Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Joe's camp," 1956

I grew up in Valley Stream and summers were hot, long, and boring. The parents found a guy named Joe and paid him to supervise a day camp twice a week that met in the backyard of a family house. One summer, my mother volunteered our home because we had a large yard and patio. Joe organized creative games for the many campers and I always managed to put some mischief into everything. But, for my friends and me the highlight of those balmy days was "snack time" when the parents rolled out the juice and cookies. I was going for the laughs, and I had a great idea. I told my friends that when Joe poured the juice they should never say "when." Instead, I told them to just abruptly pull the cup away and let the juice spill all over the patio. (And it was my patio!) It was so much fun. And Joe never seemed to catch on because every day at juice time he carried over that full pitcher of pink juice and he repeated the same question. "Say when" he would innocently ask. And much like "Groundhog Day" we always pulled the cup quickly away when the cup was half full and the Hawaiian Punch would fall onto the patio and form a sticky puddle every time. We were gleefully delighted when we could finally say: "Oh, look ants!" Was Joe playing along and having his own brand of fun or was he a complete idiot? He must have been disgusted, because at the end of the summer my mother told me he refused to ever have a "Joe's camp" again. (I think in this photo I was telling Joe to "kiss my ass," much to the amusement of the other campers and to the delight of the counselor, Marie)

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