Saturday, March 31, 2012

Carl Hokanson adds to his story. Remember? "You can't get to heaven in a Camp Clark truck." Joseph Larson has another task.

Hi, This is Carl Hokanson  , most likely remembered as the "baby of the Hokanson wild bunch". I guess I might have been known as "Cow lick Carly" being that was my most prominent feature. .

   I and my other 4 brothers were there circa 1957-9 , Kenny would know best, but I do recall some of the events at Camp Clark that would shape my life and many others as well.  My older brothers were workers and that helped pay off my camp bill and give my widowed mother a break from her 5 sons.

  One song not mentioned thus far is the great"hit" , ..." You can't get to heaven in a Camp Clark truck", cause the gosh darn thing ain't good enough!"....   I'm sure there were other verses some may or may not remember.  I do remember the old canvas sided truck and how it picked the youngest campers so we would not perish along the side of the road when hiking to the dunes of the Cape. And 
so we didn't die from exposure, brought us youngens back early as the camp out turned into sunburns and a very cold damp night at Sandy Neck in  Sandwich .

    Speaking of music, I seem to remember early opera records being played by some slightly demented counsilor , 'that shall remain nameless to protect the guilty. Tom Lehrer was so much better and fun to hum along to, even if  his humor went way over my cow licked head.  But there were always other  many  great camp songs that we enjoyed.

   I seem to remember there is an official camp photo of my bent over behind looking into the pond for fish or tadpoles. I may also be the one in the teather ball photo behind the arm of the striker, The cow lick looks familiar.***see photo elsewhere.

   I remember the late night , highly frowned upon bull frog hunts up the back edge of the pond.   I remember the grub ax and land clearing  projects to the water front in front of the junior cabins that took weeks and many blisters.  Plus there was the clearing of the area of the parking lot to the edge of the swamp that took lots of time in the hot sun for a new play field.

   I remember the once in a while hot dog and marshmallow  feasts and camp out in the nether regions way in the darkest heart of the outback. And of course the clever tribal ceremonies and the mystical gillie goofus bird.  The pow wow really put the W in wow to our young minds.

   Also some of my misdemeanors where trivial to what my older "learned" brothers were pulling off, But they did show my  family roots for trouble with a capital T.

   Once when asked to fetch  the bugle for the camp " musician"  to play" Soupy ", (The dinner call) . I tried my hand or lips so to speak at the favorite starving camper song as I walked back with the brass horn.  After the second playing my me, the whole camp came a running like a herd of wilderbeasts, only to find out it was  I that  had played the siren's song and that chow was still 1/2 hr. away. Luckily I was small and they tended not to beat up the little kids,, Or perhaps it was my brother's protection racket that kept me safe. But if looks could kill, I might be on a spit.

  I remember my one BIG coup de grace , at least to the White  team I was on. There was a ongoing contest between the red and white teams to accumulate points from special projects, nature finds,  and other good "do be" things. Late in the season just before the closing date for point entries, I found in my diggings back behind the nature hut a salemander  with eggs under some log I was poking around under, When brought to Spike , he was in awe of my little find and gave my team  ( much to the chagrin of the Red team) enough points to squeak out a last second  buzzer beating win.    Hero to some ,, bum to others. , I think the prize was,that we got a catered supper by the losing team. I seem to remember how one of the Hastings was POed. But he had to serve our supper, while he ate crow.  Soupy" never sounded soooo good!"

Lesson in life 101:: If the red team had not teased us little kids when they had a big lead things may have been different. I do remember the call to arms and the daily hunt for bonus points and their agony of defeat!   Nah- nah Ha ha hoo, hornet bites are good for you!

  I will dig out family photos and other camp memorobilia  and send them in , but  my favorite times in life were the learning to swim, the badges, the archery, the camp outs and all the great camp activities, And most of all the wisdom of Uncle Bob and the Hastings, and Johnsons  and all who made the mystical summers of my youth the best times of all..

    all the best  " little"  Carly Hokanson

Updates #1 & #2 below.

Update #1

It seems like a lot of memories are etched into my grey matter and when I think back, I remember the" darndest things".

