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_________________Comments 2014_________________

Rusty Pickett 12-06-14 - Campers, with sadness I must report that Betty (Nurse Jane) Pickett passed away yesterday morning in her apartment in her assisted living facility. It was as she wanted to go. We will be having no memorial service or obituary as was her wish, but will be having a ceremony of remembrance at the Pickett burial plot in Worcester NY - near Cooperstown, this summer - shooting for June at this point. It will be for family and anyone from Hyde Bay who wishes to come, also per her request. Appreciate in advance your thoughts and prayers.

Rusy Pickett 12-11-14 - Sandy and I said good bye to Mother this afternoon at the funeral home. End of another era at Hyde Bay. Internment is likely be in June some time. As per her wishes, all of the Hyde Bay family is invited. Details likely in January. Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers. They mean a lot.

Don Peet - Thank you, Lord, for Betty and for the blessing she has been in all our lives in our days as Hyde Bay campers. Bless her friends and family as they grieve her homecoming. Thank you for her life and for her love. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Rusty - wonderful, Don.

Aliceann Carlton - She was a dear friend to all. I am glad she got to leave this world as she wished and can imagine she will enliven the heavens with laughter and sparkling eyes.

Duncan Kinder - My condolences. A great loss.

Jay Alexander - For Rusty on Nurse Betty. I saw Betty a lot from age 8 in 1948. I had terrible poison ivy my first yr at HBC and my eye swoll shut at one point. Also remember an outbreak of boils a few yrs later that was very uncomfortable. She was always very calm ad helped calm me down wonderfully. What an admirable human being. You should be proud to have such a mother.

Jeff Levi - What a very fine lady.

Mike Hilliard - I have a vision of what occurred the evening of Betty’s passing.
It is a calm clear night at Hyde Bay. Otsego has turned into Glimmerglass. A full moon shines brightly reflecting on the lake’s surface. Mouldy, Betty, Chiefy, Mamie, Alton, Hunt, and Wilma are sitting in chairs sipping adult beverages of their choice enjoying each others' company and the peaceful scene, as the campers are in bed. They are content and happy, as they are all where they want to be with those they want to be with.

John Schmick - What a wonderful lady we have lost! When I think of Betty, I think of how patient and unflappable she was, and as the surrogate mother of over 100 campers and counselors, it is amazing that she was able to remain so calm. If you ever had to go to the Sore Shoppe for an aspirin, a sore throat, bee sting, or broken limb, Betty knew what to do, and always kept an even keel. She was a real class act, and we were all lucky to have known her.

Colin Murray  - Dear Betty, Thank you for being 'Mother of Us All' and fulfilling that role so competently and lovingly for so many summers. Yes, you were most visible when we needed you to triage our sunburns, allergies, sprains, bruises, bites, abrasions, gashes, and gushers; but your attentions went further still as you helped to dull pains of loss or just mitigate simple heartaches.



Larry Pickett 11-26-14 - Last night another chapter in the Hyde Bay Camp / Pickett history closed. Herbert (Sonny) E. Pickett, Jr. passed away quietly at his retirement center in New Hampshire. Uncle Herb Served many years as a Minister. His daughter Emily Pickett Grice has posted a retrospective on FaceBook.

David Pickett 12-01-14 -  Herbert E. Pickett obituary:

Rev. Herbert E. Pickett, Jr.
May 15, 1917 – November 25, 2014

Rev. Herbert Elmer Pickett, Jr., age 97, passed away on November 26 at Havenwood Retirement Community, in Concord, NH after a period of declining health. He was born on May 15, 1917 in Baltimore Maryland, the son of Herbert E. Pickett, Sr. and Emily Ames Pickett. He graduated from Gilman Country School, in Baltimore, where his father was an instructor. He graduated Yale University in 1939 and then Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1942 where he obtained his Divinity degree.

In 1942, he married his love Sarah (Sally) Alice Geer. In 62 years of marriage together, they raised five children who survived him. They are: Herbert (Mac) and wife Nancy of Rollinsford, NH, Emily K. Grice of Bainbridge Island, WA, Alice Pickett-Hale and husband RP Hale of Concord, David G and wife Donna of Vineland., NJ and Paul J. and wife Autumn of Olympia, WA.

Herb’s children raised families, so that at the time of his passing he had eleven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren (with one more on the way!). He passed on to his children his compassion for the disadvantaged, pride in doing your best, joy of the earth, and a wonderful sense of humor. From the early ‘50s he took his family on extended camping trips, and passed on to his children a love of nature and a rugged adaptability. He was a hard worker, deep thinker, and a man of peace

In his prep school and college years he excelled in athletics including wrestling (he finished second in NCAA championships during World War 2) and football (his Yale freshman football coach was Gerry Ford, who went on to become President.)

