15 January 2017

Camp

Extracts from the diary of Randall V Grotsky Jr - Camp Counsellor at Hilltop Summer Camp near Binghamptopn NY Summer of 1956.
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May 20th  - Training is now over and we are ready for our charges. It's lovely up here in the woods. The air is so pure and clean. There's a guy from my old high school in Albany. I used to date his sister. Oh wait a minute... I just heard something outside. There it goes again. Could be a racoon... maybe a bear. Gee! Anyways I need to turn in now. Can't wait for tomorrow.

May 21st - My boys are called The Wyandottes. We've got a great group day base overlooking the lake. There's fourteen boys altogether but one of them was AWOL today. He'll join us tomorrow. We had lots of fun canoeing in the lake and then we had a cook out with sloppy joes and root beer. It was so cool.Some great little guys. They're mostly from The Big Apple. One kid - Marvin lives right near my folks' place in Yonkers.

May 22nd - The new boy arrived in a black Cadillac from Queens. He's kind of mean looking and quite athletic. Most of the other boys already knew him from last year. They call him Donny. When I tried to introduce myself he said "Who the hell are you punk?" The other boys ,laughed and I wasn't sure what to do. On the softball field Donny refused to walk when he was caught. He said the ball had bounced and refused to budge. He called me "Punk" again and some of the other boys followed his example.

May 25th - The first week is through. Cars came to pick up the campers. Nearly all are heading home to NY City but there's a couple of kids from Syracuse. Donny taunts them, calling them "Saras" or "The Gals from Saracuse".  I spoke to Roman - The Head Counsellor - about this "Punk" label but Roman says I've just got to live with it and win the boys' respect. Yesterday (Thursday) Donny tried to drown Marvin (the kid from Yonkers). He had a panic attack. Donny and his little gang were laughing. "What's your problem Punk?" he asked me when I tried to confront him about what had happened. Anyway, a whole weekend without kids! Whoo-hoo! Tomorrow night with some of the other counsellors I'm heading into Binghmapton to watch a movie - "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers"

May 28th - Canoeing. Archery. Art and Free Camp Time. Donny said he couldn't see the point of art and flicked paint at Mary-Beth, the art counsellor from Kentucky. It spattered all over her spectacles. Donny said it wasn't him. In Archery he disobeyed Bob's safety instruction, firing an arrow at a target when Bob was still checking the scoring. Bob was real mad and grabbed Donny by the arm but Donny yelled "Get off you friggin' queer!" and threatened to tell his father who is a big property developer in Queens.

June 1st - So pleased that the weekend has come round again. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a counsellor. I thought I was good with kids but since Donny appeared in The Wyandottes, I'm not so sure any more. On Wednesday during Camp Free Time, Donny got all the other boys to pile on top of me. He got my wallet out of my pocket and started laughing at the photo of my mom and dad, saying they looked like dumb Polacks. At lunch yesterday (Thursday) he announced that his dad paid a lot of dough to Hilltop and he wanted proper food not sloppy joes or root beer. "Give us steak!" he chanted and of course other boys joined in. I'm starting to hate the brat.

June 7th - I just can't take it any more. I'm gonna quit. Maybe I'll get fired anyway. Donny provoked me so much at the campcraft class that I grabbed his shoulders and pushed him up against a wall. It was like he wanted it. A big beaming grin broke across his face, like he knew I'd lost it. "Yeah! You're such a big guy Punk! I'm ten years old. How old are you Punk?"

June 8th - I just got fired. Donny was in the camp office with his father. He was sobbing fake tears and he layered his accusations on nice and thick, saying I had punched him in the campcraft session and tried to throttle him, that I had repeatedly called him "Flat Top" and that I had "touched" him in the rest room. It was all fake, fake, fake! Ted Lewis, the camp manager begged Donny's father not to involve the police and suggested that firing me would be enough.I don't know what I am gonna do for the rest of the summer. Maybe I'll go and stay with my grandparents on Long Island. Try to get a job at the ice cream parlour like last summer. I don't know how I'll explain all this to my folks.

