The people who knew you when you were young are the best ones. You don’t have to work hard to impress them. They know you; they know you from the back.
I spent last Sunday with 13 people I had gone to camp with, talk about an old notion. These days if kids go to camp at all they go for a week or two, and it’s a specialty camp, like for basketball or cheerleading or weight loss.. Oh there are still the fine old camps that are fully subscribed every season but their number is dwindling.
Back when I was a kid parents thought nothing of packing their kids off to eight full weeks of camp. (Everything was cheaper then, and that sure helped.)
The women and I went to camp for eight full weeks as girls. It was the only we could go. And we didn’t just go in that classic latency age before the hormones hit. We went to camp for six, or nine or eleven summers and then we came back as counselors.
Four of the ones I saw last Sunday were sisters. There are five of them all together and didn’t the hired photographer love to line them up! Five Creaghs, four McSweeneys and on and on. These are their pictures here.
I was in pre-school when some of these former campers met me. My mom and aunt ran the camp is why and we lived there. So all these years later in spite of the changes in my face they say they would know me anywhere. No doubt many remember the time as flag bearer during “colors” my underpants started to sag below my little-girl camp shorts as I marched hup-two-three toward the flagpole. They were touching my knees before I got there.
People who’ve seen your underpants fall down and like you anyway are people who know you. One who wasn’t present at Sunday’s gathering might remember the summer I was so full of myself there was no living with me. She was my counselor for three years in a row so he really saw my faults – and she called me on them.
You can relax with people who know you that well. This is the camp play I was in during which I lost bladder control and thus wet my beet costume, which I would don in the scene after this one:
You guys who read this know me. If you have been reading this blog for a while you know about the time my big sister Nan and I peed in the upstairs hall during our naps and left the puddles each with a small corsage of t.p. in its midst, something we did for the sheer naughty fun of it. We doubtless already sensed that there was some sort of frisky fun associated with what resides in a person’s pants and pee was the closest we could come to imagining what it was.
We might like people to look upon us as a new Mother Theresa, a new Dalai Lama but the truth is we’re more comfortable with people who’ve got our number.
What fun I had with my old friends Sunday! And that’s without even singing the great old camp songs like John Jacob Jingle HeimerSchmidt.