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Stories, Memories, Impressions of Camp

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Stories, Memories and Impressions of Camp
Also see Strange, Harrowing, or Humorous Trip Events.

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Quick links:
  A Story About Nothing - Colin Murray
Sonnets by John Mercer
A Shocking Episode - Charlie Burnham and Jim Main
Pony Girls Gone Wild - Steve Cunningham
Girls in Tents - Why, the very idea! - Sandy Pickett
The Batgirl of the Otesaga - Mike Hilliard
The Director's Little Trick - Mike Hilliard
Poignant Memory of Camp - Mike Hilliard
Zoom, Schwartz, Perfigliano - Winston Wood
Motor, the Corn Borer - Heb Evans
Memories of Camp - Robert Gerlach
Ethical Culture Camp - Tom Lynn
Camp Memories - Steve Cunningham
Mike Hilliard's Account of After Camp - Mike Hilliard
Strawberry Shortcake... - David Dube
Scattered Memories - Jay Alexander
Chenango Wrestling Nemesis - Tom Lynn





A Story About Nothing - Colin Murray

Colin Murray 11-07-14 -  A shred of a memory emerged from pre-UL days... ’60 or ''61-ish.  Maybe one or more of the three or four others in the 'cadre' might also have a similar recollection.

    Inspired initially by a decommissioned toppled over two or three-seat kook-house overgrown by vegetation and therefore inconspicuous in roughly the same neighborhood as the newer one, a group of us like-minded low-life campers decided to re-task it as a gathering place from which we could hatch nefarious designs in deep cover.  No ritualized, sealed-in-blood oaths were required to keep the place a secret.

    Also, there was a certain thrill in believing we could be unknown to the outside world for the long periods of time between meals and by dint of omission on the Dayman's clipboard.  "Nobody's gonna find us 'cause we covered our tracks and leastwise, no one's gonna take the trouble to search us out... right? ...anyway, we're safe for now."

   In no way comfortable, the enclosed space, infested by creepy-crawly things (with 4, 6, 8, 100, or 1,000 legs), and lit mainly through its former 'business' end, was a serendipitous find for some kids with active imaginations.  The thing is, we had no grand designs - nor the willingness - to upend the local social order, much less any wider one.  And any untoward act perpetrated against any individual, we well knew, would rain down wholesale perdition on the whole gang after we'd finished 'rolling' on one another under bright-light-in-the-face questioning.

    So in lieu of planning any real action, we set about devising a code couched in language, as a means of establishing our exclusivity whether or not we were overheard.  The process of learning a language of word substitutions required a prodigious memory and quickly sewed the seeds of the group's dissolution.  Too much work.  Nevertheless, we did practice assiduously for a little while.  Only three words have stuck with me over the years:  "Peaches, pears, oranges..."  "Meet me/us at the..."  We assigned fruit names to as many camp locations as could be dreamed up and not immediately forgotten.  So when one of us met me at the "blueberries" (wherever that was), we had nothing substantive to say; there was no stealthy 'mission' to discuss or carry out.

    So what was the point?  The association with no name faded into unrecorded history from loss of interest.  No targets, no victims, no 'fame,' no legacy.  But for a torturous memory exercise, what was learned?  We didn't get away with anything! ...unless some very under-aged bloke purloined his counselor's smokes.  Imagine four taciturn, funny-smelling, green-completed campers at dinner with poor appetites.  Maybe that happened with the next little lurking group of campers to discover the 'den.'

    I've forgotten who comprised the group.  "Hey, remember when we got together in secret and put a lot of effort into doing nothing but talk gibberish?"  The sheer absurdity of it all must've made the chance eavesdropper think we were either touched, or at best, practicing lines for the week's Playhouse productions.  So we faded out... amicably, I hope.  It finished out as a 'show about nothing' with a few (muffled) laughs.







Five Sonnets by John Mercer


The skyline lingers, returns to me in dreams:
the blasted Adirondack pines, all broken gray,
the flat, dull light of that young August day,
my arches aching on the half-inch edge of beam.

