Saturday, September 5, 2009
Top 10, Vol. 1- Quaker Lake Moments
In my 6 years as a full-time member of the Quaker Lake staff (1978-83) there were hundreds of moments that made me laugh. Here are ten of the most memorable (all names are maiden names, even the guys!):
10) There was no air conditioning at QLC, so floor fans and widow fans were very important, especially when you were trying to sleep. The girls' staff cabin, where the cooks and female lifeguards lived, was no exception. One particular nights we came into possession of a 50 pound bag of dried mashed potato flakes that some mice had gotten into, so they could not be used. We waited until the middle of the night, slid a window fan to the side, and started throwing flakes through the window! As they went in, the multitude of fans began to blow the flakes all over the cabin. They woke up the next morning buried under 50 pounds of potato flakes! Snow in July!
9) David Fields, as a 4th grade camper, singing Home On the Range. "Oh give me a................HOME!" Also his famous line at dinner: "This is not Del Monte corn. I taste Del Monte corn when I taste it!"
8) My cabin of guys snuck over to the girls cabins in the early morning hours to lock in the campers of Beth Grantham's cabin. Our usual plan consisted of locking them in and singing to them, thus waking them up and causing some of them to need to use the rest room, which was located OUTSIDE their cabin! As they woke up and began screaming at us, Beth said to one of my guys "You just wait until I tell Carl Jones you are out of your cabin!" I laughed and responded "Good morning, Beth!" She forgave me about a week later...
7) On Saturday mornings one particular summer Ronnie Osborne and a very young Doug Thomas would ride around in the classic old QLC truck and empty the garbage cans dressed as Trashman and Garbage Boy! It was such a hoot to watch the parents arriving to pick up their kids try to figure our what was going on...
6) Before we knew sun tanning was bad, people used to wear oil (SPF Negative 50!) to actually attract the sun. Susan McBane was using such an oil- until Carl Semmler (the king of pranks!) substituted bacon grease from breakfast in her oil bottle. It looked the same, and she rubbed it all over her, but after a few minutes the smell started to get to her. Her response: "Oh wow, I think this oil is cankered!" A classic moment.
5) A few us were walking by the guys outhouse one afternoon when we heard the familiar voice of Lindley Osborne singing The All Day Song while sitting on the toilet. Just as we passed the door we heard "and in the in between time when you feel the pressure coming..." And we lost it! We also once lost Lindley for hours when he took a nap on a third level bunk in the back of the lodge and didn't tell anyone. We searched everywhere...
4) Head Cook Denise May and her assistant spent hours hand writing a huge chart for the kitchen with a measurement list- things like 4 Quarts=1 Gallon. Hours after they posted it, two unnamed culprits came along and wrote on the bottom 2 Cooks=1 Disaster! Denise is still mad. (Bonus: Name the 2 culprits!)
3) Alan Brown and I had written a silly song about animals dying and we premiered it at camp. We dedicated it to fellow staffer Martha Ratledge, and then finished the song with this chorus:
Isn't it a sad day, when all the animals die
There ain't nothing to do
Isn't it a sad day, when all the animals die
Why can't you die too?
It was so off the wall and so unexpected, everyone just burst into laughter. A great moment! And as always (and quite often!) Martha forgave us.
2) One Senior High Camp we were divided into groups that would be our teams for Team Competition and our family groups for discussion. I was responsible for dividing the campers, so I gave myself and my co-leader Sabrina (Sis) Perry, my good friend who was volunteering that week, a great group but what we thought would be a lousy team. Jay Osborne, Marshall Ratledge, Kim Haynes, Laura Wheeler, Angie Swaim and the rest were a blast to be around, and since we expected to lose anyway, we stole the Bill Murray cheer from Meatballs and before every event would chant "It just doesn't matter!" Long story short, we were undefeated in Team Competition!!! And the rest of the staff hated me...but I still have a picture of that group in my room. So worth it...
1) I had a cabin of guys for a number of years who not only came to camp together but went to school together as well. They would spend the "off-season" planning for camp, and one year they came armed with elaborate paper shooters. They would fold bits of paper and fire them at each other, leaving marks whenever they hit. One night, it was late and we had been loud, and when Neal came by for cabin check he had told us no more noise. So as David Fields, David Hockett, Robert Osborne and the rest lay in their beds, all was quiet. Until I heard this-Zing!....POP....Owwww!!!!!!!! There would be snickers, more quiet, and then a repeat. Over and over again, until, to keep from laughing, I yelled at them "enough!" Quiet set in for a minute, and then I heard a loud thump, followed by the all-time classic line "Carl- David just hit me with his saxophone!" I lost it laughing! I loved those guys...
So there you have it. If you read these, I hope you get a feel for how special those years were to me. If you read this and were there for any of this, please add your memories in a comment.