    I remember the photo of me or at least when on a visit to Camp , when I was 5 or 6 years young , to see the older kin that were there as campers , I was hanging around at the apron strings of my dearly departed Mother , Sallie. A photographer was there, I now assume taking official camp photos, seeing he needed a little action for his swimming/ pond shot he suggested that I go to the pond and do something, hence the photo of little Carly looking into the lake with amazement at the little aqua world inches below the surface. Also seen in the photo is the back of Wild Bill walking down the pier to no doubt perform some mischief of some sort.  All in all it ended up showing a very typical scene of the pond and all the levels of activities.

   Of course how could one forget the warmth and aromas of the mess hall, the large fireplace mantle , the wide kitchen window with wide shelf where our sustenance was put three times a day.  Warren Hastings ( if I recall right) was a little task master, perhaps due to his dad running the show and I'm sure as all parents tend to do, held his flesh and blood kin a little closer to the fire. But I digress.

   Well it seem to me Warren ( if memory serves me)  loved the Kellogg's  double GG good snack packs  and held them in high regard , not only for their flavor and high sugar content, but because it would save a bowl that he would have to wash later. Unfortunately it was an act of God to cut open the top without piercing the wax paper lining that formed the temporary leak proof bowl. It took many tries with my boy scout knife to perform the act without the milk leaking and sogging out the cardboard box, But we learned to like it and use less milk  and  eat very quickly. Sometimes I just ate the hot cereal and do without the mess.    OF course there was always the smart camper who was first to the Kellogg's assortment and squirrel away his favorite Tony the Tiger GGGGreats.  We quickly learned his hiding places so we got the good stuff as well. There were so many boxes hidden when we finally sniffed out the stash, that we all had the sugar coated Pops for a week.

   I seem to remember the rally song when better fare was required and,, Was that the aroma of bacon on the grill??,  that drove us to the rally song.     An a one , an a two, everybody sing!!

   " Ham and eggs,, Ham and eggs, I like mine nice and brown, I like mine upside down,,,,  Ham and eggs , Ham and eggs, Flip em, Flop em, Flop em, Flip em, Ham and egggggssss....

   Everyone tried to make special requests Over easy, Sunny side up , or just take from the pan of scrambled. One or two of the older guys with more refined taste insisted on poached and cooked there own , so  they had it their way, on toast points to boot!

   For some reason I got KP dish duty, I can't recall if it was for a misdemeanor or just part of the hard work ethic, But I believe the dish washer  had  broke shortly after the hot water heater had given up the ghost( Exploded may be a better description). The camp had been inspected and due to sanitary problems due to the lack of hot H2O,   the Camp in dutch, so even with out the dish washer, we had to that day the directive , "Kill the offending bugs with very hot tap water or else", The Hasting's kid on duty insisted we hold our hands to the flame and hand dip each plate into the scalding hot water, Way to hot for me, Hastings would run his hand under ice  cold water to freeze his hand long enough to take the boiling oil ,hot water the newly plumbed  water heater could now copiously pump out. Can you spell OUCH!!!!  Hastings earned  his snack packs that day!

   And finally , for today at least , I remember the "Horrible Parade" I think that was the name of the event, or maybe cause it turned out that way for me,,But I digress.

   We were to have costume parade day where campers would dress and act  out skits and other assorted madness, so my CIT came up with the not so brilliant idea for me and another camper to dress as "fat and skinny". So at the last second, Fat was dressed with multiply layers of clothing,,,,  I , Skinny,  was dressed in a bathing suit and barrel , well it was bad enough for me as it was a particularly frigid day and the barrel was not designed to be polar gear. I FFFFFroze till I was blue.  The fat kid had it pretty good in his copious layers,,,,  That is, of course until it was time to remove the now dried black  enamel  paint that was used to make our  painted on mustashes and other  skin marking in the heavy thick permanent, no doubt lead based paint .  I still remember the burn of turpentine and the redden skin burn I had.

