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Comments and Correspondence 2003

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Comments and Correspondence 2003

John Mercer 12/10/2003 - Wow. Here’s an intresting link to some Hyde Bay letters. I’ve written to this website designer to arrange to put these letters on our site.
A gracefully written memorial for Dr. Pickett appeared in The Ithaca Journal (the link to that article is now broken).

Larry Pickett 11/26/2003 - A memorial service was held at Kendal on December 5 at 2pm; in one obituary for my dad, this appeared: “Donations may be made to the Pickett Pediatric Surgical Lecture, Syracuse Medical Alumni Foundation, 155 Elizabeth Blackwell St., Syracuse, NY 13210, or to K.I.A., Residents Reserve Fund, 2230 North Triphammer Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850.” If anyone desires additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me through the dayman.

Frank Pine 11/19/2003 - I too remember Larry, very fondly. I only met him a couple of times but always enjoyed his humor and friendliness.

Tom Mercer 11/19/2003 - Dr. Larry was endowed with a wonderful gift which he bore with humility and greatgood humor. As is evident from the article linked to David’s note, Larry was a powerful force in the medical community at large, not only highly respected but much honored. The most touching part of that information is that no denizen of Hyde Bay, having rubbed shoulders with the good doctor (or followed him down West Canada Creek) could have known any of that. I wish I had known him better. Better still, I wish he had been my doctor.

David Pickett 11/18/2003 - I suppose bad news flies the fastest, and you may have already heard of Larry’s passing, but if not, here is. Not being familiar with the medical school thing, I am unsure what the rituals will be, and when. As Donne so poignantly said, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you.” Or as I shared with a widow [recently], “The world can certainly turn on you in a second.” I always find myself hearing the biblical phrase from King James English, ”… the quick and the dead.” It seems to say that all of us still alive are so only because we just dodged a bullet, whether we saw it or not. The [recent] stupid translators have improved it away.

Larry Pickett 11/17/2003 -  about his father, Lawrence Pickett, M.D., the middle of The Director’s three sons — Dad passed away Saturday, Noveomber 15, at about 5:30pm EST. He had been having problems with kidney failure, diabetes, and his usual respiratory and heart problems. After receiving some medications he went to sleep. Mom was with him. He and Mom decided sometime ago to donate their bodies to the medical school and a memorial service is in the talking stages. I suspect Mom will take some time for herself before we finalize plans.

Warren Hills 07/01/2003 - Great to hear the Durbar was a blast, and that the films worked out! As I recall, restperiod always followed brief post-lunch shopping at the store with Mrs. Macy selling the Snickers bars, Canajoharie pop, and pads of Hyde Bay writing paper. (In the summer of 1961, “Fizzies” were the rage, I believe!) Hope someone shot video of the Durbar.

John Mercer 06/15/2003 - My brother Tom and I went to Governor Dummer Academy yesterday to attend a ceremony in which both our father and Heb Evans were made honorary emeriti masters of the school. Whomshould we see there but Puffy Evans! I gave him the web site address and asked him about what happened to Heb’s pictures and movies; he said that very little came into his possession, so that remains one of the many HBC mysteries.
Mercer Evans Mercer
John Mercer – Puffy Evans – Tom Mercer

Rusty Pickett 06/01/2003 - Black, P; Gale F; Schmick J; and Pickett, R visited Cooperstown this weekend for a reconioter of both the territory and the Otesaga. The Otesaga is absolutely spectacular – one of the best resorts in NY! We saw our hospitality suite and met with the catering folks, and everything is on track.
We can advance book golf tee times for those that will be staying at the Otesaga. If you want to play golf, please let me know the day, number of players and desired tee time by Wednesday, and I will send the request off! Rice, and two Schmick’s have made prelim requests! Let me know the final details ASAP!
By the way, we camped IN THE RAIN at Glimmerglass and stayed dry! Great HBC training!

Fred Gale 06/01/2003 - Rusty, Jolly, Pierre, and I scouted C’town this weekend — the rainiest in HBC history. (Of course, HBC history did not END with camp!)Cubby Forman stopped by to say hello at our campground Friday. Happily, I have his business card, and have already called him about this picture. From my description, he wasnt sure if he was your source for this pix or not, but either way, he will see if he can ID the other 2 campers in it. Have also previewed the 2hours of Hillsy’s movies — some great stuff! Am now working with a local video pro on DVD transfers from BetaCam format.