They teach me never to look down. "Look out,"
they say. I do -- and memorize the mess
that spring has left, the tangled run-off tresses,
the rot of flood-killed rodents all about.

"Look out," they say, then urgently insist.
I, off in nothing, falling free to drown,
recall, "Don't watch it come, no, don't look down;
it'll smack your face and bruise you like a fist."

I stepped into the air. It took away my breath.
I fell into the infinite, the feather bed of death.


The Tom-Tom that I knew in Cooperstown
was freckle-faced and sunny, way too neat;
in fact, he won the neatness prize hands down,
and all this care turned soon to sail and cleat.
Yet, there was mayhem, too, in town at night—
at Reedy's, Weiners', at The Glim and Pit,
and at an early age he learned delight
from all the women and martinis that would fit.

Now in these later years he seems to me
the same young sunny boy that's stored in mind—
the same in seeking order, same in glee—
throughout the losses from a world unkind.

I count on him alone, as brother, as my friend,
and trust in him serenely for order at the end.



She's 17 and I am 23.
She's not my gal, nor I her lover man;
in fact, hot passion neither will demand,
but something's there: this girl, this boat, and me.

We are new friends, the Sunday Times in hand,
sunglasses perched to stint the August glow,
this is the world we have, the world we know.
We heed each other, work to understand.

The lake quick licks the waterline below,
a sailing day without a hint of breeze,
a voice to love, its clarity and ease,
the world's events packed out of sight and stowed.

In us is freedom, warmth, the loping, lazy tease
of life before a sunset or the darkness of disease.


What I remember: those soft-sided flies
that came out only on the warmest days
and fumble-bumbled into objects in their way
like you and me, against a gravestone, eyes to skies.
What I remember: yes, the picnic meal,
straw baskets packed with cheese and meats and bread,
the slow consumption of the lunch among the dead,
the dry as dust Germanic wine, whose cold I feel.
What I remember: the old man's weathering stone,
the dawning sense he'd had his horses killed
and then his dogs, as stated in his will,
you said, so they would not be left alone.

And here alone, remembering is all that's left to mark
that long-dead afternoon at the grave of Ambrose Clark.


It's 1974, and you arrive unbidden,
the Rose's in your purse, the rum in hand.
You call for ice and glasses, nothing grand,
and we begin the drinking, love unhidden.
We drink to flowers we don't know and those we do,
to barrooms that we roll up to as foreigners at night,
to other ones that know the both of us by sight,
to haunted houses, upstate evenings, and the painted view.

The bottle empty, our tongues grown thick and eyes gone dim,
my fiancée arrives and calmly views the field,
reminds me briskly of the evening's invitation to a meal
and helps me tie my tie, her mouth turned slightly grim.
So off you go, and off go we, the socialites,
two separate roads, each with their endings out of sight.







Charlie Burnham and Jim Main

Charlie Burnham 07/24/12 - Enjoy reading the multitude of memories! I don't ever recall having a camp nickname but do remember Mouldy handing out awards one night in the dining hall and he introduced me as "London Bridges Burnham down"
         Another vivid memory is play practice during a torrential rain storm. Jim Main had a microphone and cord wrapped around his arm singing a song and trying to get us to animate when a giant flash of lightning and an instantaneous clap of thunder engulfed us. After a moment of stunned silence Main danced and whooped around the room by the projector box after being shocked by the cord. He's lucky he didn't get fried on the spot!

Jim Main 07/24/12 - Boy, do I remember that shocking story, however I did forget which tent had been practicing ... Thank you, Charlie ..Everyone thought I was just doing my usual silly song and dances, however it was the electric vibes that were keeping the beat ... I was extremely lucky that day, as the lightening had hit the showers, gone through the pipes into the heating system and then through the electrical lines down the hill into the theater ... The mike cord wrapped around my body allowed the current to buzz me for a while causing the whooping and jumping around ... Ah, the theater!!! .... Jimain, Jimain





The real story from an eyewitness
Steve Cunningham 11/18/2011

      Yes, it is true! Our camp was partially ransacked by teenage girls.