    Days later,  Ivory," the  soap that floated" finally removed the last traces of toxic paint. But never the memory!  Also remember ,  the fact that the bar of  Ivory was constantly being retrieved by older camper for us kids when it slipped away into the deep section  that we were forbodden from. Some of them actually probably floated across the pond before they melted into nothingness in the vast  Lake of Laurence.  Some lucky bars decorated with sails to speed the  lake's crossing and safe land fall.  .  Ivory served multiple purposes and laundered clothes as well as dealt out punishments when ingested by naughty little boys..  "  Foaming crud??",   Was that a camp song lyric as well?? " Cider from a Straw   and   "Goober Peas" anyone remember these??? ,,    an a one , an a two.

I hope my stories remind the campers of the good times , the names have not been changed to protect the guilty!  But my memory is not  99 and 44% pure     ,, your fellow camper,,      little Carly H.

Update #2 Camp Songs

I Ain't A Gonna Grieve My Lord No More

1. If you get to heaven,
Before I do,
Just bore a hole,
And pull me through
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

CH: I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

2. Oh, the deacon went down,
To the cellar to pray,
But he fell asleep,
And he stayed all day.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

3. Oh, you can't get to heaven,
In a motor boat,
'Cause a motor boat,
On air won't float.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

4. You can't get to heaven,
In a putt-putt car,
'Cause a putt-putt car,
Won't go that far.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

5. You can't get to heaven,
In dirty blue jeans,
'Cause the Lord don't have,
No warahin' machines.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

6. You can't get to heaven,
On roller skates,
'Cause you'll roll right past,
Those pearly gates.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

7. If I get to heaven,
Before you do,
I'll plug that hole,
With shavings and glue.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

8. You can't get to heaven,
If you've sinned all day,
'Cause if you've sinned all day,
You'll go the other way,
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

9. You can't get to heaven,
If you've sinned all day,
'Cause if you've sinned all day,
You'll go the other way,
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

10. You can't get to heaven,
In a rocking chair,
'Cause the lord don't allow,
No lazy folks there.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

11. You can't get to heaven,
With nickles in your jeans,
'Cause the Lord don't have
No slot machines.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

12. You can't get to heaven,
In a limousine,
'Cause the Lord don't sell,
No gasoline.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

13. Oh, the devil is mad,
And I am glad,
He lost a soul,
He thought he had.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

14. That's all there is,
There ain't no more,
St. Peter Himself,
Just closed the door.
I ain't a gonna grieve my Lord no more.

Hi, Here's the song lyrics, I remember the Camp Clark final verse / moral as:
Now 49 years of foaming crud, we both drink cider from a mug
Now 49 years of foaming crud , we both drink cider from a mug.. 


The prettiest girl I ever saw
Was sippin' cider
Through a straw
The prettiest girl I ever saw
Was sippin' cider through a straw
I asked her if
She'd teach me how
To sip some cider
Through a straw
I asked her if she'd reach me how
To sip some cider through a straw
First cheek to cheek
Then jaw to jaw
We sipped that cider
Through a straw
First cheek to cheek, then jaw to jaw
We sipped that cider through a straw
And now and then
That straw did slip
And we'd sip cider
Lip to lip
And now and then that straw did slip
And we'd sip cider lip to lip
And now I've got
A mother-in-law
And nineteen kids
That call me "Paw"
And now I've got a mother-in-law
And nineteen kids that call me "Paw"
The moral of
This little tale
Is sip your cider
Through a pail
The moral of this little tale
Is sip your cider through a pail

1 comment:

Unknown said...

In the group photo in updates 1 and 2---This was my brother (Peter Vinbury) and my (Mark Vinbury) first year at Camp Clark --1960---our names are spelled wrong(Vineberry) on the back but it is us. Pete is on the left end,3rd row from the back and I am in the middle ,3 rows from the front behind the guy with the CC tee shirt. Also I believe Jay Steptoe is the guy seated 3rd from the right in the front row.Jay was from our neighborhood in Barrington RI and was how my family found out about Camp Clark. He was also the camp bugler for some of our time there. (1960-1962). Fond memories of those days. Great to have these posts. I also have a few pics I will try to post.