Sunday, October 31, 2010

Had some nice visits with Megan and Steve. They were here for a while all three days, including going to church with us today. It was good to get caught up on some things in more depth than in e-mail exchanges - the wind farm business, Leadership Kearney and Whitney's practicum/internship for next semester and summer. While here they took a new power toothbrush out of the box and got it working for me. I bought it at the dentist office when I was there Thursday, but hadn't had time to do anything with it. Also, I told them my little refrigerator had stopped working and they picked up a new one for me at hhgregg at Easton. About church, on the fifth Sunday of a month the service is mostly a hymn sing. And today was also Reformation Sunday. Of course, we sang A Mighty Fortress - we would song a verse, then some responsive reading, another verse etc. - something quite different from usual services. Mom didn't sing this time. We can only guess if she knew what we were singing.

A hike through Camp Avery Hand

The Boy Scout Camp in Mansfield has been closed for a while, and I saw a “for-sale” sign up and I called the agent. She said it was under contract and the listing price for the 105 acres was $410,000. Avery Hand was a banker and I believe he donated the land to the Boy Scouts. Well soon someone else will own this beautiful property.

I walked in the main entrance past the house where a caretaker used to live. (The signposts are still there – twelve of them, such as: trustworthy, loyal, friendly, clean, reverent. The camp is arranged differently and the only remnant of my camping days was an old wooden bridge over a ravine, leading to the area were we set up tents for weekend camping. (There were some old latrines scattered around and a large tree limb fell on one and pretty much destroyed it).

Now the cabins are up front, before you get to the parking area - more in the interior. The old lodge and pool are gone, now just grassland. In fact there isn’t a lodge at all, just a metal pole building with a kitchen and an area for meals – nothing like the old lodge with its large stone fireplace. A newer pool was built next to the parking area.

I remember when Mike went to camp there, and on a night when parents and siblings were allowed in, they had some skits and some boys jumped in the pool grasping for the greased watermelon. What fun.

I walked the mowed roads into the interior of the camp and found the area where I spent a cold weekend at winter camp, alongside a ravine in the woods. I remember it snowed 8 inches that night but the bacon smelled good sizzling in the iron skillet that morning. Another area I recognized as a tent campsite where we would send the younger scouts out from the wooded camping area into the open field adjacent to us, to look for snipes!

Walking along I also remembered this smaller trail I traversed for the first time on my first night after induction into the Order of the Arrow. (Yes, Chief Chingatchcook, make this one brave!) They led us along in the dark along this trail and a leader would point to one of us and say, you sleep here. The rest would go along and I could hear them telling other scouts to sleep there – in the woods with only our sleeping bag and pack. Ah yes, under the stars – I loved it!

I made the loop back and went down the back way to the archery area and the rifle range. Then I went out onto Orweiler Rd. and back to my car.

Below the camp is a bird sanctuary. I remember a trail from the camp down through the woods to a spot where we went canoeing on Clearfork Lake. That trail would have come through the area now occupied by the sanctuary. I just learned that the bird sanctuary bought the land just last week!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hidden Hollow Camp – revisited

Pat and I took a Sunday drive on a beautiful sunny fall day down possum run road past Snow Trails for a few more miles. We turned off the road and followed the narrow road up to the top of a ridge where the camp sits. We parked in the grassy parking area and walked down the main road towards the lodge. We could see cabins on both sides of the road, down in the woods: boys on the right and girls on the left.

We arrived at the lodge and the view from there is wonderful. It sits high on a bluff overlooking more woods down below and the grounds around it are mowed grass. The pool is below the lodge to the right with its meandering sidewalk leading the way. For some reason the lodge door was open so we entered and found it mostly empty. It still looked in good shape, other than normal wear and tear, and many flies and wasps climbing on the windows.

I remember having meals there and below were the areas for many crafts and things like ping pong etc. I also attended a winter camp there over a weekend and we stayed downstairs in the lodge, with a roaring fire to keep us warm at night.

Back outside we walked down the leaf strewn path to the boys cabins. They are arranged in a semi-circle around the wash area (which is outside under a roof) and the enclosed showers and toilets. The cabins are in need of much repair, and I entered my old cabin, (Allen Knapp – but the sign was gone) and saw some old beds etc.

We returned to the car and walked up the incline to the area where they have the bonfire with logs in a circle. This is where they told the story of the ape-a-gator on the first night – real scary! Nearby is something which wasn’t here when I was – the Warren Rupp Observatory.

Pat and I reminisced on the return and I remember having a good time there during a summer of one of my junior high years. Pat went to the old camp which is now Camp Mowana, so we might take a drive out their some day to see if she can remember the layout.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Several times, when I want to add a comment to a posting, the word verification part doesn't show up. Then when I enter my e-mail address and password, I get an error message but now the word for verification is there. When I complete that part and enter my password again, the comment is published. Don't know why that happens, or if anyone else has experienced it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hi Poppop! I thought you might like to see our handsome Marching Cavalier! Matthew is really enjoying Marching Band. He is so good on his Sax! They are going to the Bahamas in March! He turns 16 November 7th and is doing well in school. Jordan will be 14 on November 11th, and she, too, it great.
We miss you!
Rebecca Anne

Monday, October 4, 2010

A welcome home reunion

Yesterday Pat and Molly and I went to a reunion for Shirley and Tim Hollingsworth, it's been 15 years since they have been to the Mansfield area. The party was at the home of one of Shirley's sisters and it is on the property of the old dairy farm where Shirley and her two brothers and two sisters grew up. Shirley's other sister lives next door in the old homestead house with a barn. So Shirley also came from a family of five!

We were welcomed with open arms and Molly was a hit. She got to meet Honey, a miniture long-haired dachsund, and she laughed when Honey licked her face. Molly is used to dogs since at home, she has Bear, a 100 pound Black Lab, and Brook, a 60 pound yellow Lab.

We sat with Tim and Shirley during the meal and caught up on family news. He asked about all my brothers and sisters, Mom and Dad, and my children. They now split their time in Petaluma, CA, where their son Jasper lives (Jessee lives in Thousand Oaks, CA near LA), and St. Petersburg, FL. Jasper is a child psychiatrist and Jessee is a VP of a firm which sells pharmaceuticals to groups of doctors. Tim and Shirley have three grandchildren and love them dearly.

It was good visiting with them and they may come to see us in Key West in January. Tim expressed an interest in meeting my family, and of course they are always welcome.