A MATTER OF TRADITION: You will note that this is dated September 3rd. That is not to be taken as an indication of the actual time when this letter will be mailed. It is being dictated in the morning of August 26th. The bills for incidentals and other minutiae will consume many hours before this letter can be mailed. It is my hope, with my own awkward fingers, to write each of you a personal letter to accompany it. That also consumes much tine. You have had the news from the accurate lips of your sons. You no doubt can restrain your impatience for the enclosed bills. Anyhow, this represents the best we can do.
COMPENSATION: It was Emerson, wasn’t it, who wrote that essay on compensation in which he showed how life balances out the acts of most of us. After a season of the best weather we have ever enjoyed, rain caught us in the midst of the Monday festivities. The weather balance is still heavily in our favor. The 1955 parents are a marvelous group. The fraction of them with us on Monday, once more gave proof of their quality. Tables were hurriedly removed from the dining—room and we all, to the number of approximately 300, crowded into that room or sat on the porch peering through the screens. There was no visible dampening of the high spirits which prevailed.
CEREMONIES: The Director restored the balance of nature with a long, dry speech. The head councilor presented your most generous gift to the four men who have done such a splendid job in our kitchen and dining—room. He then proceeded to award ribbons, prizes and swimming certificates. As the last reward of aquatic merit reached the eager hands of its owner, the giant bonfire on the beach burst into flame. The rain obligingly relented for a bit an our more normal routine assorted itself. Gradually the flames melted into embers. Farewells were said, and one or one the guests departed.
CAME THE DAWN: The train destined to bear 29 boys and their custodian left Ft. Plain at 3 minutes before 7 o’clock. This necessitated our arising at 5:30 a.m. This feat was accomplished, hurried breakfasts were eaten, envelopes were emptied into the pockets of travelers, and off they went in the big bus. The Director had preceeded them with sundry bits of baggage to be checked. To rush quickly into the happy end, all arrived safely, the train was on time, they clambered aboard, and that chapter was ended.
DEDUCTION: As no parent has called me anxiously on the phone, I deduce that all arrived safely although trip conductor, George Ruestow has not yet been heard from.
THE FORENOON WORD ON: By the time your scribe had returned from the errand deliniated in the paragraph you have just read, parents were arriving in a steady stream. If all the station wagons had been put
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end to end, it would have seemed like Sunday on the road. Before noon, the last boy had gone and the weather had cleared sufficiently for the councilors to start tearing the camp apart. The honor of being the last camper out fell to John Whitehead.
DEVASATATION: By nightfall, the beds and mattresses were stored away; the tent platforms were stored in the russellorum; the tower was snatched from the lake with some difficulty; all the boats were stored away with the exception of a token fleet kept for our own use; the dock was amputated to a pitiful 40 foot stub; the Hacker was on dry land, ready to enter the boat house. Twenty-odd pairs of willing hands can accomplish much.
WEDNESDAY: This proved to be one of the most lovely days these eyes have ever beheld at Hyde Bay. My prose is inadequate to its perfection. The tents came down, the Hacker was housed, and off went the councilors one by one by train and car and bus.
APPRECIATION: At the risk of being repetitious, I must say that this has been our best season. I note that similar sentiments were expressed by me the last two years. I really believe we have gone on during that
time through the progression good, better, best. Our gratitude goes out to all who mado this happy result possible.
BILLS: here are the bills for the many purchases of your sons. If there are errors, please tell me. There are unbelievably many items covered. We have done our best to be accurate. We don’t expect to be perfect. Those purchases have been recorded and figured up and transcribed and typed; and in each of these processes, potential errors always lurk. You will note that these are not extra charges but only personal purchases and payment for services rendered to individuals.
REPORTS: The only reports enclosed are the last ones for those boys who were tutoring.
CONSTRUCTIVE CRITISISM: Things are bound to happen at camp which escape my notice. It would be a real favor if you would give me the reaction you have absorbed from your children in regard to any feature of camp life. Was his councilor good or bad? Were there deficiencies with the equipment supplied him? has the food satisfactory? Is there a grievance not expressed? We have always been recklessly frank in the reports we have sent you. Please be as benevolently ruthless in expressing your reactions.
RESIDUAL DEPOSITS: Trunks were inspected and re—insnected. Tents were cleaned and searched. The area was combed by inspectors. Unclaimed articles were passed from hand to hand as the boys left the dining—room the day before packing began. Boys and councilors were exhorted to check everything against the trunk list. We have sent off many packages of items which excaped even this dragnet. If there are important omissions still to be noted, please let me know and we will do our best.
REGISTRATION: I have already accepted tentatively a number of registrations for 1956. Other applications are pending. Many parents have told me to enroll their suns for the coming season. It would help us if you would give me any advance information you have. Once more we shall limit the Hyde Bay roster to old campers and their friends.
TILL THE CHRISTMAS LETTER --- “SO LONG”.