tent (Mouldy City Annex?) below Mouldy City.
My most exciting find was a picture of Dad (Bucky Turner) in the 1931 - 1935 Gallery. He is in the bow of the canoe in pic #11. I will have to log back in tomorrow to finish my review. This is a very nice thing you are doing.
Todd Mulvenny and I visited Camp at the end of its final summer. During that trip, I happened to meet (or should I say meet again) Suzanne Jensen at the Bowl-A-Rama. Suzanne and I had one date the 4th of July when I was a U.L. and allowed in town once a week. You may even remember her sister, Bonnie. Suzanne and I have been married now for over 31 years and have three grown children.
You are producing great memories of great times, and it is very refreshing to be able to go back and revisit those times, if only in one's thoughts.
6/2/2002 -- Mac Mellor -- I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed reading last Saturday the 60's catalog for HBC. The photos and Jack's map and drawing really took me back forty years. We really were a class act, led and guided by two generations of Picketts. I did not yet check out all of the items in your heads up email sent later that day.
5/27/2002 -- Mac Mellor -- As promised, I have cataloged the material I can find on Hyde Bay Camp. My suggestion is that I can ship it to John, or I can ship in to Maine for John to pick up when he visits this summer. I do not have the facilities at home to scan in the various items.
My thanks to Fred Gale for such a pleasant reminiscence, but I think I was a blond back then, after sitting on the tennis court all day for much of the summer. So, I think Jennifer Downs remembers Charlie McManus playing the guitar while I worked backstage with Jim. But, what difference could it possibly make now? It's just nice to be remembered.
It's also great to read the notes and comments from all of the other familiar and some unknown names among our correspondents. The pictures are great, and I hope that John can use some of the stuff I have kept over the years. Those were great times.
5/27/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- See if you can get a photograph--digital or regular--of the painting and send it to me. I'd love to have several photos of Jack's pieces here. As it is, you can guide your neighbor to two of the catalog pages and also to three line drawings in the "Memories of Herbert Pickett" article.
5/27/2002 -- Braxton Andrews writing -- Hey, I was talking with a neighbor yesterday, and I mentioned this website to him. He brought out a Jack Garver painting of 3 boys playing basketball on a dusty court. The building in the backround had Hyde Bay Camp written over the doorway. My neighbor willed the painting to me.
5/26/2002 -- Braxton Andrews writing -- I always looked forward to June when I would board the train in Baltimore, meet Hunt Hilliard in NY, and get the bus to Hyde Bay. Those were certainly the best days of my youth. I was at the camp from 59 to 63 and then again in 65. Tom Mercer was my first counselor. Thanks for the memories.
5/24/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- If you'll look in the "Letters" section, you'll find I've already unloosed the BLB news on the unsuspecting. Yes, my parents were charter members; the 'brown eggs' and 'white eggs' references were from that.
Walter always referred to my father as 'Big Boy' from a BLB meeting somewhere in a bar. A stray woman had asked where the group was from; someone said "Hyde Bay Camp for Boys"; she gave my father an speculative and appreciative look and said, "I see you've got big boys there." Thus, forever, my parents were to Walter "Mr. and Mrs. Big Boy" and, of course, every little note or book signature had something about 'BLB.'
Among other things, Walter was a firm maker of clubs, and the BLB may have been the most inner of them.
I am sorry to report that I can't get to either of the events in his honor. I did see him--to borrow his pictures for scanning--in February. He was clearly near the end of his difficult journey then.
5/24/2002 -- Harry Turner writing -- Thanks to Chooch, I found the Hyde Bay Camp site this morning. It’s wonderful, and I love the homepage display of pictures of Walter.
FYI: in addition to the memorial service for Walter on June 10th in NYC (I’ll be there), there will be what I have titled “A Celebration of the Life of Gilman and Baltimore Son, Walter Lord” in the Gilman School Alumni Auditorium on Sunday, June 16th at 2:00 p.m. with a reception afterwards in the Walter Lord Middle School Library. There will be a very small and private and, in keeping with his wishes, nonreligious interment of his ashes the day before alongside his mother, father, and sister. (I was amazed when I visited the site Tuesday to make arrangements to note that his father died in 1920, his sister (whom he adored) in 1929, and his mother in 1959 — this’ll be the first time his family’s all together in 82 years!)
I hoping Toby Thacher in New York will be able to find the slide show of Walter’s life that he presented at Walter’s 60th birthday party in NY in 1977. Joyce Brown (Eddie’s wife) is excerpting “vintage” Gilman and Baltimore Walter from her 40 years of correspondence with him. I’m going to talk briefly about him as a rôle model of tolerance, sincerity, intrepidity, and adventurousness. For a short excursion into Gilman’s Hyde Bay Camp, I’m hoping to get Billy or Tommy Lynn to relate the tale of Walter’s creation of the Hyde Bay debutante season for the coming out of the camp’s pig. . . . we’ll end with a sing-along of “The Titanic.” I’m hoping that the Saturday night before (the 15th), I can get a group of campers together to remember Walter the way in which he might of wanted — with a bottle of his favorite, Old Grand Dad!