      During the summer of 1963, I bunked in the Mouldy City annex. On Saturday night August 3, 1963, plays were in full swing. For reasons I don’t recall, I walked back to the annex and heard clattering and commotion in Mouldy City. It sounded like a fight. I walked around to the front and heard the distinct sound of springs as bunks were being overturned, thumping of trunks and bed-stand orange crates being thrown around. It was no fight, but, at the sturdy age of fifteen and having heard most of the ghost stories, I figured it was a coalition of monsters that had finally come to eat the entire camp. I was almost scared out of my business.

      During my heart-pounding, surrealistic run back to the theater, I noticed some tents had been flattened. Out of breath and shaking, I excitedly reported the incident to Mouldy. I had totally lost my calm and might not have slept well that night.

      Here is the excerpt from the Volume 37, Number 5, August 6, 1963 (Saturday) Home Letter:

      "An unfortunate Incident occurred while we were watching the plays. We will explain this briefly simply to avoid any erroneous rumors. The camp has also been informed of the full story and everything is completely back to normal now. Four young girls (14 to 16 years old) came into camp, with the endorsement of the father of one girl, let down four of our tents, upset trunks, and turned over beds--the initial thought being only to short-sheet the beds. One thing leads to another and the end result was far more extensive than a simple prank. Two of the girls along with the father were apprehended and were interviewed by the State Police. The other two girls found their way home on their own. Pranks are somewhat understood but not when such things are sanctioned and promoted by unthinking parents!!"

November 18, 2011 Bruce Rice writing: Copying Tom and Steve on this – maybe they remember the Pony Club Girls Gone Wild. Steve was the stableman back then I think.
      For me, in 1962 I was 11, been in an all boys school and camp my whole life, and had no idea what a girl was. Had one appeared in my tent I probably assumed it was William Clark or the Cardiff giant.

November 18, 2011 Winston Wood writing: So it's true! I think I heard it from Rusty, so you might contact him for the background and more details. I'm sure Mouldy got involved. And wouldn't it be fun to find one of the girls and get her to write about it from their perspective. I think some of them were from Baltimore.

November 18, 2011 Tom Lynn writing: Although it wasn't '61 (since my first year at camp was "63 or '64), I recall that there was a time in my early years when we were all in the Theater (for either plays or movies), when a group of townies (presumably) went through the camp somehow knocking some tents down. Not sure it was related to Winston's story though. (As far as Bruce's concept of "girls in tents," Councilor Shoemaker on one or two occasions snuck his girlfriend(s?) into our tent/MC late at night to visit us. I think some other councilors might have done this as well?





Sandy Pickett - 11/22/11

      I have to agree with Tom Lynn. When our group was in Mouldy City, our counselor was Josh Shoemaker. Dave Dubie and myself were in the annex. On many occasions, Josh would bring Joannie Hatfield back to the cabin for whatever reason. Tom was right about one of the nights. I actually remember it quite well. Joannie did go around and give all of the guys a kiss. Dave and I, being in the annex, unfortunately missed out on the fun. A side note to this event. Joannie Hatfield was HOT!!!

      I also remember the tents coming down but was not privy to who did it or what the outcome was. The rumor at the time was just "townies." Dad {Mouldy} was really mad.

11/18/2011 Winston Wood writing: I remember the Shoebibs girlfriend episode. It was Meg Mithoffer and they came by my tent too since she knew me and my family and wanted to "say hello." She was really cute and another reason why I have long admired Josh.

