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The Old Summer Camp

In the green Adirondack foothills lies the haven of our old summer camp, once a place of adventure and outdoor joy, and the loud cries of precocious scamps, their energy you never could tamp, scurrying ’round on small, rapid feet, leaping into the pond without a beat. I remember coming here myself, gazing up at the grand totem pole, the mess hall with fieldstone fireplace, where countless tall-tales were told, and lordy, was the pond bitter cold! There was a trading post for candy, snacks, and toilets which all amenities lacked… To scampering kids it felt like we were far off in a rugged wilderness, that tall white pines just rolled on in a vast and uncharted forest, and we were just the ones to explore it! The only sign of steel on our trails was a pair of rusted, forgotten trial rails. Then I came back here as an adult and found the revelry was long passed, the town had bought up all the old camp, no kids raced swiftly ’cross the grass, it had been too good of a place to last, folks blamed it on poor demographics, cell phones, and parents afraid of risk. I suppose I should be thanking the town, because the made the space into a park, at the very least it will be preserved, even though it’s missing that old spark, and youngsters sprinting ’round on a lark, they’re even cleared out some new ground… by tearing half the rustic buildings down. The trading post, now a picnic pavilion, the staff cabins now an empty field, the docks pulled up and carted away, the pond belongs now to minnows and eels, not entirely sure how I feel, out there we swam and swamped canoes, now it’s blocked off from public use. The mess hall, at least, is still standing, they say it’s becoming a historic sight, but to see it still present, all alone, somehow just doesn’t feel all that right, with its clap-board fading in bright sunlight, at least the boat-house still rises near, though it’s probably collapse within the year. I turned away in a very glum mood, made my way to my car rather slow, thinking of all I had done here that my children are never going to know, there are few places like this left to go. it brings a well-known though to my mind: Damn you, damn you, damn you time!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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