BTW: in the closet off Walter’s kitchen at 116 E 68th is the 8” Regatta Cup. In addition, Walter had a complete set of Homeletters. Both the Director and then Betty sent him Homeletters religiously, and he saved all of them. There’re also a number of photo albums devoted to Hyde Bay.
(I didn’t get the complete first line, but it must have rhymed with "heaven.")
We’re coming ****** *******
5/22/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- James (Jimmy?) -- Nice to hear your e-voice. Yes, those times alone with fathers--sublime memories that lift us and sustain us through a whole lifetime. I remember going to Cooperstown to Herbert Pickett's funeral and getting to drive there with my dad; I was 14. We had a lovely reminiscent time going through that gorgeous hilly area at an odd time for us--late winter/early spring in upstate New York. I remember his telling me how he and his pals used to save gas by turning off their cars and coasting down the hills on Route 20 during the gas rationing in World War II, and I recall coasting that way with him in 1961. The funeral itself, as I recall it, was somber but warm; I knew almost everyone. I was about to be a first year U.L. at camp, and my father had last been there for a summer in 1955 as a teacher in the tutoring school.
Many of us went down to the camp with Walter Lord and stood around and told stories and laughed a great deal about the wonders of The Director and of Hyde Bay, one in particular being the squirrel pelt high on an inner lodge wall, just the fringes of its pelt visible now since a beam had been installed over most of it many years before.
5/22/2002 -- James Lynn writing -- I have learned that The Baltimore Sun is planning a long feature on Walter for, I believe, this Sunday's edition. I contacted the reporter (Fred Rasmussen) to enlighten him about Hyde Bay and its place in Walter Lord's life. Part of that enlightenment was to steer him to the website.
It's been great fun to see the spirit of the place come to life on-line. I was only there for the last three years (67-69) as a camper, but I was certainly born with Otsego water in my veins due to my brothers' and father's great love for the place. I think the main reason I put off going until I was 11 was because I was part of a great expedition each year helping my father cart brothers Bill and Tom and their friends Dutch Master, Jeff Rice, Bruce Rice and Bruce Danzer up to camp. Then, to my great satisfaction, I had my Dad to myself during a wonderful return trip to Baltimore traveling the "blue highways" (pre-Inter-State) through towns like Frackville and Unadilla. Very different experiences going and coming back--but great memories all around. I recall one time in 1966. The Orioles were having a record season, and my father had purchased a large, orange Oriole flag. We took it up to camp for the weekend of closing ceremonies. I guess it was the last day of camp. Dad and I got up very early and drove from town out to camp before anyone was up. While the camp slept, we raised the Oriole flag on the flagpole in front of the dining hall. From what we later learned, no one noticed until campers filed out after breakfast. Our reports were that Rusty Pickett and others from New England were overcome with Red Sox fervor, charged the flagpole and nearly brought the whole thing down! Dad and I didn't get to witness the chaos as we were back at Sherry's having our own well-earned breakfast. Maybe Rusty will recall.
One final story and I'll shut up. A few years after camp closed, Dad and I went back just to kick around. Up by the baseball diamond, covered by overgrown weeds, we found home plate still in place. (I spent much time on that field during my three summers, yet I don't think I ever touched the plate coming from the direction of third base.) Dad and I did what we had to do. We dug it up. For the past 30 years, it has been displayed above his club cellar fireplace with an inscribed plate reading: "Hyde Bay Camp Home Plate, stolen by James Lynn, August 14, 1971"
5/22/2002 -- John (hardly ever Jolly) Schmick writing -- There is going to be a memorial service for the Commodore at Gilman. At this point it is scheduled to be held on June 16th (Sunday) at 2:00 in the auditorium. I'll keep you posted as more details are resolved.
On another note, thanks for what you are doing. It is great to check out the website and have all those wonderful memories rush over me. At some point, when things settle down at school, I shall pen some thoughts about the 60's. What a great place and what a cast of characters. My best to you and yours.....Jolly (actually very few know me as Jolly anymore!)
5/22/2002 -- Betty Pickett writing -- I think we may all feel a real sense of loss. Walter was such a unique person and contributed so much to so many people, places and projects. Hopefully, he has a turtle and an 8" regatta yacht to guide him to his next life.
The Hyde Bay info is just fantasic. Even though you may have to struggle and pull teeth to get the input you want, we do enjoy what you are doing. Thanks a million and extra time in the store line for all your efforts!!
5/21/2002 -- Rusty Pickett writing -- For further dissemination from the New York Times : "Memorial Gathering Monday, June 10 at the New York Historical Society."