11/18/2011 Tom Lynn writing: During my Shoemaker years, it was one of the Hatfield sisters (not sure if it was Barb or Joannie) who visited us. In MC, one of the guys asked her to give us each a kiss goodnight. In the dark (we couldn't even really see anything other than a lit cigarette or two), she went around to each bunk to give each of us a kiss on the forehead. When it was Tim Bennett's turn, he quickly moved his head up so that he got a kiss in the lips -- or so he said!  It was also Ms. Hatfield he gave the diminutive Mike Prowda his camp nickname: "He looks just like a littlle 'Pooh Bear'!" -- TL






Mike Hilliard - 08/16/11

      On the evening of Saturday, August 6th 2011 Frank “Nature Boy” Pine and his wife Lorraine “St. Lorraine” Pine (because she puts up with Frank) retired to their quarters on the fifth floor of the Otesaga after another wonderful day at Durbar. As they opened their door, they noticed a small winged mammal configured like an F-117 Stealth Fighter jet swooping and banking through their room. It was an Otesaga bat.

      Frank & Lorraine wisely shut the door and proceeded to the 4th floor elevator to alert the front desk. As they reached the elevator, Mike “Mikey” Hilliard, his wife Georgia, and Pete “Pierre” Black emerged. Frank informed the Hilliard’s and Peter of his mission, and the Hilliard’s and Peter proceeded up the stairs to the 5th floor. On their way up the stairs, Peter asked Mike, a retired cop, “Did you bring your gun?” Mike looked at Peter in puzzlement, and Peter responded, “You could shoot it. I had a bat in my house, and Ruthie (his wife) was upset. So, I got out my 22 and shot it. Then Ruthie got mad at me because I put a hole in the curtain.I mean - I took care of the bat!”

      As the group reached the 5th floor, Peter immediately retired to his room, but the Hilliard’s noticed the Otesaga bat had now reached the 5th floor hallway, where it was performing all sorts of aerobatics. Mike opened the door to the stair well with the well-intentioned thought that the bat would fly down the stairwell and out the lobby door. Georgia wisely instructed Mike to call the front desk and inform them this airborne creature was now in the 5th floor hallway.

      Mike called the desk. Batgirl answered, and said, “OK.” In less than a minute Batgirl bounded up the steps into to the 5th floor hall. She was just over 5 feet and slender. She was dressed in a black pant suit and white blouse. She was only equipped with a large and slender key ring. The bat had now secreted itself in an air vent in the hall’s ceiling.

      She immediately closed the stairwell door and asked Frank and Lorraine for a chair. Frank quickly gave her a chair from his room. She placed it directly under the vent. She then sprinted down the hall and closed the door dividing the 5th floor hallway, swiftly entered the housekeeping closet and retrieved a white towel. She then quickly alighted the chair, and used the king ring to gently coax the bat out of the air vent. It then swooped down the hall. As it reached the door dividing the hallway, it banked and returned at a high speed towards Mike, who ducked. The little stealth fighter banked down the hall again towards the other end of the hall. It repeated its maneuver at the door dividing the hallway swooping again towards Frank, Lorraine, and Mike, but Batgirl was ready. She tossed the towel in the air, and the bat flew in it. Batgirl gently gathered the creature in the towel and bounded down the steps. Within seconds she returned to the 5th floor still breathing normally, handed the chair to Frank and said, “Thank you.” She then disappeared into the night down the stairway.

      Everyone slept peacefully that night thanks to the Batgirl of the Otesaga.





Mike Hilliard - 08/02/11

      When the Director attended Rotary meetings at the Otesaga, he drove the Chevy pick up we used to haul garbage to the dump with those lovely juices dripping out from the tail gate, and he would park it next to the newest shiniest Cadillac he could find on the lot.





Mike Hilliard - 03/01/11

      The most poignant memory I have of camp was the summer following camp’s closure when the Picketts, the Hilliards, and the Davisons closed the camp.  One evening as the sun was setting; I was sitting on the dining hall porch alone with Mouldy.  It was beautiful.  The sky was a clear blue.  Otsego Lake was becoming Glimmerglass.  I must have said how much I will miss this.  Mouldy looked at me and said, “This will always be mine and yours.  No matter what is here.  This is ours.  No one can take that away from us.”  He was right, that evening is still etched in my memory, and Hyde Bay is still his, mine, and ours.





