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Homeletter 1944 18th Season, No. 4

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HYDE BAY HOME LETTER           18th SEASON            Week of July 18 - July 25

WEATHER.  The weather still is kind to us although two days of this week were almost unpleasantly cold.  We have had just enough rain.  Several days have been hot enough to promote swimming.

HEALTH.  We are still fortunate in the matter health.  Fenner Goldsborough cut his foot in the water badly enough to require hospital treatment.  He is walking on it now.  Ralph Abrams, of the council is recovering from an infected finger, also requiring a hospital visit or two.  Gibby Carey picked up a nail rather superficially.  There have been a few colds.  The Infirmary has had a tenant or two but only for a day or so at a time.

THE DRAMA.  The first group of tent plays graced the boards on Saturday evening.  the patient product of Mr. Barriskill and four councilors and their broods.  Ralph Abrams’ tent portrayed the unfortunate career of a patient who looked like Angus MacLean.  Buddy Gilpin appeared as a monster who eventually killed off most of his tent.  The scene was laid in a far off time and place.  It is to be hoped it reflected no repressed ambition on Buddy’s part.  Lin Gray and his very young charges eloquently portrayed the tribulations of husband, Dicky Crisler, while wifey, Danny Green, was off to the bridge table.  Billy Conningsby and his boys indulged in an orgy of murder and sudden death to the great disapproval of one pure, sweet character in the sketch, a saintly and beautiful lady, previously known as Kenny Egerton.  The experts picked the Gilpin production as the best while a popular poll awarded that distinction to the Conningsby troupe.

CINEMA.  In the drama’s celluloid realm, on Wednesday night, we featured a very fine film called the “Immortal Sergeant”.  Hank Fonda survived harrowing experiences to marry “her”, as we had suspected he might.

THE OUTPOST.  We have just established our down-the-lake outpost, a secluded and delightful beach south of Graveley Point.  Two groups have already visited this spot.  Councilor Bill Lamdin, the iron man, went down on Monday and again on Tuesday night.  Boys, scheduled to leave at the end of the first four weeks, made up these expeditions for the most part.  All boys in camp will have a chance to have this experience, if they so desire.

DISASTERS.  In the rough water of Monday, the Comet and the dinghy capsized simultaneously, the first double feature of this sort ever staged at Hyde Bay.  The crews were promptly rescued by the Hacker but in the subsequent salvage operations, the mainsail of the Comet was lost to the sad crippling of our fleet.  Any reader harboring a Comet mainsail, however battered, is urged to sent it, by express, collect, at once to Hyde Bay.

IN AND OUT.  Around twenty boys will leave Wednesday morning under the Director’s personal supervision, to go to New York where they will be met by Herbert E. Pickett, Jr., who will conduct some of them on to Baltimore and Washington.  He will bring up the southern group and turn them over to the Director who will then come back up to Fort Plain and the camp late that evening.  This exodus leaves us no better off because the boys coming in will promptly fill the places of those who have left.  In fact, admission had to be reluctantly refused to some who applied for the second month too late.

SOMETHING NEW HAS BEEN ADDED.  Walter Hower has come in to take over the riding.  He has had considerable experience in this realm.  He found our veteran Sue suffering from a lame shoulder which will keep her out from under boys for some time to come.  You might be surprised at the difficulty we have in finding a blacksmith in this community so full of horses.  The loss of a shoe is almost as catastrophic in our little world as it was in the legendary “Lost Battle” – or was it “Kingdom”?

SWIMMING.  The number of those whom we call “non-swimmers” has been reduced to less than a dozen.  Many of these can swim quite a few feet but have not yet been able to go out around the float which is the “E” test, or around the diving tower, which is approximately 150 yards.  Numerous boys have met the requirements of tests “C” and “B” while Gilbert Colgate holds the distinction of being the only one reported, so far, to have completed the “A”.  We are promised some swimming meets with a team organized in Cooperstown.

TRIPS.  Groups have gone out to row or paddle three miles to the Springfield Center Public landing where they have eaten their lunch and subsequently trudged to that small village to eat sundry articles dear to the heart, or shall we say, stomach, of boys.  Older boys went to town on Saturday night in the glory of an overcrowded taxi.

PATHFINDER PARTY.  Fifteen older boys, managed by Charles Garland, attended a supper and dance at our neighboring girl’s camp on Friday night.  They went down by boat and car and returned partly on foot and partly by car.  A pleasant time was reported.  On Sunday conductor Garland and assistant Steigerwald, played a return engagement to rig the Comet which the ladies have down there.

NATURE HUNT.  One of the more repulsive features of modern social life, in the opinion of this reporter, is the scavenger hunt.  However, at Hyde Bay, this abomination has been purified and given a high purpose.  This Friday and Saturday, boys searched the countryside for fifty specimens of flora and fauna.  It was possible to score 300 points.  Bill Passano led the pack with well over 200.  Six other boys qualified for the free trip to town with a movie and ice cream thrownin.  Boys who made more than 100 points will be taken to East Springfield Tuesday afternoon for a similar party, minus the movies.

THE END.  This paragraph not only ends this homeletter, but tells you about the end of camp, as parents are already beginning to inquire.  Boys will leave early in the morning of Thursday, August 24th.  The exact train is not yet determined.

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