Philip “Tex” Brown 06/01/2003 - The first shot is from the bridge on Dover Road looking upstream. The second was an attempt to get a shot of the falls from a unique vantage point. As I recall a short climb up the hill was required to find the right location. The Upper Falls can be seen at the bottom of the photo. I believe that is the reservoir dam at the top. The third was an attempt to take a shot from the same angle which the black & white photo entitled “Doing what we did at Trenton Falls” had been taken back in 1967. Yes that is the Upper Falls and yes high-water volume was a factor. These were taken in May of 1983 and I was only a little disappointed to not find The Falls as I had left them. I was looking forward to a leisurely swim, a walk behind the falls and a warm shower (now that you remind me that there was a hot shower). The high water volume took me quite by surprise. As a 12 year old in 1967 I was enamored by The Falls. As a 28 year old in 1983 I was awestruck by The Falls. The water volume was so great only a fool would have thought twice about swimming that day. If you study the pictures closely you can identify rock formations in all the pictures.

Warren Hills 05/16/2003 - In reading over “Tex” Brown’s letter, I was fascinated with the (3) circa 1983 Trenton Falls pix he included.
The first, “Trail Head at West Canada Creek,” is taken from an angle I don’t recall ever filming from, but wish I had. It better sets the scene for the trip’s final event than any of my stuff, which was all focused looking downstream. As I recall, we always were in a rush to set off with the high water discharge shortly after the siren blast issued by the plant. It occurs to me now that I never saw the actual dam, or was it that structure to the left in this picture? I do have shots of that same cylindrical tower as our group sneaks by on the way to the gorge. And did we camp out adjacent to this location in anticipation of the canoes running the rapids the next morning?
The second TF picture, “The Overlook,” shows a section of TF from a high viewpoint that I have never seen. On first glance, I almost thought this was Prospect Falls. Just what portion of the gorge does this show? Is that the “lower” falls section we visited upon climbing down into the gorge, or an entirely different section?
And the third picture, where on the river/gorge were these high-volume falls? Could this be the “upper” falls with the hot & cold showers being obliterated by the high water volume? And, was/is West Canada Creek part of the same river or river-system as the gorge and/or Prospect? I’d appreciate whatever additional information Tex can supply.

Cub Forman 05/31/2003 - I went over to Glimmerglass yesterday evening and spoke with Rusty and friends who are camping there.

Clifford “Cub” Forman 04/23/2003 - Back in the late 40’s, there was a camper whose father was a photographer from the Baltomore area I think. He came and took lots of shots around camp for a couple of years. If I had a campers list for some of those years, perhaps I could pick out the name. You might already have his pictures. Those pictures were 8×10 glossies that were sharp and nicely done. Do you know whatever happened to Puffy Evans?

Josh Shoemaker 04/13/2003 - Remember Jemma-Jemma? That was a Baltimore guy who never went to Hyde Bay. Name was Jeff Madden. His name became a sort of all-purpose oath of astonishment for a couple of summers. One form you may remember was “Jemma-loo!”

John Mercer 04/12/2003 - I assume we will get to see this film — and perhaps get to purchase a DVD copy — at the Durbar. If so, I’ll try to lay in a supply to sell through the web site.


Warren Hills writing to Fred Gale 04/10/2003 - I’ve had a VHS reference copy struck of my camp movies project. In watching the VHS, I now realize the Commodore was correct when he advised me years ago to trim down the nearly 2 hours of material to a more viewable length! I now wish I had.
I began filming Hyde Bay summers in 1953 (as a UL in Heb’s tent 16), missed 1957, was back on board for the summer of 1958, missed 1959 and 1960, and concluded with the summer of 1961.
My 2 hours of HBC material is sequenced mainly by activity… i.e., all the Trenton Falls material is together and all the Turtle Derby material is together, etc. My earliest material (some B&W) is very shaky … the cameraman had a tendency to whip pan. Some of this I was able to slo-mo to make it more viewable. (the first setting-off for Trenton Falls sequence (1953) was literally shot wildly waving the camera out of the station wagon’s window. Slo-mo helps the a bit, but only several freeze-frames have revealed persons such as Phil Pratt hidden in the streaky video).
The “Saga” does have a reasonable “grabber” open and decent montage (cut to music) for the close. I experimented with a little Spike Jones elsewhere (such as Big Gravely) There remains much marginal material (such as multiple Susquehanna trips) that should be cut down, but I was hesitant to do so for concern I’d lop off another person. And year titles would really have helped. Some of the material suffers from an annoying horizontal jitter caused by the transfer projector. Also left on these reels is soft-focus material resulting from a damaged camera. This includes final banquet/bonfire, morning after, and camp tear-down material. Many of the HBC family are nevertheless identifiable. The project remains very much a rough-cut “work in progress!”

