Friday, July 17, 2009
The Summer of no TV...well, One TV Evening
I must pause to remember a very special evening, in July of 1969, "When man made a small step and mankind made a huge leap forward" Forty years ago I was the bugler, swimming and canoeing instructor, and camp counselor at Alpine Camp for Boy in Mentone Alabama in the high country of Northwest Alabama, filled with gorges and rivers. The training and orientation, plus two month long sessions, made for 11 weeks of no TV, of daily exercise and lots of walking and hiking. It was a magical summer for me, we would pick mountain blueberries in the afternoon and have a blueberry pie for dinner. We sang, and laughed and helped the boys learn to swim and canoe.
And one evening we all gathered before a black and white TV to see the Moon Landing, it was really a time of national unity and pride, thought the world was beginning to struggle with Vietnam and student unrest, our quiet days of ministry to the youth of our southern families was a great start for me. I had a young camper develop a crush on me during the inter camp dance the first week I was there and so they named me,Big Chief Cradle Robber, at the official Indian naming ceremony. Now that was embarrassing. One of the counselors came that summer with leukemia, he was from one of the prominent families in my church, he went back to Ole Miss and graduated with honors, and we had a camp counselor reunion at his funeral the next year. His brother is today the President of the Seminary I graduated from. Good memories.