Wednesday, October 21, 2009

O Brother Where Art Thou - Song of the Sirens

What a fun movie. I can't seem to see it enough times to get tired of it. (And you know that it is actually the Odyssey re-written right?)

Today, unlike yesterday was a gas at work. My students were extra funny... the staff were happy people and my favorite weekly drop in came to share my habitat. He's a counselor for at risk kids. N is a great guy who has been with the district as long as I have. We dinosaurs need to stick together.

So today we were singing camp songs. As in I went to Y-Camp growing up each summer and took every single red cross swimming lesson ever offered and so did you??? Do you remember the "fried ham, fried ham" song? His answer of course was "cheese and balogna". Y-Camp speak. This lead to a list of songs. Such as the one below... it's kind of gross actually.

NCS 2009 Camp Bonner - Johnny Verbeck

Of course there was "Living in tents and cabins under the watch of God, he made the pathways that our feet have trod. So I will live, and live to love, for all these wonderful things... Boom de ah da... 3X". Or what about "Valderee... Valderah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha." Yeah... i was a real sucker for the Boom de ah das and the ha-ha-ha-ha-has.

I got my boating license one year at the end of the camp session and returned the following year. They foolishly allowed me to have my license without retesting me. A group of us got into the row boat and off we went... to the center of Lake Sequoia where we managed to get stuck until our exhausted arms had time to recooperate and then, we managed a shaky return into the swimming area... over the ropes set up to keep fools out. Truth was, I could no more control where my row boat was going than I could kiss the moon! Still no one took my license away. What were they thinking?

The last day of Y-Camp at Lake Sequoia was a big deal... the boys camp... yes, I attended an all girl camp (You gotta keep 'em separated!)... the boys camp would march through our camp and then have lunch with us. It generated a great deal of excitement. Girls were painting their nails, faces and primping all morning. You never saw so many curlers in your life! I didn't have much hair... my mom insisted that I wear a pixie cut at all times... so no curlers for this gal. I opted for short shorts to get attention.

As it turned out the short shorts were not required... when the boys arrived I was trying desperately to get down to where the other girls in my cabin had a good spot steaked out right in front of the craft shack with it's long chest high counter. (My regular readers by now are sensing a bit of dread and the promise of blood.)

It was clear that the boys would reach that spot before me if I did not break into a run... so run I did. I was fast then. I leapt over big rocks and darted around trees with total grace and confidence. At the very end of my run was a big log. I cleared it effortlessly! But when my foot came down in the dry powdery dirt... it slid forward under the counter... dragging my body down until my chin made contact and with a very icky sound my head snapped back and my chin split wide open. Yes indeed, those boys were looking right at me. Boom de ah da boom de ah da!

So what about you folk? Did any of you go to summer camp and have fun experiences like mine? Did you make lanyard necklaces with little pinch hooks on them to give to your mom and dad for their keys? Lace a leather wallet with some badly pounded designs on the side for uncle Louis? What about those resin grapes you could make? I liked to make those, but I think it was because the fumes made me high. I didn't know I was a stoner yet. That came a couple of years after.

What about camp songs? Church camp songs work too! Come on... give 'em up!


  1. I just watched that again with the kids the other day.

    I went to girl scout camp as a young kid, and enjoyed it, but not as an older kid. Except for marching band camp, which was just during the days.

  2. What memories you conjure up, Ananda!
    I went to camp one year. You know, the only year I was allowed out of the house. We did the worthless necklace things and what became the worthless wallet things.
    The one song I cannot get out of my mind to this day is something with "Tongo" in it and a "jim da da my o my o". Trippy.
    One religious girl refused to do the perp walk during the Strut Miss Lizzy gig. What am I forgetting?
    We weren't allowed enough activity for me to break open my chin. Obviously, you had all the fun.
    Cheers to you, Ananda!!

  3. I never, ever went to camp... *sniff*... way to make me feel like an outsider.

  4. secret agent woman-- Camp is camp I think. I went to church camp too... my parents like to send me away I think. But never to band camp. I am not musical at all.

  5. Peggy-- hahahahaha... "Ooh pi pi coon dye oh! Tongo!" I'm so glad someone else can recall that one... it haunts me!

  6. Cube-- Obviously your parents liked you and kept you around! If I wasn't at camp I was at Great Grandma's or off with friends of the family somewhere that was not at home where one might have to look after me. My parents were exhausted by the time they got to #5... me. I think it was a plot to get peace and quiet.

  7. ooo a lay, mali pahm ah luay. I used to sing that damned Tongo song until my bro yelled, O shut up your big face! Cube, you didn't miss a thing and 'Nan, that song is making a comeback in my blasted head. Think I'll go back to the drink today.

