January 30, 2020 20:13:19 (EDT)
Reunion highlights for me [Mike] included:
1. Seeing old friends, especially the "Kid's Table" discussed below.
2. Some really moving words from Moose, befitting a recently retired rabbi, and some other speakers, that will lead me to purchase the Divad DVD using the attached Old Dominion Broadcast Form.
3. Seeing Ricky Macey for the first time in 50 years. Not only was he my first Red and Black captain (who won by a huge margin) but, as I reflected on it on the drive home, a few years later, at one of our overnights, at a time when I believe he was a visitor and not a counselor, he led the best dirty joke telling session of my entire life.
4. Meeting some new friends, including Fred Half and his very lovely wife, and WFIL's mom.
5. Parts of the Pitt-Penn State game.
6. Tripp's wife Barbara remembering Doug Bradley as the guy who ran the Jeopardy game.
7. Visiting with John Spear and telling him he better get back to the main table if he still wanted to have a girlfriend: "I am not that easy to replace."
8. Some really awesome photos, especially for our age group, that Greg Morris drove much of the night to bring, and from Fred Half, in the attached reunion program.
January 15, 2020 19:01:16 (EDT)
Kamp Kewanee was founded in 1916, in the middle of World War 1, five score and three years ago. That’s 103 years for those that think that “score” means something else. When Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg address, in 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, he started with “Four score and seven years ago,…”, or 87 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed. So, for those keeping count, we out-scored Lincoln by 16 years.
Kamp closed 46 years ago, yet we continue to gather to celebrate what was and to renew old friendships. Exactly what it is that repeatedly brings each of us back, after all these years, varies, but includes a shared set of experiences, during a critical period of personal development. Much, of course, has changed over these 46 years. For example, I can no longer type Kamp Kewanee with “K’s without my spelling auto-correct changing the “K” to a “C” and Douglas DC-3’s no longer land at Avoca airport with kampers emplaning. But, the essential Kamp experience seems to have varied little from the beginnings of Kamp in 1916 through the final taps in 1973. For me, the magic was always with the experienced teachers and others turned kamp counselors; men like Frank Dolbear, Dave Sechrist, Bonnie Sabatini, Ted Pawloski, Eddie Chiampi, Johnny Ludd, Harry Zavacki and Dick “Nehru” Sundheim, to name but a few from my era. So, drink your bug juice, go on a nature hike, take your compulsory dip, dust off your pump lamp, get ready for inspection, paddle your canoe, compete in Red/Black tug of war, listen again to your favorite Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, identify that small butterfly with the red stripes that just landed on your deck chair, as a Red Admiral, and listen to a trumpet playing revile and, later, taps. Smile at what was and that helped get you to who you are today. Be grateful.
Kee Kee Wah.
January 4, 2020 13:09:45 (EDT)
January 2, 2020 15:59:21 (EDT)
My Kewanee -- Rick Vatz
Greetings and Kee Kee Wah to all of you. This would have been a one-hour speech, but Bugs Melnikoff told me earlier that I could not repeat anything I had said at earlier reunions, so now it is about 5 minutes.
I imagine that many of us have changed over the years and not just in our maladies from aging. Personally, I am happily married to my one and only wife and have 2 wonderful children and 2 wonderful grandchildren.
At Kewanee, I was a Pirate fan and still recall Johnny Spear's singing "For I am a Pirate fan,"¯ I was a Steeler fan, which my wife and I still are, despite the drubbing we received last Sunday at the hands of the Patriots. But foremost now I am a Baltimore Orioles fan and a Baltimore Ravens fan, but I still love the Pittsburgh teams from the early days. My wife, incidentally, won't watch the Ravens, except out of loyalty to me.
I still play tennis the same deplorable way, but I no longer win many sets.
Yes, Kamp Kewanee made most of us competitive life-long, and that great kamp has had effects on me throughout my life.
In fact, I owe a tremendous amount to Kewanee, especially my years as a kamper.
My days as a kamper were almost ideal.. My first year I had Roy David as a kounselor, one of the neatest guys I ever met.
My other favorite kounselor was George Koval, and I with Bobby Wertheimer worshipped him…so neaat and cool and an adult at an early age.
Foster Goldman was my Kounselor in the ensuing year, and he was always getting into squabbles due to his urbane humor and the lack of such in one or two of the other kounselors. There was a counselor whose name some of you will recall, but I don't, nicknamed "Tarzan."¯ We had a swim meet and Tarzon started shrieking at Foster that his – Tarzon's – rules would prevail in tn the competition of ten year-olds. Tarzon, who could beat up 99.99% of the earth's inhabitants, prevailed, as Foster said, "O.K., we'll do it your way."¯ Tarzan, however, did not return to Kamp Kewanee.
