23 June 2017

The Crappiest Tent in Camp [1963]


[retrospective passage from my journal for 23 June 1963]
W
e headed out to OMSI for me to catch the Camp Hancock bus. We met a girl named Ruth. My family had planned to stay until the bus left but KXL unexpectedly went off the air and my father had to go see to things. I boarded the bus and got a seat by a window toward the back. The trip was long but the scenery was interesting and I kept making mental notes of things to tell when I got back home. There was one section where the rocks as the road cut through them appeared in squares and oblongs, and I was reminded of a cubist painting. We stopped somewhere, possibly at Mt. Hood, to eat, and I had most of the lunch I’d brought with me. (For whatever reason I saved the banana, either for later or because I didn’t like its looks, I don’t know.) I think it was at this stop that Barfy got his nickname by throwing up—but I didn’t see it, just heard about it later on. At one point I accidentally got into a staring contest with some other guy at the back of the bus; getting tired of it I deliberately broke if off by looking away.
Eventually we got to camp. The first order of business was picking our tents, which this year was optional—our choice, I mean. A group of us first-year campers decided to bunk together and ended up with Tent 2—the crappiest tent in camp. It had a gaping hole in it larger than the door on one side. We went to dinner in the dining hall—a huge structure open on three sides—where the food was inedible. This turned out to be a camp tradition, by the way—the inedible food I mean. Things were made from powders mixed with the alkali water from the artesian well, and the result was indescribable. This time it was some sort of pasta with sauce I think. I didn’t have any, but there was some sort of lemonade-like drink and maybe bread or rolls or something. I wasn’t worried—but the people who ran the camp were.
Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, “Steve got back from the beach [wrote Bruce] and my father said that It was just beginning to be peaceful.” He added a parenthetical explanation “without the phone ringing”. And after dropping me off at OMSI the rest of my family “went straight to the station and as we turned in the driveway of KXL, they came on the air; we picked them up on the transistor. They still have a really feeble signal, but [my father] got them some parts from KKEY this afternoon and they are okay.” Also my morning glory had reached the top of the trellis and was spreading along the top of the living-room roof.

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