5/21/2002 -- Rusty Pickett writing -- I checked with Jolly, and Walter set up a fund at Gilman named the The Walter Lord Sabbatical Fund, which the Commodore established about 5 years ago. This might be appropriate for Campers to make donations to in his Hyde Bay memory. If you think appropriate please put it out on the web site.
5/21/2002 -- Larry Pickett writing -- Sad to hear about the Commodore's passing, that generation is slipping away from us with increasing speed. And I suppose we are moving into the role of 'the Seniors', inside I sure don't feel that grown up but the external evidence is irrefutable. I suppose I've got another 20-30 years to hang around and will close before I go off into paragraphs of philosophical musings.
5/21/2002 -- Tom Mercer writing -- I was disappointed that Hyde Bay didn't make it into the Commodore's obit, because it was extremely important to him. In fact, including Hyde Bay in the obit would have been a direct and honest contradiction to the statement that he "left no survivors." And so Uncle Walrus has joined the rest of the BLB, no doubt just in time for cocktails. Will it be brown eggs or white eggs?
5/21/2002 -- Stan Heuisler writing -- Please leave it [the Commodore's Home page] up for at least a week until my wife gets back from travelling. I THINK I am in the stern of the lashed-together canoes in the 1957 photo.
5/21/2002 -- Jo Ann Davison writing -- The Commodore's passing truly marks the end of an era. Thank you for all you are doing to keep Hyde Bay Camp alive.
5/21/2002 -- Josh Shoemaker writing -- ...and shoes that lace - suitable for walking...
5/21/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- I got up this morning to discover that our Commodore has left the big grove; we can only hope that he took with him a good-sized poncho and some clean camp clothes.
5/21/2002 -- Skipper Hebb writing -- Some other categories:
5/19/2002 -- Stan Heuisler writing --
The bridge on the Trenton Falls trip. Jumping off was a rite of passage only equalled later in my life at airborne training.
5/18/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- Perhaps I could start a page on separate in-camp topics, a page where you could add in your memories. Here are a few thought-starters:
5/18/2002 -- John Mercer writing to Herb Pickett -- I changed your text in one place to give my father a few more years at camp . . . As to Jim Barriskill, he continued to come to Hyde Bay up until the middle 1950's. He was a wonderfully odd character, a real scholar of theater, a good historian, a teacher of both Latin and Greek. (He taught my sister Latin--and maybe Greek--long before she went to secondary school.).
Jim did not become depressed and take his life, but instead taught for many years at Governor Dummer, dying in the early or mid 1960's of heart failure, at lunch time in the GDA diningroom. Jim was a close friend of my Mom's and Dad's (perhaps they were his only friends), and they ended up his executors, ended up thus with some many-paged harshly revelatory journals that he kept. They were among my parents' effects, and I hope like anything that I threw them away.
5/15/2002 -- Herb Pickett writing to John Mercer -- Hey, John - I'll look forward to see how you edit my work in to ten chapters, etc. Sounds great. I gave this to the New York Historical Society's archives. Maybe I should give them the new version.
I feel badly about not giving your Dad a fair shake. I hope you can insert the proper information there. Feel free to edit.
As to Jim Barriskill, I would guess he came to Cooperstown Academy about 1945, once the war was over. The School closed in 1950, I think. My recollection was that he was unemployed, became depressed and took his own life. You may have more information on this.
I wish I could have done more about Ed Dunning. He seems to have quietly contributed a good deal to Hyde Bay, the Mercers and Jack Young at least.
I didn't have much to do with Hyde Bay after my marriage and ordination. Sally and I went off on our own camping, and were at HB only a few days. Of course, Mac and David were there.
I found a photo the other day entitled: Davey Williams, Carolyn Mercer and Mac, August 1944 I'm going to try to attach it.
5/13/2002 -- John Mercer writing to Herb Pickett -- In your Pickett history, you wrote, "It seemed difficult to find a good English teacher. Tom Mercer from Governor Dummer Academy was there a couple of years." My Dad was at camp from the late 1930's -- let's say, 1938 -- until 1955--17 years, qualifying him for more than a couple. Also, I wonder how many years Jim Barriskill from Governor Dummer was at Camp--I'd bet it was ten or so. He taught Spanish. Ed Dunning, who probably made the connection for my Dad, could have taught anything he wanted, but was essentially a math teach at GDA; I doubt that he taught English, but of course he might have.
5/13/2002 -- Jim Main writing -- Hi John ... Catching you between a Princess Cruise (eat your heart out Rusty) and a "business" trip to Mexico. Only letter I can pull up on the Camp website is Larry Pickett's. Can't read Fred Gale's or Mac's. Will try the library when I get back from Mexico. That picture of your sister on the picture page (your favorite) was snapped the second year at camp for me, and I was one of her most ardent admirers. Later, Jim
5/13/2002 -- David Pickett writing -- "The genius of Herbert Pickett was to actively contrive a world where his strengths and weaknesses were not in the way, most of the time, and in that there is a great lesson for us all."
