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Home Letter Vol. 10, No. 8,  1937

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VOLUME TEN  NUMBER EIGHT                                      August 26, 1937

LOCALE AND DRAMATIS PERSONNAE.  This is such a fine day that we have taken a game table from the lodge and have carried the typewriter down to the trees near our cottage and are writing facing the lake on one of the hottest days we have had here this year.  Lawry and Griff have gone to take Fielder and Prudence to the top of Rum Hill in the Station Wagon.  Sunshine is trying to shoot fish with a bow and arrow; Bobby is bobbing about in the dim horizon in the “Hi-Baby”; Cooper, the sole remaining member of the staff has evaporated.  It is Hyde Bay after camp has closed.  Mrs. Pickett is doing accounts at my left as I write.

MOTHER OTSEGO WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN.  The campers left in a body during Thursday morning.  Thirty-five went by train.  The two Kinders left for Herkimer and the West at six A. M.  Billy Payne went down to Baltimore with Mrs. Walker.  Automobiles came in and took every last man of them before noon.  After noon, the visiting firemen, Bucky Turner and Frank Lynn washed their cars the better to dazzle fair eyes in Cape May and other places.  Outraged Otsego promptly sent down a two-day rain.  The Captain and Miles started to stay, but the weather got them down and Mr. Marrian left at four A. M. Saturday with Theodore and Mr. Hartzell pulled out at a more dignified hour.  Fielder and Prudence go Monday on the 9:13.  Forrest will stay to help close camp.

WIND UP.  We have forty-eight ribbons for events in what we all the “Wind Up”.  It is wind as meaning what would be called wound in the past tense; not a synonym for fear.  At any rate, you would not expect us to catalog   all the winners.  Enough to say that many events were hotly contested and many were not.  It took two days to run off, during which Bill wore a worried look and hustled about a lot.

CALMODORE.  Since he had to paddle the sailboat across the very widest part of Otsego, Former Commodore Walter Lord has asked that he be called Calmodore.  Be that as it may, Lord, by any title, was in charge of the annual eight-inch regatta on Wednesday.  The race was run in a dead calm inspite of which the tiny boats went from the wharf to the tower in an hour or so.  The boat owned by a syndicate headed by Lord himself, the Herbie Pickett the Third, was first across the finish line, which was quite as imaginary as the justily famed equator.

PAGING ST. CECILIA.  While attending an auction Saturday, the Director put all others to flight with a bid of one dollar and a half and found himself the possessor of a sizeable parlor organ which had been pumped on the airs of two generations.  Brought to camp in the mists of Sunday’s dawn, it has since been in constant use, swinging with complaint, hymning and even Baching to perfection  under the trained hands of Bob Long.

PRIZES.  At Hyde Bay we do not like prizes.  There are none which are based on opinion.  Such prizes always make unfair distinction.  The winner gets all and others very close get nothing.  We do give simple inexpensive,and useful gifts to boys who have obtained some tangible distinction.  In the light of the big bonfire, Bill announced the following amid cheers:
Best kept bunk for the year --- Freddie Allner
Finest photograph taken about Hyde Bay --- First, Spence Howard with a very artistic study of the Comet in full flight.Vernon Root and Lloyd Felton Placed second and third in the contest.
Biggest fish --- Danny Brewster with a pickerell a bit over eighteen inches.  This has been a very bad year for fish.
Tennis --- Gus Thomas and Kennedy Cromwell in their classes.
Ping-Pong --- Lovell and Allner.  And Formwalt.
Horseshoes --- same set of three
Minature Baseball --- Jack Thomas who beat Freddie Allner in the World Series, four games out of six.

THE DINNER.  At six thirty on Wednesday night, we sat down to one of Fielder and Prudence’s triumphs.  We had fourteen guests to enliven the occasion.  Parents Duer, Finney Maltbie, Stuart, and Grandmother Duer were with us.  Mrs. Root and Grandmother Townsend took Vernon to Cooperstown due to his illness, and so missed the dinner.  Calmodore Lord spoke as did the Director.  There was no other speakers audible to the whole assembly.  After the last bit of ice cream was in a safe place, we all adjourned to the 1937 Hartzell fire.  It was a great success with air conditions perfect.  After the prizes were given out the youngest were to bed while the rest of us adjourned once more to the theatre where the visiting firemen, Lord Lynns and Turner regaled us on Coke and cheese with crackers.  There we sang to the organ transported for the occasion.  Billy, Mr. Dresser, and Mr. Russell did their traditional folk dances.

VALIANT.  Tuesday night saw a brilliant performance of the Valiant with an adult cast.  Starred in this powerful and tragic interlude of prison life were Cooper Walker as the Prisoner and Mrs. Dresser as the girl looking for her lost brother.  A somber background was supplied by the Director as Warden and Gordon Kinder as Chaplain, while Spence Howard popped on affirmatively with assurance.  So  smooth was the performance that few were the members of the audience who were not stirred to the depths of their emotional being.

LAST MORNING.  As the Kinders had to go at six, the Director arose at five thirty to find that all the boys were already up and clustered about the fire.  After the Kinder boys had gone, the Director invited all to take a soap dip.  Thus at about six in the morning, all the camp bathed and played off the end of the dock.  At six-forty, Theodore blew a mighty blast on his horn for the rising bell.  Bill shouted to empty tents, “Feet on the floor” and the hitherto sleeping councilors arose and joined the dippers.


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