Winston Wood - 09/29/09

      In the mid-60s, campers ready to move on from Four Square had another way to test their competitive chops, a cut-throat word game called Zoom, Schwartz, Perfigliano. It was a kind of verbal tag in which those words were briskly parried around a group of players, the aim being to eliminate your opponents by getting them to mess up on the rules that went with each word until you alone remained victorious.

      Jeff Levi initiated me into the game, though I suspect that as with most things clever in camp in those days it originated with the theater counselors, who seemed to have lots of time to kill before crashing out scripts for the Saturday night tent plays. As I remember it, each round started with everyone in a circle and the "server" looking at someone else in the group and exclaiming "Zoom." That guy would have to respond with a "Schwartz" or "Perfigliano" -- if he re-Zoomed, he was out -- directed at someone else. If you were Schwartzed, you had to re-Schwartz the guy who Schwartzed you but he couldn't Schwartz you again, and a Perfigliano required you to turn your head quickly away from the person you were Perfigliano-ing. Again, if you messed up, you were out and the game started again. With all the barking and twitching, we must have looked like a Tourette's Syndrome support group.

      For years I considered this just another weird and wonderful institution unique to Hyde Bay, like the 8-inch Regatta, hot rocks and the legend of William Clark. So imagine my surprise when one of my godsons came home one Christmas from the University of Wisconsin crowing about this great drinking game called Zoom, Schwartz, Perfigliano. The concept was the same, although there were more words in the mix -- One was Mazda, which equalled three Zooms, I think, and so was Twizzler which required you to spin around-- and each round was proceeded by everyone downing a shot of Jagermeister. (Wouldn't Bob Pickett have loved that.) With further research I learned they also play a version of the game at Stanford, with each word having a corresponding dance step.

      If anyone out there knows how this all got started at camp it would solve one of the great mysteries in my life. And while you're at it, who's this guy Perfigliano?





Heb Evans

John Mercer writing -- My brother, Tom-tom, was recalling the other day that Heb Evans did not only tell ghost stories around the campfire, but also told long jokes, usually word-play jokes, one of which was something like this:

      “The farm boy said he only wanted two things in life — a pet to call his own and an outboard motor to go fishing. Well, he couldn’t afford a motor, but he found a pet. It was a corn borer to whom he gave the name Motor. Through the long, hot days of summer they were constant companions. But with the cooler days of autumn on the way, one day as they passed a cornfield, Motor disappeared. The young boy became frightened, then frantic, as he looked and called to his pet, all without success. He turned homeward at dusk, sad and broken hearted. Early the next morning, however, the boy returned to the field, his eyes a bit misty. He called and called, and suddenly there was a slight noise from a a tall corn stalk to his right. The sound grew louder, and the boy smiled with happiness — there before his eyes, out bored motor.”





Robert Gerlach - 06/06/09

      This weekend I visited Cooperstown and our beloved Hyde Bay. It was a glorious summer day with a good breeze blowing across the lake.

      I am especially thankful to have known Moldy, Betty and Rusty, but have many fond memories of . . .

      The train trips from Mount Vernon Station, Baltimore with Mr. Hilliard, through New York City and the Bus Trip to Cooperstown. “How Many More Miles Mr. Hilliard?….”

      Climbing the gorge up to Lookout mountain, where we enjoyed the greatest view of the lake and had breakfast for 30 out of a 24” Frying Pan.

      Big Mr. Henry “Ain’t no more, Aint’ no more (pancakes),…. Next Sunday,…..Next Sunday.)

      Helping Bergy Bergstrom with the glassing of Comet 3168.

      Building the crazy contraption out of conveyors to slide down into the water. What did we call it,….? The “Mouldy Rail?”

      I was a camper in the early – mid 60’s and enjoyed what must have been the best years of the camp.