In a Pastoral career of over 30 years, he served with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and United Church of Christ with many communities – Baltimore, MD, Old Forge, NY, Rochester, NY, Kingston, PA, Thompson, CT, and New Preston, CT. Through his work as a church leader and spiritual counselor, he touched innumerable lives.

He retired to Old Saybrook, CT in 1979 where he and Sally enjoyed being near the coast and enjoyed sailing. They continued extended travel where they saw the country and visited their children as well as their many acquaintances from college and past parishes. They traveled in every continental state and Canadian Province except Kentucky and Newfoundland.

He was a self-described “compulsive shutter bug,” and passed that love of photography on to his daughter, Emily. It is a joy to see all the archives of the family, his many travels, and his love of flowers and friends in his photos.

He had a life-long love of history, volunteering for local historical societies and collecting family history and genealogy. He was a part time as Curator at Gunn Memorial Historical Museum, Washington, CT
1977-79, volunteered at the NH Historical Museum and was a longtime member of the Abbot-Downing Historical Society in Hopkinton, NH.

Although he outlived his two younger brothers, Lawrence K. and Robert A, and his wife Sally, his brothers’ wives, Pauline in Ithaca, NH and Betty in Ocala, FL still live. In his final years, although limited in mobility, he still enjoyed reading history and watching public affairs TV shows and football. Herb’s friends and family remember him as a good father and a good man, who made a difference in so many lives.

There are no calling hours. A Memorial service will be held at Havenwood Heritage Heights, 33 Christian Ave, Concord, NH on Friday December 19 at 1:30 PM. Interment will be in the spring in Williamstown, CT.

For those who wish to make a gift in Herb’s name please make a donation to the NH Food Bank, 700 East Industrial Park Drive, Manchester, NH or to a charity of your choice.


Mike Hilliard 11-05-14 - Former Hyde Bay Camper and counselor Chris West has been elected to the Maryland House of Delegates from District 42B.


On a Sad Note 09-01-14 - Jim Main's wife, Claudette, passed away on September 1.


Durbar 2014 - June 26-June 29, Cooperstown, NY.

Tom Lynn on Jack Garver 07/12/14 - Received a nice reply from Jack Garver in response to the card we sent him from Durbar, 2014. Here is what he said:

"Dear Tom -- Shirley and I were delighted to receive the greeting from DURBAR '14. Since yours is the only return address in view, I'm sticking you with the responsibility of passing along our sincere thanks to all the signers. It's very touching to be remembered. There's no doubt about it -- Hyde Bay Camp meant a lot to all of us. According to actuarial charts, most people my age have been dead for about ten years, but I struggle on. Still manage to keep a brush wet (a couple of water colors even won national awards last year), but I've slowed to a crawl. Well, not exactly -- 1 hip and 3 knee replacements have kept me in an upright position -- most of the time. Again, my deepest thanks and a big "hello" to all who remember. As ever, Jack" (with the "Garver profile" drawing below his name)


Steve Cunningham 07/01/14 - Our Director, Rusty Pickett, really gave Durbar 2014 an extra nostalgic kick by providing each attendant with the olive-green plastic army canteens we're all familiar with which was individually labeled with our names and Hyde Bay trunk sticker. He also had for each of us a right-angle olive-green plastic flashlight replete with the red filter in the unscrewable base and clip for attaching it to a belt, also labeled with our individual names. Batteries were included. Rusty also brought a Hyde Bay flag for the event, given to Dr. William "Billy" Lynn (an avid vexillologist) by Walter Lord which brandished a trunk-sticker circular design with the iconic Indian Hunter and printed "Hyde Bay Camp." The Director also provided plenty of booze which makes story telling flow easier. The older we get, the better we were.

Durbar 2014 in Cooperstown went smoothly, almost.

In a stunning victory, Peter "Pierre" Black snatched the Plumber's Award from the jaws of defeat by a close vote against Steve "Crazy Fingers" Cunningham and Frank "Nature Boy" Pine, who were all too happy to be rid of the Albatross.

The winner: A contingent of campers including Rusty "Tinkerbelly" Pickett, Jeff "Santa Clause" Levi and Peter "Steady-as-a-Rock" Black took on Nebo. Almost back from their hike, Levi, who used a cane during the jaunt, warned of a log on the path. Black, ever vigilant of Levi's safety, fell flat on his face in the mud. Laughter ensued and Black was instantly nominated for the award. Black later used his hand to demonstrate walking vertically and then suddenly prone as fast as he could move his fingers.