June 12th - I just discovered the word "PUNK" scratched in the paintwork of my Beetle - probably with a penknife. Now I wonder who could have done that?

30 comments:

  1. Look! The baby picture of a sociopath! He looked like a little shit even back then.

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    1. As a boy he was often badly behaved and a natural bully. Little has changed.

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  2. Bro, could you please send some important people over here to try to save us from this narcissistic nut case??? Please? Before Friday? Your story is nice, but some help would be better suited in this situation. Thanks, Brother!

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    1. We will dig up Robin Hood and send him over sis.

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  3. Replies
    1. I do but I am a little unsure what you mean by that Graham.

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    2. Do you not see a similarity for the future of this presidency?

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    3. Oh yes. Now I get you. It seems that the witch-hunting has already begun. Anyone who dares to question him - from Meryl Streep to Congressman John Lewis is shouted down or belittled.

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    4. The irony, YP, is that many Americans I've spoken to don't even know anything about the McCarthy Era. Has it really been expunged from history? Even fewer know the history of McCarthy himself.

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    5. Oh Lord, Graham, that is scary. I can't believe kids aren't learning about that in school. :(

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    6. McTrump may institute trials for those who have shown a surfeit of common sense. What goes around comes around...

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  4. I notice the eyes of the little boy are a clear blue. I looked at google images and there is not a single photo where he has clear looking eyes. Proof that the eyes are the window to the soul?

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    Replies
    1. *that should say there are no google images showing the adult with clear eyes

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    2. I admire the fact that you have researched this Kylie Looking at lots of images of him could cause psychological disturbance.

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  5. I know Damien wasn't blond but the photo on the left made me shiver.

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    1. Is the bathroom window open?

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  6. Hmmm... looking at the picture of young Donald makes me wonder what we all would see in that little boy's face if we did not know who he was going to become later on. My first impression is that the face is much too serious for a child. Not a hint of a smile, and doesn't he appear a little frightened?
    Apart from that, the diary makes for an interesting read. I would like to know what the young counsellor did for the rest of the summer, and whether he gave up working with kids altogether after that.

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    1. One could read a lot into that angelic face. Even as a small boy he was a bully and a kid who always wanted his own way. Sometimes if we can read a child we can see the man or woman they will become.

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  7. Crikey, I thought it was a piece of fiction!

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    1. It's all true Sue... hey that rhymes!

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  8. Where on earth is Binhamptopn?? Are you sure you don't mean Binghamton?

    Aside from that minor geographical footnote, this all sounds entirely plausible to me.

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    1. What are you talking about Steve? I wrote Binghampton. Apparently, it has got many sidewalks.

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  9. In the kiddie pic, my first thought was 'this is a fallen angel' and in the adult one I saw something much worse.

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    1. Maybe we are all wrong about Mr Trump, As Monty Python used to sing... "Always look on the bright side of life" - the perfect funeral song.

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    2. I was looking on the bright side!

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  10. According to Newsday (http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/young-donald-trump-pictures-1.11583814) that's a picture of The Donald's grandson Joseph but it also says DT looked much like that when he was the same age.

    The whole thing makes me wonder (not for the first time) how much nature and nurture contribute to our adult selves. Apparently Trump's father was the one who encouraged him to get into real estate. I wonder how much pressure DT felt to please his father, especially after his older brother died? I've seen photos of DT when he was a young father, tenderly holding his children as babies, even changing diapers - how and when and WHY did he go so wrong?

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    1. I have read that he was a bully and a spoilt brat from a very early age. There are certainly psychological "issues" that a skilled psychologist could unravel. With regard to the boy picture, the colouration and the shirt certainly suggest the 1950's.

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    2. True, I hadn't considered those clues about the photo. And however his temperament began, he's certainly turned into an unpleasant man.

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  11. I weren't sure if this story is true or fiction but learned the scary truth by reading your replies to comments. It's frightening!

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    1. Let us hope that Congress and the Senate can subdue him even more effectively than they snuffed out Barack Obama.

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