5/11/2002 -- David Pickett writing -- The Cooperstown access info on the Pickett Reunion web page is probably pretty good, still, if you want to cross-reference it on your site.
I get up that way from time to time (about 4 hours away) -- the Good Morning America segment got us started, the step grandchildren liked the Hall of Fame (one at a time), and we love the local ambiance. As I said at the time we were planning the reunion, one almost needs an advance man on the ground to check things out, Internet not withstanding. As I remember, our original motel choice for the Pickett reunion was not anywhere near as nice as the one we ended up in, but lucky for us it got sold out from under us! There are a number of places on the West side of the lake, fewer on the East, but this was clean, affordable, and commodious, and with the new roads near Hyde Hall, one can get across to GlimmerGlass and Hyde Bay very quickly. The Opera House is close,! but nothing going in June when we were there. For mature audiences (us!), the off edges of the season are quieter and more affordable.
I wonder if we can make a Hyde Bay Historical timeline, like 'First Tent Inspections' from the Director's letter that Larry submitted, e.g., Bob takes over as Director, first aluminum canoe, first comet, first Trenton falls. I guess the history thing runs in the blood. I have one of the second wave, Styrofoam equipped 15' Grumman canoes in the back yard, complete with sandy gray floor paint, my personal Hyde Bay legacy. I think I am over its total weight capacity, but I carry it to water now and then on my box trailer. (Trailers are very cheap, with no insurance requirement and small registration fees. I built mine from a kit and some lumber for the box. So far, my largest cost was repairing the car fender when I forgot about it for a moment, but I allege I have gotten more worth out of it than that!) Larry Senior had the magnesium 12' canoe that came from behind the Councilors' Lodge at his place on Skaneateles. I used it ! there once, but it was a tiny terror of instability!
Of course, it'd be nice if we had an alumni directory by year. I wonder where the records (well, general paperwork residue and detritus) went? (To Rusty, Betty, perdition?)
As one of the more dysfunctional Hyde Bay participants, even for a Pickett, nobody invited me to the past Durbars, but then nobody invited me to Grandma Emily's interment, either. Well, time marches on, and it was a joy to see so many familiar faces at Bob's interment, although sad we had to have ashes to meet. I was very struck, when last I drove up the hill beside Hyde Hall, that the bay seemed strangely small, Hyde Bay's site seemed strangely close to the Hall, like I had been a miniature person back then, a mere ant:
Somewhere, I have some old camp pix of my own, too. Keep up the good work!
5/9/2002 -- Tom Mercer writing -- When we are on vacation in Vermont, I am reminded of Hyde Bay every day as I walk by the waterfront (Lake Champlain) where there is moored a very spiffy imitation Hacker (not original and not blue, but built to the elegant original specifications). Every once in a while this ersatz Hacker triggers memories - of the real Hacker up on blocks, Mouldy astride, greasy to the elbows, cursing (well, not exactly - I believe the expression was “bull turkey!”) as he labors in vain to repair one of several in a series of reluctant engines; of the Hacker up on a plane, the straight knife edge of the bow rounded at the bottom, the full bow exposed back several feet, slicing proudly and powerfully through the Glimmerglass, peeling back the lake and haughtily discarding it to either side; of the Sunday evening inspection-award Hacker trips to Cooperstown with Mouldy at the helm and a boat loaded with the likes of the 10-year old Tom Tom Mercer, Sean (sp.?) Donahoe, Timmy Allen, Brad Damon, Dave Wilbur, etc.; or of the spectacular moment when Heb Evans, turning to look back at a disengaging skier, drives through the turning board and the ensuing awesome silent determination with which he rebuilds it. The Hacker memories inevitably lead me elsewhere down the Hyde Bay memory lane and always eventually to my favorite image from all my years at Camp - standing at dusk on a warm and dusty campsite on Lookout Mountain surrounded by busy, noisy campers, looking out across Otsego to Rum Hill as the reddening sun begins to set behind it with the peaceful lake far below, yet the sounds of the after-dinner Capture-the-Flag game (“caught! caught! caught!”) wafting up as though the big grove were only 100 yards away. Those young voices still seem close, though the Camp is far, far away.
5/9/2002 -- John Mercer writing -- I like Fred's idea of the alphabetized listing of HBC names: perhaps a structured section with name, years at HBC, other's memories, and autobiography. Once I get it set up, I'll call for names, though there is nothing to keep you from sending them now. When I do set it up, I'll scour the web site for names already in play.
5/9/2002 -- Fred Gale writing -- Use these corrections, addenda, and ideas or not, at your discretion.