The good news: I believe I’ve located the master tapes for my “Hyde Bay Saga” project.
The bad news: The masters are recorded on professional BetaCam format cassettes that can be played only on professional broadcast machines (as are used in TV stations).
I’ll contact my old employer, however, to seek permission to use their machinery to make VHS dubs.
I assume you might want to show this tape to the Durbar gathering. With a sizeable number of attendees, I would think the Otesaga might be willing to supply you with a VHS player and large-screen projection system. (a rear-projection “cabinet” type is easy to use, but a front-projection system is best for larger groups and for emotional impact!)
The material runs about 2 hours total, a length the Commodore had tried to get me to shorten to reduce boredom. Off-and-on I had been working on a Grand Camp Movies Saga, hoping to one day have the Commodore narrate the footage with identifications and other witty asides. Sadly, I’ve lost that opportunity.
The tape is a work in progress, with some trial music track at the beginning and the end.
You might wish to utilize the collective memory of this summer’s Durbar attendees to ID many of those faces preserved in these films. If I could suggest, I’d run a second screening of the tape (perhaps a second night), this time with a camcorder running, focussed on the TV screen but recording audio of the group’s comments as they remember the campers and staff. That would lock the voiced remembrances to the picture and with the camcorder continuing to record, allow for a “facilitator” (Mac?) to jockey the play tape back & forth to maximize the chance for ID’s. Armed with these now taped identifications, we could then gather several representatives of the HBC Theatre troupe (Jim Main? Mac Mellor?) to voice narrative to finish the work.
What do you think? Is it worth a try?
At any rate, I’ll now work on getting a VHS dub for this June.

John Mercer 04/09/2003 - Philip’s question about privacy and e-mail addresses is a good one: Shall I simply put a list of our e-mail addresses on the website? Shall I instead put up an e-mail address list with a little security (as in ‘[What did you have to swim around to pass your 'd' test)? Shall I use e-mail to circulate the e-mail list occasionally, but not put it on the website? Shall I do what I did with Philip's request--wrote to Peter Black (in this case) and tell him that Philip would like to be in touch and gave him Philip's e-mail address? (This last costs me the most work.)

Philip "Tex" Brown 04/09/2003 - Wannagan will never again be lost from my vocabulary. I'll follow up on your question regarding Billy Lynn with my father. I will also do what I can when I can about getting scanned copies of my artifacts to you. If you would like, I may decide to make copies for myself and send you the originals.
I would enjoy the Durbar but am afraid the "short notice" will prevent me from attending. I'll consider the proposal.
I have added a few pics from my 1983 trip to the area. Take a look when you have time.
What is your policy on sharing your Hyde Bay email list? I love to drop Peter Black a note.

David McManus 04/07/2003 - As one would look off of the beach-muck shore line and sing "You wonder where the yellow went?" What good times and learning times for the young. The memories that you brought back with this web site made me feel like I was chasing a Malm, Pine, Mercer, or a chipmunk from our peanut butter traps. Henry would say "ain' no mo" food, bait, or peanut butter.
What have I been doing? Sometimes I wonder myself. I've just about been all over this world. All of Europe, med. countries, the Caribe, Mexico, and Southeast Asia. Glad those days are over. I stayed active in sailing for awhile with star boats, Hobie cats, and open ocean. I still have a home in the Baltimore area and one in the southwest Florida area. Two grandchildren ages 3 and 2.
Your 1950s tent groups picture no. 9. That was 1953 and the tent was 53a. Someplace I have a picture of the same group with their makeup on for the Saturday night plays. I'm trying to find it now. Photo no. 5 is tent 10 with "you gotta stay loose" [Bill] Brooks. Gotta run for now.

John Mercer 04/07/2003 - I’ve written back to Philip–whom I heedlessly addressed as “Tex”–and supplied the magic word ‘wannagan’ and supplied a few other IDs to the pictures he had on his web site. I’ll add them to the 1967 gallery when time permits and will also add his IDs from the 1935 pictures.

