Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tom Tollefsen offers up his memories. Thanks Tom keep them coming.

Thanks again for the memories, especially of Pete Mandell and Joe Larson.  A correction:  in the Rotary Cabin picture, the senior counselor is Jim Whitehurst, not Jack Paxton.  Jack was an age contemporary so he would have been about twelve years old at that time.  I ran into Jack at Union College in 1958 when Union played Kings Point in football.  Jack was wearing a fedora hat he had inherited from Ben Wilson.  Ben Wilson was known for his formal chapeau's around the Camp and somehow Jack "acquired" an original.  I heard later that Jack fell out of a third story window in NYC and was badly injured.  Jack was part of the New Jersey" contingent with Bobby Zimmerman, Busjager, Clayte Farnham and a couple of others who developed into wonderful Camp Clark counselors from full season campers as they matured.  Bobby Z was the nurse's son and went on to Princeton and an aviation career. 

Look in the Reston, VA area for Bob Hastings second son.  Allen and the youngest son became YMCA Directors like their father.

Fuzzy (Camp Clark knickname because of (then) red curly hair) Johnson sent along your Camp Clark information which brought back many fond memories.  I was a scholarship camper at Camp Clark for two years with sponsoring arranged by Mr Paul Favor, an "original" at Camp Clark and the YMCA Director at New Bedford.  Mr Favor believed in developing work ethics at a young age so I became the dishroom worker at age eleven along with my cousin Bob Caswell.  Bob and I are now neighbors in The Villages, in central Florida.  Mrs. Johnson the camp cook was our supervisor and spent time teaching us kitchen duties so that we could upgrade the next season.  Bob and I became junior waterfront instructors and counselors instead and I continued on to become the waterfront director after earning my Leader Examiner qualification at Springfield College in my senior year in high school and  combined it with the Red Cross Water Safety Instructor qualification earned at the New Bedford YWCA.  
 We had a Scandinavian Village in the junior section with Carl Johnson,  Fuzzy Johnson and myself as counselors. We flew a Norwegian/Swedish flag at the pole sewn by Fuzzy's mother. I still have the old ring buoy with Camp Clark labeling, which hung from the life guard tower.  Some pictures also, which I would be happy to send along to you by mail, if you provide an address.

 I graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (not Mass Maritime) and enjoyed a career as a Naval Officer mostly at sea and later as a civilian with the Navy in Washington involved in small ship and boat construction. I have a graduate degree from the George Washington University and also graduated from the Naval War College at Newport. RI.  Happily married with three sons and a daughter working at successful professional careers and scattered about the U.S.

When Bob Hastings passed away, I attended his burial here in Florida and met the Hastings boys and Bob Denny.  Bob Hasting did not make the burial however, as his coffin was delayed  in transit by the airlines.  Conversations with the sons was fascinating as they dressed and acted in so many ways like their father.  Bob had hired me to run the game room at the New Bedford YMCA and also at Camp Clark on the waterfront so I was pleased to attend the funeral and informally represent all of the campers and staff members who were guided by "Uncle Bob."

These memories could go on into a small book but I will cut it off here and say "hello" to all 
my friends and associates of that mid-fifties period.

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