Tom, Rusty, and I spent long hours into the night in a smoke filled room...to piece together a correction to my letter. You (John Mercer) were the counsellor for Rusty and me when we were 13 (the year of the chaw incident, Tent 14), and again when we were 2nd year ULs (along with Fordsie, Bill Thomas, and Dave Gotshall) in Mouldy City. However, when we were first year ULs, second year ULs were in short supply. That year, Tom wound up as lion tamer for 2nd year ULs Pierre, Jolly, and Josh (? others) in Mouldy City, as well as for 1st years Rusty and me in the City annex.
Try not to attach too much meaning to the fact that it took 3 of us to deliver one memory...
Addendum: My first counsellor was Cooper Winston. He played great folk guitar, and in later years (maybe even as a visiting emeritus), I believe he specialized in a fine plectrum technique. I don't think he played yet in 1959, but I'm not really sure. Remember that his younger brother was Perry, who was an excellent tennis teacher and counsellor (? year).
Final thought for today, John: how about collectively working toward a database of every camper and counsellor name we can free-associatively think of? Once any of us jogs a name or two, the tumblers will unlock surprisingly quickly. (This happened at the Pit after Bob's funeral.) Suppose I just think out loud and say the names Buckie ("Bunkie" Stissel), Coco Murray (Colin Duncan Alexander Caruso Murray), Jamie "Bud" Flowers, Binkie, Tom, and John Armastead, Jimmy Hyde, Paul Mangano, Brooks W, Brooks A(Art), Jeff White, Sherm Murphy, Al Spaulding, Young ("I'm just a born laffa!") J(ohn), Young D(aryl), Jocko McQuilkin.... You'll undoubtedly respond with "What about Coupe R, Coupe D, Coupe A, Ricky Reese, Devie Boynton (Chiefie used to say Bint'n!), Christine, Christine's Corvette..." This is probably worth doing, but the question is whether it could be handled in any wieldy way. (? an alphabetized page that people can add to whenever they think of it.)
5/6/2002 -- Mac Mellor writing -- I've spent nearly all my time since graduate school as a professor at various ranks, at Purdue, Drexel, and Vanderbilt (starting January 1988) Universities, plus a brief visiting stint at the University of California, Irvine. I was educated as an aero engineer, but have always taught in departments of mechanical engineering. In addition, there was one year working for the federal government, and about one and one-half years as a marketing guru in a small (250 people) engineering consulting firm. So, I have lived in Indiana, Southern California, Philadelphia, Durham, and now Nashville in addition to school time in Connecticut and New Jersey. Summers in Maine seem to be my only touch with "home," although I was born in New York State in a small city located a few hours southwest of Cooperstown. It was Leslie Manning at the Taft School who recruited me for a piano playing job at Hyde Bay for the summer of 1957.
I know that Hyde Bay helped me develop this interest in the education and maturing of young people. That is one reason that my greatest sadness about the fate of the camp is the prior-to-now silence from and about the people (with a few exceptions) I knew then as campers.
So, in due course and as time permits, I do want to catch up on back news. Your ambitious and exciting Hyde Bay web site has significant interest for me, and there may be some limited material which I can contribute to it. The photograph section may also help my old memory; what did happen to Chooch?
5/2/2002 -- Larry Pickett writing -- Enjoyed Fred & Josh's letters. Glad Fred came up with the guitarist's name - I was trying to pull it out and could only come up with vague relationships. His recollection was much better and adds to the feeling generated by the site.
An observation made my Dad, sometime during my years at camp, not an exact quote: "Why do you suppose a 6 foot 4 inch man builds all of his doorways at a height of 6 feet (apparently a construction standard at camp - did I say standard? doesn't seem to fit that environment -- lkp,jr)? But he never hits his head, leading one to wonder if this is for the dramatic effect generated during such events as meals when the camp watched him walk into the kitchen and realized that the top of head is taller than the door." To the best of my knowledge there is no record of the Director ever hitting his head on a camp doorway.
5/2/2002 -- Skipper Hebb writing -- What can I say, but a humble thank you. Just seeing Freddie Gale's name brought a lump to my throat. He was one of my heroes (and there were many) at HBC. Seeing his letter reminded me of all the times I watched him play the guitar. To this camper, he was the archetypal counselor...a stong sense of right and wrong coupled with compassion.
5/2/2002 -- Jeffie Downs writing -- Wow, Thanks for making sure I got that. What great details. I believe I remember Fred Gale. Pictures would help those memories. That is right about the mystery guitarist. I'm sure he was the guy. This is great that modern fancy technology can resurrect all these memories and connections. How about a reunion. How is that going? Warm Regards to all, Jennifer "Jeffie" Downs
5/1/2002 -- Fred Gale writing -- Jennifer [Downs], this one's for you: I absolutely remember you as Jeffie. The guitarist you remember was Mac Mellor.