      By that time, the Archery and Tennis were in full swing, the Equestrian program had been established for several years.

      And there were lots of other activities, however having caught ‘Sea Fever” in previous years, upon arrival at camp in 1967, my entire mission was to get out in a Comet sail boat. Although the councilors did their best at morning sign up to encourage me toward a variety of activities….. I spent every possible moment on AND in the water. Of course this meant passing a series of swimming challenges of increasing difficulty.

      First the swim to “The Raft” and back.

      Then, to “The Tower” and back.

      Next…. To the point.

      And finally….. From Clarks Point back to camp.

      So, that is is not surprising that within a week, I had developed a severe sunburn and flaking skin.

      Fortunately, Betty knew just what to do. She provided a ‘magic’ cream that eased the pain and told me to stay out of the sun for a week. A WHOLE WEEK??!!!@@#@#$

      Fortuntately, Mr. Hilliard’s ‘Shop’ had an incredible assortment of plaster casts for ‘slip’ molding, as well as a wide variety of materials and projects for any interest.

      The stories could go on and on, as I am sure you know.





Tom Lynn - 03/19/05

      It was great to read about the life of an Ethical Culture camper. I distinctly remember how mysterious it all seemed “down the shoreline.” The thing I most recall, though, is the rumor/myth that was shared among my fellow campers when we were first starting to feel our male hormones “awaken.”

      The story was that the swimming at Ethical Culture was done in two separate shifts: one for the boys and one for the girls. Not particularly fascinating in and of itself. However, what compelled us to squint and strain to see in the direction of ECS was that these shifts were — most assuredly — swum in the nude! Oh, how we 12 and 13 year olds were so sure that we had occasionally glimpsed … something! How exotic and continental those ECC campers surely were! (Where were the binoculars when we really needed them?)

      Ps - When I mentioned this to my father, he said that they had the same belief in his day. He said that some of them had even paddled a canoe down toward ECC and hidden themselves in the trees to get that same glimpse that I was wishing for 30 years later! (I wonder if this rumor was purposely passed down from the older boys as they eventually found it to be untrue — Woolly Ants, anyone?)

      Pps - Oh, FYI: I was only looking during the supposed “girls’ shifts” — not that’s there’s anything wrong with those who looked during other “shifts.”





Steve Cunningham - 12/31/04

      "Ah, the memories of paddling against choppy waves; horse ligament and saddle soap; sail fabric snapping in the wind; eating bacon on Nebo; bleeding on the rocks of Trenton Falls; having to pee in the middle of the night but being too scared to leave the tent for fear of “The Monkey’s Paw;” peeing out the side of the tent; paddling against relentless winds; fresh milk in a glass tumbler with cookies; ripping the pages from comic books for toilet paper; blood blisters from improper use of “Big Bertha” on the shuffle board; bruises on the wrestling mat; Mouldy City; paddling against the waves and wind; being bitten by green “deer flies;” staring transfixed into the heart of the bonfire; sneaking to the girl’s camp down the road at night; droplets of condensation forming on metal pitchers of ice-cold red “bug juice;” the candy line; setting off cherry bombs with time-delayed cigarette fuses; the solid heft of a wooden tennis racket; flacid tennis balls; looking everywere for the “Hot Rock;” mowing the outfield; trying to grasp a greased watermellon; waiting for the next reel of 16mm films to be queued; the Cardiff Giant; crunching on rock-candy at the Farmer’s Museum; cold hands and snowballs at Snow Gulch; having to (ugh) write home…"





Mike Hilliard - 2011

        I remember returning home with my parents after the 1969 season assuming I would return to Camp in the summer of 1970 as a Junior Counselor. That fall Mom and Dad informed Dee-Dee and I the camp would be closed the following summer, and we would be going to Hyde Bay along with the Davison’s to assist the Pickett’s in closing the camp. My recollection is my father explained to me that the long term lease to use the camp site with the Clark family expired at the end of the summer of 1969. The State of New York had taken the Clark's property for back taxes, and they had honored the Clark’s lease with the Camp. However, upon the lease expiring, the State would only offer a year to year lease on the property. The Camp to continue operating would have been required to make substantial improvements to its septic system, and that kind of capital investment to the property could not been justified without the State entering into a long term lease of the property. As a result, Mouldy and Betty chose to close the camp.