Philip “Tex” Brown 04/07/2003 - Last summer on a lazy afternoon I found myself surfing the web and keyed “Hyde Bay Camp” into the Yahoo search box. Clicking the SEARCH button I was delighted to get a hit. The link took me to the Carolyn Clay Mercer Eulogy [link is currenlty broken, but the Nightman promises to reactivate this site]. Please accept my condolences for your families’ loss.
I recall finding more on the web at that time specifically about Hyde Bay Camp but I don’t recall that the information had been organized into www.HydeBay.net. Do I remember correctly? Yesterday was another one of those lazy afternoons that I had time to do a little surfing and I was happy to find www.HydeBay.net. and all that it has to offer. I was entertained for hours. You see, I was very lucky to have been a camper there in 1967 and 1968. “Fat Pierre” Peter Black and David Clinnin were my councilors that first year in Tent #2. My father and his twin brother, William K. Brown and Jos. C. Brown were also Hyde Bay campers. When I found the Gallery had pictures from that era I immediately called my father and asked him which summer he had spent at Hyde Bay. He took a minute to compute the answer and replied 1935. Another click found me looking at an image of the legendary dive helmet that he had told countless stories about for as long as I can remember. I helped him locate the image and he too was elated! He was able to see that his brother was holding the dive helmet and he stood two campers to his brother’s right. We also determined that my father appears in the next photograph. He is on the far right wearing the “spectacles”.
I have always cherished my years at Hyde Bay. Trips to the Sunken Islands, searching for the Hot Rocks, playing Four Square and Buck-Buck and much much more. I visited the campground in 1983 while on a trip I made to New England but found very little that reminded me of those days. I did find the wooden bridge over Shadow Brook. I also visited Trenton Falls. Having been only 13 years old when I first visited Trenton Falls and still knowing very little about the region it took some effort but I found the trail head to Trenton Falls and followed it even though the posted signs clearly indicated that I was not welcome. It was May and the water flow was much heavier than it was on our camping trips so I decided it would be best not to do any swimming. The trip was well worth the effort. All the old memories were reinforced with new ones.
Seeing all that you and the other contributors had done to create www.HydeBay.net I was compelled to dig into my archives and see what I could find to share with ya’ll. We can thank my mother for saving most of what I found. I believe I have all but one of the HOME LETTERS for 1967 and 1968 as well as all my Councilor Letters (filled out by Peter Black, David Clinnin, and Pete Mehl). Items of particular interest are a couple of HYDE BAY PLAYERS Theater Programs. One is from 1967 and one from 1968. I also have the “1967 COUNCIL” list and the July and August Tent Lists for 1968. I’ll be happy to share all of these item with you and my fellow campers as time permits.
I’ve searched my mind for one bit of information for many years and can’t find the answer. Can someone please answer the following question? What did we call the red boxes that were used to store food and cooking implements on the canoe trips? (I recall something like warmamug but don’t trust my memory.) Also, if possible does anyone know the derivation of the word?
I would very much like to track down some of my old tent mates and councilors. My records show: 1967 – Tent #2 – Joe Gioia, Phillip (Flip) Johnson, Peter Balk and Mike Wilkins. 1968 – Tent #4 – Mike Wilkins, Roddy Usher and Flip Johnson. If you have any information that you can share regarding their whereabouts could you please share it with me?
I have scanned a few Hyde Bay Camp pictures taken in 1967 and you can download them here.

Larry Pickett 03/21/2003 - I got lost on the way back from Nebo and apologize for the suspension in Home Letters. Now have a bit of a scanner and will get around to entering some of the documents that are in better shape that the early ones. Have some tent lists and a variety of other documents.

Bruce Rice 03/17/2003 - In Picture NC-06 the guesses are 1957 and Blaise DiSibour as counselor. I would have been 6 years old that year, and five years away from going to Hyde Bay. In my one year as a counselor (1966?) I had the youngest kids in camp, one of whom was Blaise DiSibour who I believe was 6, who came to camp a day late and showed up during lunch. The whole lunch room stopped when we heard this poor kid screaming. He screamed for at least 48 hours before he settled into camp life. I never knew his father had been at Hyde Bay. Am I correct in this connection?

Walt McManus 03/03/2003 - You found me. Keep up the good work. The web site is great!!! I have contacted my brother, Peter, and gave my Uncle Charles your note regarding Charles, Jr. and David. I also have gotten in touch with Charlie Classen. The Hyde Bay years were most memorable and made a very positive contribution to my life.

