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HYDE BAY HOME LETTER Volume XX 1946 No. 7
WEATHER: This week has seen a break in our universally fine camp weather. The fact is that we have had so much sunshine and clear days that we are enduring quite cheerfully a mixture of rain. Almost every day, however, sees some sunshine, which has enabled the various activities to continue. It is still good camp weather.
HEALTH: Fritzy Geiger and Jan Rozendaal are occupying the infirmary while getting rid of the measles. Otherwise the health, at camp has been excellent this week.
FORTUNATE ACCIDENT: On Saturday night councilors Chandlee and Kerr with visiting dignitary, Walter Lord,, were driving peacefully along the Cherry Valley turnpike when a not too conservative driver sheared off the side of a station wagon immediately in front of them and then caromed off out of control to crash into Al Kerr’s car. The most serious resulting animate injury was a dislocated wrist for Walter. The decorations of the other two could be classified as minor cuts. The offending car lost a wheel and one of its occupant had a collar bone broken. It is one of the appalling things, in our modern civilization that one’s own caution, skill, and prudence have relatively little effect on the problem of self—preservation.
BUSY WEEK: This has been an unusually adventurous epoch, due very largely to the presence in camp of that venerable Hyde Bay institution, Walter Lord. This welcome visitor has unusual genius in the conception, organization, and execution of interesting and unusual project’s for boys. Perhaps we had better run through the week days.
MONDAY: The baseball team was defeated on Doubleday Field by the Cooperstown team with a score of nine to five. Tommy Waxter pitched and fielded a splendid game. Dan Lindley and Bob Russell were the accompanying shining stars. In the mean time, younger boys with Freddie Krick and George Ruestow as the battery were likewise overcome by the Cooperstown Softball Team. The junior game was played in the far corner of spacious Doubleday Field. After the game, all hands went to see Cooperstown’s famous baseball museum. Due to internal disorders, the Hacker failed to make the return trip, its crew being distributed among other cars.
TURTLE DERBY: On this same evening, the annual turtle derby was held. Words fail to describe the panoply of the occasion. As organized by Walter Lord, the trapings would put to shame the Grand National at its best. The junior race was won by Bobby Hobbs, while the senior money was pocketed by Mrs. Pickett with her Hoodoo 13. General Lee, trained by Mrs. Williams, ran with the field, as did Atom, the giant snapper. Once more mere size doesn’t go far, and covers that space with difficulty. (Director’s Lament!)
TUESDAY:. Some light rain fell during the day, but the Hacker ran all the way from Cooperstown back to our dock in time to give us a lot of aqua-planing. Minor life-saving examinations proceeded under the watchful eye of Kip.
WEDNESDAY: This day was given over entirely to a novel game in which a group of campers and councilors endeavored to raid the camp and cart off a battered papier-mache cat which has lived a useless existence of many years in the lodge. Generalissimo Lord and his raiders were never quite able to carry off the prize, due to the excellent organization of the defense under Admiral Kerr. Perhaps the high point of the day was the great water attack, spear-headed by a boat smuggled out of camp the night before. Harry Coulter appeared as a fifty—columnist, who was duly apprehended. The umpire, in the person of the unfortunate “Chiefy” as our head councilor is known, was thrown off the dock by an enraged multitude. In the evening we witnessed an excellent movie called “Hudson’s Bay.”
A QUIET DAY: Forbidding weather called off the projected trip down the Susquehanna so a group of UL’s and councilors went up to the cedar swamp and cut down a quantity Of material for which a new coral was constructed for the horses. In the afternoon another group scaled Mount Nebo where the brush was cut out, the fire ring removed, and jobs completed for trips to this beautiful spot.
FRIDAY: Two station wagons took in the usual group of boys to see the movies in town. Tents 2, 4, and 10 under their mentors Heb, Palmy, and Puffy went out to cook some steaks on the shore of the lake up toward Shadow Brook. Cherry Valley reenacted the famous massacre, defeating our baseball team fifteen to ten. Binks Little and Charlie Riepe pitched valiantly but unsuccessfully. During the absence of the athletes, a new canoe rack was installed by Hank Hosley, Al Kerr and the Director.
SATURDAY’S TRIUMPHS: Most of the day was given over to our annual nature hunt. This is an adaptation of that unfortunate conception, the Scavenger Hunt. In this ease, boys bring in fifty items garnered from the bosom of nature, such as live frogs, snakes, mice, and all manner of berries, and insects. The team composed of Doug Shreve and Jo—Jo Walsh won the competition. Phil Rogers led the smaller boys with a remarkable score of 187. Three hundred was the greatest amount anyone could compile.
ONCE MORE THE SABBATH: Dave Fitzell preached. Sailing races were held in the afternoon with former camper, Giles Hamlin, and Cooperstown Academy student, Neil Rudd, beating Allen Hoblitzell in the White Comet and Whit Firor in the Red. Duo to the forbidding weather of the morning, the soap dip was held at noon.
SPECIAL PARAGRAPH: The plays on Saturday night were the best of the year. Ollie Thomson’s boys won a close victory with Heb Evans and his lads, and Tony Bogatko’s Thespians trailing. Then came one of the funniest plays in the whole hilarious history of Hyde Bay drama. Walter Lord, Al Kerr, Chiefy Chandlee, aided by Kip and abetted by Bobby Russell and Blaise de Sibour, put on a magnificent production which took place in a most realistic sleeping car. The Director was lampooned by Walter, while the antics of the others kept the audience in that mythical condition known as “stitches.”
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