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Homeletter 1944 18th Season, No. 5

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HYDE BAY HOME LETTER           18th SEASON          Week of July 25 - August 1

WEATHER.  The atmospheric conditions in this region continue to be phenomenal.  I have seldom experienced such a succession of excellent days at Hyde Bay.  We have had just about the right amount of rain with not a singleday which could be classed as wholly rainy.   There has been wind for sailing.  The days have been warm and sunny for the most part, even some of the nights have been warm enough so that one did not need a sweater to sit around the open fire on the beach.

HEALTH.  This has been an excellent week in this important respect.  MerceGuerry was in the Infirmary for one night and part of two days with a slight cold.  Otherwise there have only been cuts, bruises and minor contusions which have not required medical attention beyond that which we are able to offer at camp.

VARIERY.  Instead of the usual feature file this week, we once more enjoyed an excellent magic performance put on by Bud Spraker, the local magician, who has entertained the camp on two preceding occasions.  This impressed me as one of his best performances.  He required the assistance of a number of campers, including the Turner brothers and Dushane Patterson and a considerable group of others.

INCIDENTAL MOVIES.  In addition to the five feature films which have been mentioned from time to time, we also show at camp a number of travel, industrial and educational films.  For about thirty minutes on Friday night, we enjoyed a remarkable picture of odds and ends of life in India.  There will be a number of these half hour shows during the rest of the season.

IN PERSON.  On our stage this Saturday, we had four more tent plays.  The curtain was raised with a burlesque on “Truth and Consequences” presented very amusingly and ably by Doug Croker&s tent.  Prizes and penalties were awarded by announcer Ellis not only to members of the cast, but also to victims from the audience.  Among the latter were councilors Frank Sommers and Buddy Gilpin and no less a person than head councilor, Guerry.  Next came the U. L. tent with a melodrama which was mellow indeed.  Murder and sudden death with the activities of an astute detective were spoofed very amusingly by this group.  The last two plays were of a somewhat more serious nature.  In the first of these, JackSteigerwald and his small trained seals portrayed a scene which purported to have come from the life of the Goldbergs.  The final play was the most elaborately costumed play of the year.  It had to do with the love affairs of sundry American Indians.  To the relief of all, Totem Pole Marbury was released from his enchantment when two Big Chiefs terrifyingly portrayed by two of his tent, finally became reconciled.  Again Mr. Barriskill is to be congratulated on test plays of a high order.  Up to date a ballot has not been taken to determine the winner of this competition.

CHANGE.  Wednesday, the 26th of July, was the day on which the first half of the camp ended and strangely was the day on which the second half started.  At a quarter before eight in the morning, the Director took seventeen boys off in the bus.  They subsequently arrived in New York without event, with ample room for all in an air conditioned coach from Albany to New York.  Once in the great city, the boys for the South went to the Grand Central movies while five others were distributed to their parents who appeared presently to greet their offspring.  Anon, Herbie arrived from Baltimore with six boys, four or five others joined, as had been planned, at the station master’s door.  Herbie tookhis group off by taxi to the Pennsylvania while the Director took the assembled group once more into an air conditioned coach with plenty of room.  Eventually and almost on time, we came back to camp at about ten-thirty.

BASEBALL.  While league games have been going on, the new feature by way of variety was a game between teams supposedly representing the North and the South.  The North, under the leadership of John Herndon, defeated the South, under Billy Crawford, by a score of 5 to 3.  As a balm to Confederate hearts, it might be stated that last year the South won, 16 to 4.

IMPROVEMENTS.  This week has seen the installation of a fine, large restaurant stove in the kitchen.  It has been supplemented by a hot water heater burning coal.  At the suggestion of cook, Jimmy Walker, windows were cut at the end of the kitchen which have vastly improved that important room.  Later on at dinner, Jimmy was awarded the dollar which the Director gives for all ideas which are of benefit to the camp.  A day or so ago Dixon Gannett and Bob Marchall put our rather rickety canoe landing stage in A-1 condition.  They did this on their own initiative, which is the spirit we like to see.

ATHLETICS.  A tennis ladder has been organized and is being contested daily.  The volley ball court has come more or less into its own with a number of games.

OVERNIGHT TRIPS.  A constant succession of councilors with their tents are going down to our newly organized camping place about a mile or so down the lake, just beyond Graveley Point.

SWIMMING.  By graduation into the class of swimmers, or by their departure into the cold world without, our class of non-swimmers has been reduced to approximately half a dozen.  They are still plugging away at developing their proficiency.

GOOD FORTUNE.  A kind friend in Cooperstown sold us a set of used Comet sails which once more puts the white Comet back in commission.  This was indeed fortunate as this equipment cannot be obtained in any other way known to this reporter.  All three boats are now, for the moment, in commission and are very active.

NO NEWS.  Happy is that country which has no history, and so we should have a feeling of thankfulness for this uneventful and pleasant week.

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