        In the spring of that year, what has been referred to as the "Final 'Final Banquet'" was held at Eudowood Gardens in Towson, MD right outside of Baltimore, which is now the site of Towson Marketplace. I remember attending it with my parents, Dee-Dee, the Davison's, and the Pickett's. I recall it as being the bitter sweet occasion, and my recollection is it was mostly attended by adults. I do not remember seeing a lot of my generation at the event.

        In the summer of 1970 the Pickett’s, Hilliard’s, and Davison’s moved the Russelorum, Little Bohemia, and I believe the Counselor's Lodge to Beaver Valley. The kitchen equipment, plates, silverware, tents, cots, mattresses and some boats were sold at an auction on the camp site. Mouldy negotiated a deal with the owner of the company that transported the buildings Jim Hurtibiest, and the ownership of the Hacker was transferred to him as all or a partial payment for the moving expenses. I remember riding in the Hacker across the lake with Jim to a boat yard on the east side of the lake. Just as we reached the boat yard, the Hacker ran out of fuel. Sandy and I jumped in the water and literally swam it to the dock.

        I can recall visiting the camp site in the summer of 1971 with my parents. We were returning to Baltimore from working that summer at Adirondack Wilderness Camp on Long Lake, New York in the Adirondacks. Mouldy, Betty, and Sandy were still spending the summer on the camp site. The dining hall and the campers lodge along with the residential cabins were still on site. I remember sleeping in the cooks' cabin with Sandy, as I did during the previous summer.






David Dube - 11/14/12

        Ok, this is my favorite Hyde Bay Camp story. Circa 1971, I was on the cross country team at Amherst College. My second year I was eating lunch in Valentine Hall, and one of the senior captains, Henry Hart, sat at my table. We were talking about 'form vs. function' and somehow I mentioned that I was 'stamped for life' by my summer camp experience. We both then began extolling the virtues of camp, and also commented to each other how negative our impressions were of 'whistle camps'. He said he had gone to a neat camp in upstate NY, with heavy waterfront activities, and no schedule. I then said I went to a similar camp on Otsego Lake. NATURALLY, he said his camp was on Otsego Lake -- we looked at each other, and you will all be able to guess what happened next?! I looked at him with a wink and said, "STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE" he looked at me laughing and SHOUTED AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS (it seemed) "HUCKLEBERRY PIE", and after that we shared Hyde Bay Camp stories for the next hour. Of course that being the early '70's, with both of us standing and screaming the camp cheer in the middle of the college dining hall -- I am quite certain that most people were thinking, "Uh, oh, the boys on the cross-country team are high again!" Only high on the Hyde Bay Camp experience. And, I have definitely been stamped for life by that experience.

        Thank you to Hyde Bay, anyone else have a similar story of post Hyde Bay 'discovery'?





Jay Alexander 04/08/12

        I was at HBC 1948-53, 1955, and have fond memories of the place and people. Bobby Russell was my first counselor when Sam (Peter) Wallace and I came for the summer (my parents went to Europe, so some things had to be done to take care of my older sister and me. Did well in swimming and learned to sail, which I loved. Billy Barker and I won the sailing competition in 1953 (I think). Charlie Classen and I roomed together as ULs in 1955 in a kind of annex to where the students lived. Pitched a nohitter on doubleday field in 1955 (end of baseball career). Also enjoyed wrestling and the commodore's antics! cook Henry considered me his boy!