  8. Peggy-- Too funny that Tom yelled at you for that... my brother did too! hahahahahaha

    Hey... don't you dare! I'd feel horribly responsible. Your brother would hate and I couldn't take being hated by Mr. Cool... or you.

  9. Thanks for trying to make me feel better guys, but I secretly envied the friends who got sent off to camp. It was an adventure that I never got to experience.

    BTW I have 3 siblings, the youngest 15 years younger than me, and none of them went to camp either. I guess my parents were gluttons for punishment ;-)

  10. We had church camp, which I think might have been different than other camps. It was just for five days. And I got a late start with it, as I didn't get to go until maybe seventh grade. Other kids went before that. We lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and we got on a bus to go to the San Antonio area. The last year I was at a different church, so we drove to someplace in Oklahoma instead. It wasn't as nice. No pool. And I'm not into softball and such.

    After I was too old to go to camp, they made a movie about some kids drowning on the way home from San Antonio. It wasn't our group, but it was that same camp.

  11. Cube-- I'm sorry, Cube. That doesn't seem very fair. It wasn't all fun and songs. If it helps a girl threatened to cut my face up with a razor blade at camp too. Yikes. Fortunately she didn't.

  12. laughing-- Well I'm glad you didn't go that year.

    I went to church camp too... my friend's church. We did Bible plays and sang some guy named Winkie Prattney came and sang Jesus rock without a bass guitar... cause you know, the bass is the devil's instrument. He was a hoot.

  13. I went to the "Down from the Mountain" show in Chicago that came after the movie. It had a lot of the musical performers and was amazing.

    I never got to go to camp. I was one of those poor, government housing kids who thought camp was a place kids on TV went, but didn't exist in real life. I was able to send my girls to camp though, and they loved it.

  14. I never attended camp as a camper, but one summer I dated a guy whose family ran a of course I worked there. It was fun! I remember Going on a Squeegy Hunt...and Little Bunny Foo Foo...I loooove the Fried Ham song (same song, hillbilly verse, a little bit louder and a whole lot worse). Ah, good times!

  15. laura b-- The idea of dating someone new is still freaking me out a bit. This new type of dating... meeting on line and then in person is sort of like the ultimate blind date. I don't even have a friend who knows this person. Only my impressions.

    Then I remind myself that there was a time when I used to climb into cars with total strangers and trust them to let me out when I asked.

    Miss Bliss had a lot of balls... anandagirl is a bit more timid. I need to flip that switch and have some fun. Miss Bliss would not have hesitated for a heartbeat.

    But your date... wow! Tomorrow. I am so happy for you laura b.! Have a great time with DR.

  16. Churlita-- Well crap! That stinks. Our Y-Camp had a sponsorship program for low income kids or some of my friends could never have gone. I was a spoiled kid.

    I'm glad that you were able to send your girls. I did have some scary times there and got several scars along the way, but I learned to be independent and to try new things. I found the friends there that I played league softball with that made my life happy for about four years. Good things happened there.

  17. laura b.-- Yes! We were singing that exact one yesterday! hahahahha YOu would have fit right in with us nut cases. We called it a Snipe Hunt... but the same thing I am sure. (Little bunny Foo Foo, I don't want to see you...) That one had hand movements that I loved too. They were good times.

    Now for the out of order comment above... I popped in to answer your comment on yesterdays post and it seems I did it here instead of there. Very clever! Ah... the brain is fried at the end of my day.

  18. You got noticed, and that's what matters most. I don't care what you need to do to get attention or fame, just do it!

    Hmmm, camp stories. I was the pillow king, we would have pillow fights and try to knock each other off a log. It was a camp sanctioned event and I won! kind of like gladiators. I was famous. The apex of my life. Everything was downhill after that.

  19. Sebastien-- The pillow king! Congratulations sire! But I am hoping it was not the apex... that your peak is up ahead and will soon arrive.

    I started junior high that year after summer was over. When I walked into the building, feeling very grown up I heard one boy say to another... Hey, that's that girl who smeared her face on the cabin. Fame isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

  20. I haven't seen that movie, and I can assure you that I don't care where my piece of shit brother is.

    So today we were singing camp songs.

    Cum a tie my pecker to a tree, to a tree, cum a tie my pecker to a tree..........

    Of course there was "Living in tents and cabins under the watch of God, he made the pathways that our feet have trod.

    Rolls eyes, I've always preferred blazing my own paths, I'm a free spirit.

  21. I never went to camp in my youth. I also never went as an adult. To this end, I never sang camp songs in a formal camp environment.

  22. AlienCG-- Well I think its one of those adventures that you can miss out on and be none the worse for wear. :-)