Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Memory Book Memories

Looking through, throwing out --
Here's a Memory Book from summer camp on Seneca Lake, 1943.  I think maybe I mimeographed that one.  It  was right in the middle of The War and --
Flag raising by the mess hall -- that's a 48-star flag.
"Gone this summer were the visiting days"
   [gas rationing, parents couldn't drive down]
"...the pineapple salads"
   [canned goods scarce, pineapple completely unavailable]
 "...the bathing caps sold at canteen"
   [no rubber even for tires]
  "...We learned this summer that Don Natapow had joined Marvin Lee, both former campers and counselors, in giving his life..." 
     Further on in the Memory Book we learn that in years past we'd had camp in July for boys and August for girls -- but now, in 1943, we were co-ed all summer for the first time.  No explanation of why the change -- but it was because with ten million men overseas,  there was no way to find enough counselors for a whole boys' camp. 
     Nice to see that some things never change -- in a two-page spread on the Waterfront we learn that "Every camper a swimmer" was this summer's  motto of the Waterfront Department..."Aunt Lynn and Uncle Buddy are very proud of the improvement shown by every single camper.  All merited the ...glory of a card bearing a Swimming Award." 
You have to wonder if Bob Berman even remembers that at the Waterfront Carnival in 1943, he won an award for "breath holding."  You have to wonder, for that matter, if he's still breathing at all.


  1. You Memory Book is precious! Don't throw it away. Don't you think the Seneca Lake historical society would like it? (This is Nan)

    1. Hey Nan! It's exciting to think you read the blog. As it happens, I've just mailed it to Archives at the camp headquarters here in Rochester.

    2. I love your blog! And now I've figured out how to comment.

  2. This memory book reminds me a bit of my father's book from Officer Candidate School for the Army Air Corps in WWII; the cartoons are very similar. (Edith, if you drew those, you've got yet another talent you've been hiding from us.)

    I believe Dad was in one of one of the early classes to go through the Miami Beach OCS, and he was a class or two behind Clark Gable. Big excitement!