Random Thoughts



I got to thinking of some of the simple everyday things I used to love about Wyanoke.  Things like:


v     Mrs. Morin’s sticky-bottom rolls which redeemed the turkey soup every Monday night.

v     Free evenings after Parade and Cook-out. 

v     Crisp, or downright cold, August nights, with every star in the universe visible from the OD table. 

v     Getting up too early for Wharf Police. 

v     Wincing when we realized we had Chapel Police on a Sunday.

v     Blueberries atop Mt. Major.

v     The little store with the penny candy in East Brownfield, Maine, about a mile from the Saco. 

v     Pop Henderson chaperoning the train from Philadelphia in the ‘50s.

v     Henny Knowlton’s huge frying pans full of sandy bacon on the beaches of the Saco.

v     Cap Taylor and his wife living in that tiny cabin at Land’s End. 

v     Bacon and toast breakfasts. 

v     Coffee on the veranda with the Bentleys and the ladies after Sunday turkey. 

v     Camp Jollies” with Mr. Scheirer in Cabintown in the ‘50s when it rained. 

v     Being afraid of Mr. Cooper (C-8, 1957).

v     The ladies from Wolfeboro sewing name tags on our uniforms while we stood dejectedly in our underwear in the Camp Store. 

v     The ambivalence of closing-day emotions.

v     The tremendous impact of Mr. Scheirer’s death.

v     Sneaking into the ice house just to see what was in there.


v     Setting up tents in pre-camp. 

v     Taking down tents in post-camp.

v     Cleaning up the Midget rifle range before camp with the entire New Hampshire state population of mosquitoes.

v     “Taps in fifteen minutes.” 

v     Overnights on Olds’ Beach and Parker Island. 

v     The nature trail.  Sunday afternoon walks to the airport. 

v     The fruit cocktail at the Farewell Banquet. 

v     Everett Slocum’s endless baseball summaries at the Farewell Banquet. 

v     Reading to my tent group long after Taps.

v     Dreading Reveille. 

v     The impossible task of cleaning the cookout pans with sand. 

v     Actually drinking Winnipesaukee water with no ill effects. 

v     The camaraderie in the Senior Pines after New England Boiled Dinner. 

v     The Sunday Bulletin – “Health: excellent” when the infirmary was filled with guys with colds.

v     Never having anything to say in the mandatory Sunday letter home. 

v     Camp nurses and Witch Hazel. 

v     Feeling sorry for the kids who had to be tutored. 

v     The Council room nobody ever seemed to be in. 

v     Rowdy kitchen boys. 

v     Mr. Risser – “I got worms.”

v     The indefatigable Freddie Nichols.

v     Never getting up the nerve to call Mr. Bentley “Brad” to his face. 

v     The “odor barrier” along the Junior trail to the wharf. 

v     The two “private” stalls in the upper Junior Pines. 

v     Phil Hodgson and Mrs. Morin in the kitchen. 

v     The shredded baseball bat the kitchen boys used to knock the tops off the old aluminum milk cans. 

v     Freely spraying DDT around the tent on buggy nights (“get under the blankets”). 

v     The “Lost River”.  

v     Fighting off slapping mosquitoes during parades.

v     The bologna sandwiches, oranges and Hershey bars on the Chocorua trips. Free Candy line.

v     Atomic Fireballs. 

v     “No jumping!” 

v     The candle procession in self-imposed, lump-throated silence after the Farewell Banquet. 


All these are like photographs in my mind.


Mike Freeland