Some folks learned everything they needed to know in kindergarten; I learned it all at Hyde Bay. Like you, I started in 1959. I had just finished 3rd grade, and my mom had died that school year. My dad dropped me off at camp to bunk with Rusty. Years later, Dad recalled that I looked like a plucked chicken, and that he asked the counselors to be sure that -- whatever else happened -- I learned how to swim. Bill Brooks eventually did teach me that summer, but not until he demonstrated to me that he was a natural sinker. Now for a little Hyde Bay Bay music history.
Mac was one of my earliest big impressions at camp. First, he was the tennis counsellor, which was important to me. Second, he hated swimming, which opened the door for an important bond as a role model. Finally, and best of all, he was a charismatic and handsome entertainer who both played the guitar and sang on THE Hyde Bay stage between plays. Jim Main was the theather man from that era, and the two of them hung out together. Betty or Grandma Pickett typed or mimeographed words for the audience to sing along. Although it was 42 years ago, I can tell you that the repertoire included The Rock Island Line, Irene Good Night, The Tia Juana Jail (in E), and The Sloope John B. (in G).
Before my mom died, she bought me a small guitar and a few lessons. My hands were too small then to reach around the neck, so the teacher taught me Hawaiin style, across the lap. Once I got to camp, though, I was surrounded by great music, great musicians, and great teachers. I was a self-conscious kid, but Mac and Charlie Classen were both great guitarists and received me matter-of-factly as a musician-peer. I decided then and there it was time to hold the guitar vertically "like a man." They showed me how to tune it for this style, and -- one by one -- how to play chords, then songs. I was hooked forever. I hung around, coudn't get enough, and if they were ever tired of my admiration and earnestness, they never showed it.
HBC church was a strangely moving experience for me as a Jewish kid. I specifically recall Mr. Downs delivering a sermon on the importance of words in a community. The theme involved a hierarchy of pronouns such as "we," "you," and "I," with the latter being the least important word. One more church memory: Betty had a WORLD-CLASS singing voice. Rumor is, classmates had signed her yearbook: "Good luck at the Met." By the way, Mac played piano for the services.
Someone at camp played a mean banjo for a while. I'm positive it was one of the Cunningham brothers, Steve or Bob.
Flash forward a bit. Dave Wilbur on guitar, a few others (?Rusty on guitar, ?Dave Gotshall on broom, ? Bill Thomas on guitar) and I did a brief stint as "The William Clark Five" when the Dave Clark Five were popular. For a while Billy Shemp -- a fabulous drummer -- was a counsellor at HBC. Dave Wilbur and I were electric by then. He taught me Needles and Pins.
Mercer J (aka, The Dayman Forever) was my counsellor for both of my UL years. Without knowing it, he was another music influence. He didn't do it often, but he could sing a real Chicago blues. Also, he introduced me to the term "drive guitar" as regional idiom for the more common "lead guitar."
By the time I was a tennis cousellor, I was happy to be playing lots of music for the HBC stage. It was an era when:
John Diamond did his famous sit-staidly-in-the-chair-until-getting-twisted-up-in-it routine,
Pierre would stand on stage alone in front of the curtain, and start laughing, building to a belly laugh that infected the entire audience to laugh along -- only to convert briefly to crying
Jolly did his rock ballad that started quietly and sentimentally, sitting backwards astride a chair (Yes, that was a dangling modifier). I gave him an electric 4-chord progression to ad lib against. He then burst into wailing torch-rock against an electric blues, working himself up into a frenzy until someone came to toss a cape around his shoulders and escort him away like James Brown. Also like the godfather of soul, he would throw off the cape and do another chorus or two before being successfully subdued.
McKee Lundberg was another great HBC musician. We had great fun helping to arrange the soundtracks for some of the plays (e.g., Bossie and Clyde, Sleep). If McKee was ever treated to a piano that had 88 working keys with any consecutive 6 in tune, I never witnessed it at camp!
McKee and I eventually became the church orchestra. I remember Onward Christian Soldiers as vividly and happily as I do Michael Row the Boat Ashore. To this day, that religious song moves me, because of its place in the HBC world. By that time, my guitar was electric, and I confess that McKee and I regularly challenged each other to add barely acceptable blues fills between the 2 chords for A-MEN.....
John-John, you're doing wonderful things. Several generations of people are all beholdin to you!
Remember that time you thought I stole some of your chaw, and I told you I was just spittin licorice? Well, that was the truth. I played some blues in church a few times, but I never stole no chaw....
Best to everyone.
Fred "Hurricane" Gale
4/29/2002 -- Josh Shoemaker writing -- I'm so glad you got your hands on the "Memories of Herbert Pickett" piece from the Gilman bulletin.
The Director died after my first summer at Hyde Bay, so I was never able to get to know him. I was first sent to Hyde Bay because my father was ill, and my clearest memory of the Director is of his towering presence as I shakily stepped off the bus with Hunt Hilliard and the Baltimore boys that first summer. "Are you Dudley's boy?" he boomed.