1st Runner Up: After the incident involving S. Cunningham and F. Pine three-years-ago when Pine could not keep a secret, Cunningham decided to exact his long-awaited revenge by punching the seated Pine in the arm at dinner every time he walked by. Catching on after several punches and using the Gila monster technique of keeping one eye on the conversation and the other on his surroundings, Frank lunged causing Cunningham to jettison himself into a tangle of chairs. In a frantic attempt at saving his composure, Cunningham broke the fall but badly sprained his shoulder.

(See 2011 Plumber's Award story here):

2nd Runner UP: After Mike "Mikey" Hilliard, Tom "No Nickname" Wagner and Steve "That's Too Far!" Cunningham, and their wives, Georgia, Gail and Amanda respectively, decided to go canoeing from The Blue Mingo Grill to King Fisher Tower, Tom "Ever Ready" Lynn offered to kayak from Pegs Point and join them. When Tom arrived, he was wearing a survival vest with binoculars attached and a ready-knife clipped firmly on the front lest he should flip and get tangled amongst the taught bungee cords. After pulling the vessels together, Cunningham reached over to investigate the safety knife and could not remove it. Lynn tried as well, but had no luck bringing the rusted safety device to the ready. Tom was warned to be careful during his paddle home on the calm lake.

The "incident" Resort: Happenstance had it that the doors of the elevators at the Otesaga were undergoing re-bronzing using chemicals that gave off a nasty smell and was harmful to all forms of life. One night, the odorous gas filled the fourth floor where Frank "Fume Boy" Pine was trying to relax. Concerned about the safety of others, Frank marched down and demanded the MSDS sheet for the chemicals being used. Knowing what the fumes were comprised of only made it worse.

For some reason, right after the re-bronzing, a loud buzzer buzzed constantly for about 24 hours. Additionally, every time the elevator was used, the floor lights blinked on and off like a slot machine adding a bit more stress to the ride.

A Valuable Treat: With good timing, Colin Murray sent a photo of Tent 16 from July 1960 which was well perused at Durbar and names agreed upon. This is a valuable addition to our tent groups.
See it here: http://www.hydebay.net/TentGroups/1960s_08.html

Tom "Ever The host" Lynn hosted a wonderful and well-equipped party at his rented "Trosset" cottage on Saturday which included row boating, canoeing, kayaking, archery, chairs on the lake's shore, picnic tables, a grand porch, swimming and plenty of food and drink. Rusty Pickett completed his "Emily Pickett Memorial Swim" using a combination of swimming and lumbering to the off-shore wooden platform and back.

Fred (Hurricane) Gale and John (Jolly) Schmick revived the Hyde Bay Players at Durbar VII, 2014, by presenting quick movie clips edited by Fred and Steve (Crazy Fingers) Cunningham. The scenes were extracted from Fred Gale's collection of Warren Hills' original Beta-Cam camp movies from 1953-1956, 1958 and 1961 (these are on our website).

Fred "Brainstorm" Gale's idea was to show the contrast between Hyde Bay Camp and what a modern camp might be like, including safety, boating safety, top-notch responsible councilors, and swimming. The insurance restrictions and safety measures of modern day summer camps would prevent many of the dangerous activities we enjoyed as campers; such as using a large section of pipe, D batteries and a cherry bombs as a mortar aimed toward Clark's Point.

Fred and John wrote the script for the presentation of Camp Muck-a-Muck, where all of the little muckers can enjoy a variety of activities in a safe, secure environment.

As John read the script in a serious tone while Fred worked the computer using Rusty's digital projector shown onto a sheet taped to the wall, the clips showed kids without life-preservers in the Hacker speeding along at top speed, campers hanging onto and on top of cars entering camp, councilors smoking, giving a pink belly to an unwilling camper, kids being thrown into rapids, Mouldy pouring gasoline into the final barbecue pit and then tossing in a flaming napkin, the final bonfire before and after it fell, campers jumping into rapids from high bridges, a hint of nudity, standing in a canoe, spitting watermelon seeds at the camera, overcrowded boats filled with cross-dressed campers (the 8-inch Regatta fanfare), running en masse on the dock, campers fighting and a Dayman with a clipboard on his lap sound asleep in his adirondack chair.

Much laughter ensued during the presentation necessitating the clips to be paused from time to time.

The Camp Muck-a-Muck movie might be made into a voice-over production in the future and uploaded to our website.

Thank you to the late R. Warren "Hillsy" Hills.

