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Homeletter 1945 19th Season, No. 5

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HYDE BAY HOME LETTER        19th SEASON       Week of July 26 - August 2, 1945

Weather. We have enjoyed two or three perfect camp days this week, with some especially fine sailing weather. There has also been rain but not as depressing a fraction as we have previously suffered. From all the reports we get, the other parts of the country seem comparably affected.

Health. The infirmary has been practically empty this week, the exception being now and then a boy who needed a special rest for a night, or was having some very slight upset.

Correction. No publication is complete without this heading. Last week we very carelessly, although somewhat timorously, suggested that Jo-Jo Walsh was third in the yellow stone contest. We should have said Graeme Menzies. We now do say that.

Omission. In the excitement of editing the home letter last week, we failed utterly to mention a most exciting and pleasant occasion. “Commodore” Lord, taking to the land for the time being, posed as an escaped international crook, who had the fortunate idiosyncrasy of making X marks with chalk on various and sundry objects. This weakness betrayed him. After most of the camp had chased the outlaw and his companions for several miles, all but two were captured. It occupied all of a Sunday afternoon.

Innovation. For the first time, this week we have tried pitting tent against tent in a contest to become “tent of the week.” Points were earned by neatness and the participation of the occupants of the tent in various activities. Tent No. 1 won the prize this week with the very fine score of 89 points. Therefore, Councilor Palmer Williams and his charges will receive a free trip to Cooperstown at the earliest posib1e opportunity. It is not our purpose to overemphasize this type of competition, but the experiment seemed worth trying.

Tournament. A tennis tournament has been started with the camp divided into three classes according to their ages. A number of matches have been played as the weather has allowed the court to be used at irregular intervals.

Otsego Downs. Encouraged by the indomitable “Commodore”, boys invaded Shadow Brook this week and emerged, bringing several turtles as prizes. These were duly numbered with yellow paint, and after a brief period of training in skilled hands, were set loose one evening in the great turtle derby. Turtle No. V. owned and operated by Jimmy Plowden—Wardlaw emerged the victor and carried off the prize of $1.00. Everything was carried out with due decorum. It was a most exciting occasion. At the conclusion of the race, a most touching scene occurred. While Councilor Lando played Taps on his trumpet, the rowboat, maimed by grim—faced campers, carried the turtles back to Shadow Brook and turned them loose, to remain at pasture until we have need of them next year. One has already fallen into the clutches of the campers, only to be released again.

Society Notes. On Saturday night, Tents 17 and 18, containing the older boys at camp, went to Pathfinder Lodge to watch and listen to the girls presenting, “Die Meistersinger.” By all reports, it was a very delightful party.

Cinema. The offering of the week was, “Take a Letter, Darling.” Which was projected by the apparatus in well—nigh faultless style.

Decoration. Handicraft Councilors Larry Williams and Bob Ramsay, assisted by some of the boys, have decorated the curtain in the theatre with some splendidly done scenes from camp life. There are still some ominous panels which are supposed to be filled with caricatures of certain prominent individuals around camp. This Department is just a bit nervous.

The Other Side of the Curtain. Our very best set of tent plays was presented last Saturday night. The offerings were uniformly good. Perhaps the best was Bob Ramsay’s tent, with a pirate play full of romance and adventure. The tent-of—the-week gave us a glimpse of the famous radio presentation, “The Elmos.” Councilors Chuck de Napoli and Bob Marshall, with Tent 14 in support, gave a brief but violent melodrama.

Contagion. “Pat” Patton had hardly entered the camp when he seemed to be gaining facial fat at a rate unprecedented even with our good food. The diagnosis was “mumps”, so Pat was promptly whisked off to his home to ride out this dread ailment in complete isolation. We hope he will be back with us in due time. In about three weeks, perhaps some of the young men who have previously been unable to accumulate mumps, will find themselves the proud possessors of the same disease. On the other hand, in our open air life, we may be so fortunate as to escape such results.

The Inner Man. The larder still continues in robust condition. Steak appeared on our table on Sunday. Our garden is beginning to supplement the ample supply of vegetables has been coming in on the bi-weekly truck. Sweet corn is just around the corner, while squash, string beans, chard, and other delicacies have been with us for some time.

Prodigal Sons. Herbert and Larry Pickett, with their families, are at camp this week, and have dropped easily and naturally into their accustomed role of councilor. Larry has already led hikes to the haunted house, has been out on a birch-bending expedition, and was the object of the search in the famous old game of “Hide the Councilor.” He was eventually discovered in the top of our one big pine tree. Herbie just arrived Sunday night.

Overnight Hikes. We have started the tents going out individually for nights on Strawberry Mountain. Dick Nash, Hank Hosley, Bob Ramsay, and Charlie Lando have already been out with their young charges.

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