I'll never forget the felt hat and the size of the man. Dudley died the following year, around the time this bulletin was published, and when I read and re-read these reminiscences about Mr. Pickett, I'm sure the knowledge that he had been fond of my father helped in cementing my devotion to Hyde Bay and the "values" of the Picketts and their camp.
In earlier correspondence with Pat Smithwick, I mentioned the Hyde Bay web site, and he said (in email) that he thought using any of this material would be ok. Do you want me to ask him about copyright? It seems to me if the Gilman Voices stuff is ok, this should be too...but what do I know? Alex Armstrong, editor of the piece, is my former teacher, director of numerous glorious Gilman plays, and, has been, for twenty-five years, my father-in-law. Josh
4/21/2002 -- David Pickett writing to John Mercer -- Hi,
It'd be nice to have a 'museum receiving log' sort of web page within the HBC site, with links to each upload in the reverse chronological order of their receipt, so we can see the stuff new to us as it arrives, and stop when it gets too familiar. Of course, you could also do this within the correspondence page in forward chronological order. One of the fun things about websites is making different indexes and linking things along their various dimensions from many pages.
I have some pix, but my old parallel port scanner hates my new motherboard's parallel port, and I haven't installed my upgrade from win95 to winME (being chicken and busy using what I have), so I can use a USB port on the motherboard with a scanner I plan to buy.
Assuming you upload to your web site by FTP or the like, it might be possible for you to make a 'writable to all' FTP directory within your web space, so others could upload things for you if they know the (not otherwise visible) directory name (security by obscurity, but OK as long as its address stays in email only). You could then move them using rename on an FTP client.
Of course, if people put their contributions on their own website/upload dir, they could send you the URLs to use in links on your page. This would save you both scanning and uploading time. BTW, the old Pickett Reunion 2000 web site and its pix are here for now: http://wanspages.prodigy.net/dgpickett/
3/20/2002 -- John Mercer writing to Tom Lynn -- Thanks so much for the excerpts from Gilman Voices; it was not too much, depending on what I'm to do with the articles. I'd like to put some of them--especially those directly to Hyde Bay--on the web site, but worry about copyright. Is there anyone at Gilman--which I suppose owns the copyright--you could ask about this? I am scanning them in and reading them, but waiting to hear from you about legality before putting them on the web site.
My current e-mail list is only 27 people, and I'm missing many of the mainstay of previous durbars: Benjy Jones, Blaise DiSibour, Jack Garver, and others. Maybe Rusty has a better mailing list. Putting up addresses or telephone numbers on an open website presents problems that I don't want to deal with and that would make us go to password protection (which I also don't want to have to deal with). I would gladly circulate by e-mail any address list I had. I actually do have an address list from the last Durbar and could send out post cards and see what came back.
If it's not too much trouble, I'd like to see three other articles from Gilman Voices -- all Hyde Bay authors: "Three Titans" by A. J. Downs, "Adventures and Escapades of a Boarder" by 'Gibby' Carey, and "Anyone for Marbles, " the other article by Cooper Walker. Could you send them?
February 26, 2002 -- (Tom Lynn writing) -- Thanks for the nice picture, John (referring to this one). If you can send me your mailing address (i'm not yet "scan-or-fax-capable"), I want to send you a copy of Jamie Spragins' chapter in the Gilman School centennial book. It's all about the "grand gesture" as epitomized both at Gilman and Hyde Bay Camp! He makes a nice connection. Thanks again. -- Tom(my) Lynn
March 11, 2002 -- (John Mercer) -- Yikes. I can't remember who played guitar, but I don't remember any of the McMani doing so. They were fourfold, in two sets of brothers--Charlie and David, Walter and Peter. Peter was the longest-lasting, since he returned as a councilor long after the others had left. So, folks, whom is Jennifer remembering?
March 11, 2002 -- (Jennifer Downs) -- I remember listening to some coounselor play guitar for the Saturday night show. Would it have been McManus??? Dark hair... Some name with Mc...I was in such a perfect state of contentment that I made a mental note not to forget that moment. Maybe I was 10 years old. I remember liking being 10, like everything was coming together and I hadn't hit the big change yet. Such good humor and fun at Hyde Bay...and I felt like an observer most of the time as I never got to be a camper.
March 10, 2002 -- (Jennifer Downs) -- I am a Hyde Bay "girl," daughter of AJ and Betty Downs from Gilman. I was called "Jeffie" then and now am called Jennifer. We went to Hyde Bay from about 1959-1963. I loved it so much and often dreamed of Hyde Bay the rest of the year. I don't surf the web much and have had trouble finding how to get into your website. Can you send me the exact address and how to access it. Do I do it initially through a google search?