John Mercer then read some sonnets he wrote about camp, his brother, Tom, and a girlfriend he had during those impressionable years.

John's sonnets have been uploaded to our website and can be read here:

Durbar 2014, presented by our Director, Rusty Pickett, was a great success and all campers are encouraged to attend the next reunion in 2017. Mark it on you calendars.

Not mentioned is that the dress was casual at The Otesaga Resort during meals and meetings except for the John-Mercer-Bow-Tie-Night, in honor of Jon-Jon, who always wears the neck adornment and is suspected of wearing them while exercising and sleeping.


Colin Murray, 03/03/14 - A camp memory fragment came to me spontaneously from some cranial recess that might evoke a related thread from one or more of the Veteran Playhouse Thespians out yonder. The name, Mrs. Beauthoffle, appeared as a repeating character in several plays over several years. She was created by one particular counselor, I presume, to fill some sort of niche in a given plot line; but perhaps no more than a mere sight gag, though I suspect 'she' served a more important function. Who and what was she? Is this a legit recollection, or am I losing my last few marbles?

Jennifer Downs 03/03/14 - I'll pass this question on to my Dad, AJ Downs, to see if he remembers. He probably does. Cheers, Jennifer Downs (aka "Jeffie")

Rusty Pickett 03/03 14 - I am thinking Doug Coupe, John Mercer, or Jocko!

Mac Mellor 03/03/14 - I looked through the Playbills for 1963, 1965, and 1967 but saw no Mrs. Beauthoffle.  Over which years did she grace the HBC stage, Colin?
      You might look at the Playbills on the website, Colin:
      As I wrote, I checked (quickly, I admit) 1963, 1965 and 1967. Jim Main suggests 1961 or before is unlikely, but is fast to admit there might be a few things he cannot recall.
      Let me know what you find. Regards, Mac

Colin Murray 03/03/14 - Hi, Mac... I was there from '59-’64. It's just a raggedy memory attached to some ancient laughs. It'd be fun to rediscover why. Great to hear from ya; remember that song about you "floatin' down the river?"

Jim Main 03/03/14 - With my past pluperfect memory in massive decline, I don't recall that name being used in my years in the theatre, which covered Al Kerr, Phil Schwartz, Mac and Yours Truly ie. the pre-Mercerian years of drama & comedy. Good luck in honing in on the data ... Jimain, Jimain

Doug Cornish 03/03/14 - Beautawful.....as I spell it. As I recall the Beautawfuls (sp) were the softball team some of the younger campers were members of....including me. Links to the theater have no neural network engram to my way of thinking Haha. it may be that the name also had other attachments.Nick King 03/03/14 - "Beauto(u?)ffle is, clearly a portmanteau of beautiful and awful.
      The word is the sight gag, in my opinion; the common-ness of its use was a simple reminder not to take ourselves too seriously, no matter the circumstances. I do not specifically recall it's use in the playhouse productions, but I wouldn't doubt anyone who said it was a leitmotif there as well.
      I recall the "Beautoffles" being a name given for a(ny) team, something as inconsequential as a capture-the-flag team, or equally HBC activity. I specifically recall Moldy using the name/term many many times in the '60-'64 years I was there...not so much in '58-'9...but memories - mine anyway - are/can be slippery.



Mac Mellor 02/05/14 - Jim Main, Doug Coupe, Jock McQuilkin and I are planning a Hyde Bay Camp mini-reunion (= Sanbar) this fall in the Low Country. Tuesday 9/30 and Wednesday 10/1 are the dates for the Sanbar in Savannah. Rusty Pickett plans to join us, and we hope both of you can as well. And if Archie Coupe has taken up residence in Bluffton, SC, by late September, we would welcome him to join us.

We have selected as hotel the Mansion on Forsyth Park. It has a number of public spaces, indoors and out, where we can mingle or enjoy refreshments (no charge for these public facilities). Here is the link:


For sleeping rooms on nights we will be there rates are in the range from $169 through $229 depending on whether you qualify for Marriott senior discount, choose advance purchase rates, or prefer regular rates. The hotel offered our group two corporate rates, P9C and W14, that are in the lower range without senior discount or advance purchase requirements. But they are limited availability, so make your reservations now. You can cancel later should the need arise. Remember, our reunion will begin the morning of Tuesday, 9/30, and conclude Wednesday evening after dinner, 10/1. Thus most of us will require a three-night stay starting 9/29 with checkout 10/2. I’m sure a dinner group or two will form spontaneously for Monday night, 9/29.