One of Foster's persuasive strength's was that he was related to the owner, and that seemed to resolve a lot of problems, just not immediately.
I learned from that situation that it was good to be close to those with power. I was very close to the Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007, and I taught the wife of the next one, Martin O'Malley, and I am sort-of buds with the current one, Gov. Hogan and have had him speak in my class and his Lieutenant Governor is speaking in my class in a couple of weeks.
Some of you know that I am a political conservative, and yet Nancy Pelosi spoke in my class last October, and she was great,
I have, as a result of Joe Ludgate and Dave Sechrist's performances, a love of Gilbert and Sullivan, always loved Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore and Trial by Jury. I still sing songs at home that I learned from Johnny Spear. My wife, once a professional singer, cautions me that he ain't no Enrico Caruso, whoever that was.
There was Jimmy Samter – one day I was walking to my tent, and there was a dozen kampers surrounding Jimmy. He announces that he could blow smoke out of his mouth without smoking. He did so, but to this day I don't know if medical science can explain it.
Due to him and the late, great Bobby Siegel, or Soggy Bagel as I believe he was then known, I have never smoked. One day in his tent when I was about 12, I said that I admired his smoking and was ready to try it myself. He said, O.K., here is a cigarette; take a puff. I sort of did and Bobby said, that's not how you smoke; inhale the smoke!"¯ I did so, and after recovering 5 days later I knew that I would never smoke again.
I adored Sam Strauss (Sa-am – and I confess I do not know the originator of that pronunciation of his name or why the entire kamp uttered it when technology broke down in the lodge) who ran the Kewanee Theater Guild for a while and one of my other absolute favorite counselors was Mike Courson, although Bobby Wertheimer and I argued whether he or George Koval was a better counselor. I should at this point always make the argument that I adored Henry Mosler who convinced me as a ten-year-old that when I called Sam Snead "Damn Sneeze,"¯ I was making a hilarious joke.
My adulthood has benefitted from other Kewanneans, such as the late Bruce Kaufman and especially, perhaps, Robert Cohen who when I told him I was writing a book on Persuasion -- which book came out a years ago, by the way -- told me he had done a play on Machiavelli. B.S. Cohen on Machiavelli? Never would have guessed it.
I was told repeatedly that Breezie Stein was the coolest guy ever. I talked with him at length last night, and he still is the coolest guy ever. Trippy looked half his age at kamp and still does.
Dave Rutstein's photographic memory is still on display, as of this morning.
There are so many other people as well to whom I admired additionally to the ones I have named, people who simply made Kewanee a great happy and enjoyable experience, such as Steve Moses, Gordy Lawrence, Lou Moskowitz, Steve Klein, Nehru, Johnny Samuels and some others here today. There were so many just wonderful additional people that it would take forever to name them all.
All in all, Kamp Kewanee produced so many seminal memories, memories which have helped me in every aspect of life; I shall never forget you, or at least many of you.
Richard E. Vatz, Ph.D.
Towson Distinguished Professor
Towson Student Government Association first Faculty Member of the Year, 2009-2010
Professor, ILPD; University Senate since 1980; Towson University
Blogger, Red Maryland
Thomas Szasz Civil Liberties Award
Psychology Editor, USA Today Magazine;
December 23, 2019 18:07:39 (EDT)
December 21, 2019 18:33:53 (EDT)
December 15, 2019 18:51:37 (EDT)
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December 7, 2019 19:20:32 (EDT)
December 5, 2019 20:57:22 (EDT)
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October 2, 2019 17:52:53 (EDT)
September 25, 2019 01:48:44 (EDT)
September 15, 2019 08:25:17 (EDT)
September 6, 2019 07:29:04 (EDT)
Sorry that I won’t be able to make the reunion - will be in Shanghai.
|ALEX "BREEZIE" STEIN
September 3, 2019 18:00:07 (EDT)
August 29, 2019 14:08:52 (EDT)
August 29, 2019 09:44:41 (EDT)
July 29, 2019 20:14:28 (EDT)
July 29, 2019 10:56:04 (EDT)
As I am sorting through family papers I have come across a number of things relating to Kamp Kewanee. Is there an archive that collects such things? Another dedicated former camper who would like them? I would hate to toss them if they might have meaning or someone.