My brother John got a start in his love of acting when he was 2. There was a skit in which Mr. Hilliard put Doug Coop in the kiln for some reason. When he opend it up, out walked my 2 year old younger brother as the shrunken Doug Coop. John loved the laugh and has continued to carry on ever since then.
In August of 2000 I went to Hyde Bay for the first time in 30 years. I found the overgrown road and walked down by the lake, my family choosing to stay and eat ice cream in the car. It was amazing and magical to be there. Also a bit sobering to have so little trace of all that I remember so vividly as a kid. Yet the lake was shimmering in the afternoon sun, the same willows blew easily in the wind. I found an arrow head which was for me a great connection to the Native Americans who lived there way before Hyde Bay. I got some nice photos-one especially nice one of Shadow Brook.
Even though as a girl I felt a bit on the outside, I loved the whole easy going, lighthearted atmophere of Hyde Bay. The sense of family and community I felt there have influenced my choices in life. We need more of that ease and fun in our very hurried and serious times. It is great for me that there is a web site and people who remember and love Hyde Bay. It is still very much alive in me.
March 3, 2002 -- (Scott Carlton writing) -- Ok, John...
Now I know it's been a while, but, really! Here you come, out of the proverbial void, with a project destined to consume far too much of our time, emotion, and (ok, I'll admit it!) limited brain-cell firing! What a great idea!
Have gone through the site front to back so far and am trying to recall what, if anything, I might be able to contribute. So many memories! How to sort through them?
By the way... do you still recall the 'Bus Driver Song?'
No doubt one of the all-time great contributions to World Literature ever to have come out of the bowels of the Hyde Bay Theatre!
February 26, 2002 -- (Tom Lynn writing) -- Thanks for the e-mail about the site update. Glad to see that I had a hand in one of your "mail call" items.
Primarily because of this site I'm going to buy my father a PC and get him hooked up. My mother died in November, and she was really his best contact with the outside world.
Some ideas I had for getting people contributing are those of the "what's your best example of ____________ in your experiences at HBC?" variety.
What's your most memorable example of the Director (I or II) getting mad and what did he do?
What was the best trip experience(or worst)? (I walked back from Lookout at night in the rain -- twice! My first year, as a camper, and my last year, as a councilor.)
Best food/worst food?
Favorite fellow camper?
Favorite camp characters?
Favorite Theatre performance?
Hyde Bay expressions, unusual displays of bravado or foolishness ("Plumbers"?)?
My best connection to being in the true spirit of Hyde Bay was the same time I saw Mouldy the maddest (at me, that is). The situation involved Prowda, Tom Ratcliff, and I, Indians, sailors, horses and the gaudy ceremonial relaunching of the African Queen. Suffice it to say that pomp, ceremony, and pandemonium all collided on cue.
Sorry to ramble -- this is already six times longer than my longest "letter home" from my bunk in Tent 53-A.
February 26, 2002 -- (Josh Shoemaker writing) -- I love the new pictures...keep em coming.
Remember Dick Carleton cutting his foot? Al Spaulding's lip swelling up like a balloon after a bee sting at Ohio Gorge, and then, the next day (I think) cutting his head after diving into that lower pothole at TF? And there was the time that Fat Pierre got his head wedged between a rock and a canoe at the put-in on West Canada Creek. The canoe bent, but Pierre's head held.
I remember a tribute to Herb Pickett that Walter Lord wrote for a Gilman Alumni Bulletin that included a wonderfully written (of course) description of the Herb's Hyde Bay philosophy with an emphasis on the casual approach to safety. Have you seen that? I'll see if I can put my hands on it and get it to you, if not. I believe there were some Garver illustrations as well. I hope all is well with you.
February 23, 2002 -- (John Mercer writing) -- I was in New York this weekend to pick up a trove of 100 or so black-and-white pictures from The Commodore. The pictures will slowly appear here as I get them scanned. Walter is being well cared for and is pleased with this project, but is sorry to be unable to contribute more fully to it. He gave me these few words for us: "Give them greetings from their Commodore, John-John." He was as interested as I in the idea of having contests to identify the people in some of the photos; the prize? A tootsie roll, of course. Contest to follow.
February 14, 2002 -- (Stan Heuisler writing) -- Jennifer "Jeffie" Downs has been my acupuncture practitioner for about fifteen years and we often talk of Hyde Bay. She has been back to the site of the camp. Today she told me about your site. I was a camper, UL and counselor during the fifties. I assisted Philip Earl "Super" Schwartz in the theater whilst a UL. Coached the baseball team for one year (59?) and if you're Tommy Mercer I think I walked to the mound to yank you in the third inning of a game against a nearby town team. I ran into The Commodore a few years at the Gilman School Centennial dinner dance and I introduced myself, saying, you probably don't remember me. "Oh yes," he said, "I remember when you short-sheeted my bed."