The agenda will include on Tuesday morning a short orientation lecture by Jim Main who will explain the derivation and origin of the new word, Sanbar. There will be less formal events too. During the days we might make carriage tours of Savannah and automobile trips to destinations in Beaufort, Hilton Head or Bluffton. Dinners will be arranged for the evenings. The hotel also offers a shuttle to and from the Savannah riverfront area for shopping, dining, and sightseeing. And Forsyth Park is across the street, so be sure to reread Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil before your visit to Savannah.

Questions? Let me know, Mac

Tom Mercer 02/05/14 - Mac - My first reaction to this idea when Jocko first proposed it was that, since Lake Otsego, the Bay, and many landmarks within a ten-mile radius were such a major character in the maxi-series that was the Hyde Bay experience, an HBC reunion could only be held there. Now I see that you have assembled a small group of characters of such stature that I find it difficult to find an excuse not to join you. Will people be accompanied by their spouses, or will we just have to be satisfied with a makeup job you and Jim might apply to the comely Jocko augmented by the legendary finery from the HBT wardrobe department? How can I attend this without at least extending an invitation to John John? I look forward to seeing all of you. - Tom

Mac Mellor 02/05/14 - As far as I know, Tom, everyone planning on attending (but me) will bring a significant other. Steve Cunningham, as current HBC webmaster, was invited to expedite coverage of the Sanbar for the website. Obviously John John can also play this role. Steve, however, is the incumbent and received the nod. To keep attendance small, other brothers have also been omitted. It is a delicate issue, but as you deduced the principal point of the gathering is to bring together a particular group of HBC “characters” from the early 1960s.

I read your last sentence to mean you will join us, and that is outstanding. Could you provide me a phone number?

Jock McQuilkin 02-05-14 - Comely? Is this possibly a misspelling? And "Sanbar in Savannah"? Sounds a bit lame, Mac. How about "The Sanbar Affair: Act 1" in honor of HBC theatre? Jocko

Jim Main 02/11/14 - SanBar attendees ... In my first year at Hyde Bay, I was a student of Mr. Mercer; and I am sure that if he was still with us today, he would assign this book as required reading for the summer ... I have scouted out my copy at the library on Mac's suggestion and highly recommend all of us to refresh ourselves on this historically mysterious yet beautiful city throughMidnight in the Garden...... Happy Reading ... Jimain, Jimain
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


John Mercer 02/01/14 - I just had a moving conversation with Daryl Young, who is all there and all Daryl. Daryl's email to me today was a complete surprise; he found me through the HBC website. He is visiting his brother, John, out in Denver, where Daryl's son also lives. They were all together, and John and Daryl were talking about Hyde Bay Camp, and the son went online and found the website. They all apparently loved it.

Daryl and I spent a good deal of time talking about his father, Jack, who was indeed a heroic character - a runaway from poverty in Newfoundland who had the good fortune to run into people who would be helpful to him, like Ted Eames at Governor Dummer Academy and Herbert Pickett at Hyde Bay Camp and Gilman School. Through their oversight and good sense, Jack was able to get an excellent education, including elite prep schools and ivy league (by which I mean Harvard) or better (by which I mean John Hopkins) medical training. You can see him here on our favorite web site:


Jack Young's is a very important story for us all: the individual effort to help people makes a decisive difference. Jack was a respected doctor is his community, raised three wonderful children, and is much remembered among those who knew him.

Daryl and I will meet next probably up near Penobscot Bay in September, unless he drives a big rig full of aging fish into my driveway before then.


Webmaster 01/02/14 - Happy New Year to all. Larry Pickett found some additional material for 1936 home letters including a playbill, tent list, contest clues, nightman duty, and a really nice camp brochure. We have an almost complete collection of 1936 material including all of the home letters. See them here - scroll down to 1936:  http://www.hydebay.net/Homeletter/Homeletter.html

Tom Lynn 01/02/14 - OK, I'm a bit confused. I've never looked at tent lists from way "back then." In the 60s, the tent lists would have the councilor's name at top and the campers' names underneath. I see from the 1936 tent list that my father (17 years old at the time) was in the same tent with his classmate Bucky Tuner, as well as his year-older brother Frank Lynn. Listed at the top is Cooper Walker who was 2-4 years older. (Looks like classmate Dickie Campbell was there, too.) Why were all these councilor-age people in the same tent? Were there that many "extra" councilors back then? Was the "org chart" different in those days? -- Lynn, T.

Tom Lynn  01/02/14 - (Part II) A-ha! I think I see now. In "my day," you were a councilor at age 16 and on. It looks like in my father's day, you could still be a camper at age 17 and 18. Interesting. -- Lynn, T.






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