Saturday, September 03, 2016

Dad's Old School Papers

I wish there were pictures to go along with the story but the only ones I know of the those I made up in my own imagination whenever Dad told this story. The one he turned in as a school writing assignment has a slightly different ending than the one he typically told as an adult. Perhaps he didn't yet want to admit how he had abandoned his buddy to the mosquitoes in the middle of the night

Alfred Plotzker English- Mrs. Vrooman
Grade 9 March 1948

My First Camping Experience

When I was about ten or eleven years old, my pal Harold Knecht and I planned to find a good place in the woods, set up a tent, and stay for a night. Neither one of us had a tent, so I borrowed an old piece of canvas from the next door neighbor, together with some clothesline.

I got some blankets, food and tools from our house and packed them all on my bike. I also got my B.B. gun, packed it in burlap bags, and loaded that on the bike. 

When I was all ready,  I rode down to Harold's house and found him raking the lawn. He didn't have much more to do, so I left my loaded bike at his house and together we walked down to the bay and hung around George's hot stand and the Hebring Hotel until way after dark.

Quite a while later a full moon appeared, beautifully enlightening the bay.

Finally we decided that we'd better be getting back and find a place to camp if we expected to get any sleep at all that night, so we trudged along the old dirt, moonlit road along the bay shore with a rock in each hand for fear of being attacked by tramps.

We had heard many stories of people getting murdered by certain wandering tramps along the waterfront, so we were "kinda scaired" of the same thing happening to us. As we walked along, we exchanged various true murder stories that we had heard, and of course we were quite nervous and jumpy.

By the time we reached Harold's house it was around midnight, but we hurriedly  gathered our equipment together and settled down in the pines across the road. We strung the clothes rope between two trees, threw the canvas over it, weighted the ends with rocks, covered the sides with burlap bags, threw our blankerts inside, and crawled in.

I remember lying there, trying to sleep as the moonlight and mosquitos came in through and around the burlap bags. The time was drawing pretty nigh 5:00 A.M. before I finally dozed off to sleep. 

When morning came, the sun was shining brightly and the morning was beautiful. We got up, built a camp fire and ate breakfast.

It wasn't a very comfortable camping trip, but we sure did have a lot of fun, so have gone since, and hope to many times more.

I borrowed the picture from

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