Jock McQuilkin 03/02/2003 - I am already on to Hyde Bay nostalgia quiz #2: who was the only baseball pitcher slower than Satchel Paige? Answer (for your eyes only): T. Mulvenny. I caught Todd on many memorable afternoons on the diamond and could probably have run down to the back door of the kitchen for an extra bowl of ice cream from Henry Norman, finished it, and returned to my position in time to receive Todd’s offering. (If Todd would like to dispute this information, kindly give him my email address. It would give me a chance to remind him of the beatings I inflicted on him on the tennis court). I had some great kids as a H.B. councilor, but the group which included “Shoebibs” Shoemaker and “Jolly” Schmick was the best. I would love to hear from those guys and find out who filled out our tent that summer, tent #, etc. Jocko

Jock McQuilkin 02/25/2003 - I can confirm that all these beautiful boys (1957 Tent 16) are who you and Mellor and Jencks think they are. By the way, Carl Malm (aka C. Michael Malm) is today known as Mike or Michael although we used to refer to him as “Carlos” at camp. He has his own law firm in Boston and I can easily access his address, telephone numbers etc. by calling his mom in Rochester if you need it. As mentioned in an email to Mac, I am suggesting a “monthly memory moment” for the website and, being totally egotistical, I am further suggesting that the very first nostalgia quiz should be “Who was the Commodore’s Geisha Girl?”

Winston Wood 02/13/2003 - If you’re collecting a necrology, here’s a sad note. Neville was in camp in 1960 and ‘61, and our families were friends. I don’t even remember him in a tent because it seemed he was always at the stables with Doug Cornish and the other horsey types.
OBITUARIES, Orlando Sentinel, 7 August 2001
A. NEVILLE CUTTING, 55, Barcelona Way, Winter Park, died Thursday, Aug. 2. Mr. Cutting was owner of Cutting Loose Fishing Expeditions and a sales associate for Mercedes-Benz, Orlando. Born in Washington, D.C., he moved to Central Florida in 1984. Survivors: wife, Louise; half-brothers, George W., Oyster Bay, N.Y., John A. Hinckley, Richmond, Va.; half sister, Dorothy Morrell, Vancouver Island; stepsister, Martha McDuffie, Bailey, Colo.

Winston Wood 02/13/2003 - I’m sure the tent list is accurate for 1957, so the picture may date from another summer, perhaps earlier. But I’m fairly positive that it’s Cheeks O’Connell because he was my lacrosse coach later in life. Flu might be able to confirm because they’re both still active at St. Paul’s. Who Smith is on the list I can’t guess other than another one of us nobodies who didn’t go to Gilman.
On another note, I have to say I’m really irritated with Jolly Schmick for not telling me that you started this. We talk from time to time and also communicate through his brother Bill, who I worked with here for 14 years. That’s a mixed blessing for you though, because as word continues to get out, you’ll be flooded with e-mail from the brotherhood and have no time to do anything else.
The Ohio Gorge meeting you mentioned rings a bell, but I can’t put a date on it. Were you leading a trip or reminiscing? I’ve been up there many times to fish West Canada Creek, and when I got back from Viet Nam I retraced the route of the Trenton Falls trip with a fly rod, solo canoe and cooler of beer as a sort of victory lap. That would have been 1972, after camp moved down on the Susquehanna. Were they still taking the old trips from the new location?
My first summer was 1959 and my last was ‘66, with a break in 1962 for an Auntie Mame-like trip to Europe with my grandmother to cheer her up after my grandfather died. Seven years was a good run, though, and it was only recently that I stopped putting “Head UL at Hyde Bay Camp, Summer 1966″ in the list of work experiences on my resume. Much as I would have liked to come back as a councilor, my father thought that at 16 my summers would be better spent working in the family paper mill and learning how to take over the business. Ha! It in fact steeled me to sell the place, which my brother, cousins and I did at our first opportunity. So if I had been able to come back until the end, I’d probably be making paper today instead of writing on it.

Winston Wood 02/12/2003 - I realize that for many Hyde Bay Old Boys if you didn’t go to Gilman your name was Smith, but the counselor here is Chuck O’Connell, like Todd Mulvaney and myself one of the small St. Paul’s contingent at camp over the years. But what a joy to find that HBC lives on in cyperspace. Living in Virginia and with little Baltimore frame of reference any more, my daughters think the stories of Mouldy City, the Kooks, William Clark, Big Henry, Hot Rocks, Pratt Pizzas and the Eight Inch Regatta are all made up. Ha! Here the truth is stranger than fiction…

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