        A few scattered memories: My first summer, 1948, I recall a canoe trip to Shadow Brook with counselor Bobby Russell and somehow we turned ove rand I felt my self going down in soaked clohes, but Bobby grabbed me and brought me to safety. My first experience on a comet scared me to death when it heeled over, but I later came to love sailing and all the details about the boats, etc. Dick Fryberger persuaded me to be his crew (1952?) and we won the competition, which he, Harry Bodwden, and Peter Powell fixed so that all three would have turnes with each boat. It seemed much fairer. I recall getting to red boat ready for the final race. Also recall capsizing in the mddle of a race with crew Bill Barker; we just kept heeling up and gradually flipped: only time that happened, but it was embarrassing because I think we were ahead in the race. In 1953 final race in the white boat I recall nearly colliding with Jimmy Merrick. He was screaming for "bouy room." I always felt a bit sheepish at winning that race!





Chenango Wrestling Nemesis
Tom Lynn

        Reading Stan's story about Chenango opponents makes me wonder how many other HBCers can recall personal Chenango nemeses from long-ago contests. I'm sure that Flu, Chooch, and Pierrie had plenty. I had only one - and it was only a two-contest "history" at that.

         It was Larry "Stud" Studenski. He was a particularly muscle-bound fellow who was so rippled and bulging (biceps especially) that when he played outfield for Chenango, the joke was that he couldn't bend over to field ground balls and had to make himself fall down to do it!

        Well, though I wasn’t a baseball player, I was a fairly good wrestler (thanks to Eddie Brown’s program at Gilman – where I was one of the “lightweights” instructed by my father’s wrestling coach, our beloved Ed Russell). I believe it was 1967 (The Summer of Love) or 1968 when “Stud” and I first squared off during a HBC-Chenango match.  Although I had some decent muscle development myself (for a 115-pounder, that is!), it was nothing to compare with Stud. When we were called to the center of the mat, the first thing he did was take off his t-shirt! Jolly started to yell for me to take mine off, too! I decided in favor of a little gamesmanship, though. I turned to Ref Mouldy and said that Stud had to put his shirt back on so I could get a good grip on him -- instead of slipping on sweat. Mouldy agreed!

        Having that “grip” was essential as I was able to hold and “follow” on Stud’s every move. Though he got an escape on me at one point, I got a reversal with my trusty (and, at that time, unstoppable) switch. Result: Lynn by decision, 2-1.

        It was either the following year or the year after that, we wrestled Chenango twice. The first time, I didn’t wrestle Stud, but our “coach,” David Dube, moved me up to wrestle a much larger guy. Because he was so much taller, I decided to try something I’d never done, but which Mr. Brown (who was always up on the latest techniques) had shown us the previous winter. Rather than pursue him on my feet first period, I went down to one knee and let him come to me. He wasn’t very experienced, I don’t think, and he “wandered” into a double leg take-down, straight into a full-nelson pin. At the end of the matches, Stud (who had won his match handily) rushed up to me and (seeming not to remember me at all!) gushed about how great that move was and how he had only heard about people doing it. He was impressed - but apparently not scared! And he didn’t have to be…

         In the second match that summer (or was it the following year?), Stud and I had our rematch. Wish I could say that it was another titanic struggle - but, no. I spent pretty much the whole match, on my back, “bridging” for my life! I kind of think that good ol’ Mouldy felt a little sorry for me and never smacked his hand on the mat - even as my back felt pretty darn flattened out! I think I lost something like 8-1, if I got any points at all. Would have liked a rematch with Stud, but that was the last year of camp.

        I was feeling pretty low that day, and maybe the next, too. But good ol’ Josh gave me something to cheer me up. (And, yes, I think that, being a low-level hoarder, I might still have it hidden away in a closet somewhere!) What was it?  It was an improvised laundry bag that Josh, or one of the other councilors who had gone into town, had “found” in the Cooperstown laundromat. It was a pillowcase with a wire hanger threaded around the opening. In black ink, crudely spelled out in child-like block letters: “L. STUDENSKI.”  I win.




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