The Kamp Kewanee Knocker
January 15, 2020 19:01:16 (EDT)|
Lou Moskowitz gave this speech at the September 2019 Reunion:
Kamp Kewanee was founded in 1916, in the middle of World War 1, five score and three years ago. That’s 103 years for those that think that “score” means something else. When Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg address, in 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, he started with “Four score and seven years ago,…”, or 87 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed. So, for those keeping count, we out-scored Lincoln by 16 years.
Kamp closed 46 years ago, yet we continue to gather to celebrate what was and to renew old friendships. Exactly what it is that repeatedly brings each of us back, after all these years, varies, but includes a shared set of experiences, during a critical period of personal development. Much, of course, has changed over these 46 years. For example, I can no longer type Kamp Kewanee with “K’s without my spelling auto-correct changing the “K” to a “C” and Douglas DC-3’s no longer land at Avoca airport with kampers emplaning. But, the essential Kamp experience seems to have varied little from the beginnings of Kamp in 1916 through the final taps in 1973. For me, the magic was always with the experienced teachers and others turned kamp counselors; men like Frank Dolbear, Dave Sechrist, Bonnie Sabatini, Ted Pawloski, Eddie Chiampi, Johnny Ludd, Harry Zavacki and Dick “Nehru” Sundheim, to name but a few from my era. So, drink your bug juice, go on a nature hike, take your compulsory dip, dust off your pump lamp, get ready for inspection, paddle your canoe, compete in Red/Black tug of war, listen again to your favorite Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, identify that small butterfly with the red stripes that just landed on your deck chair, as a Red Admiral, and listen to a trumpet playing revile and, later, taps. Smile at what was and that helped get you to who you are today. Be grateful.
Kee Kee Wah.
Ernest Urvater January 4, 2020 13:09:45 (EDT)
At the time I went to KK I was known as Ernest Schlosberg, my mother's married name. I went to one reunion, which was in the year that the camp closed, but can't remember exactly when that was. What year did the camp close? I walked away from that reunion with the 1947 plaque, the ones which circled around the room in the lodge--my name is on it along with D. Lorch. He wasn't there, so I got to take the plaque home. Thinking of attending the next reunion. Thanks in advance for your reply. Ciao, Ernie
WFIL January 2, 2020 15:59:21 (EDT)
Rick Vatz gave this speech at the September 2019 Reunion:
My Kewanee -- Rick Vatz
Greetings and Kee Kee Wah to all of you. This would have been a one-hour speech, but Bugs Melnikoff told me earlier that I could not repeat anything I had said at earlier reunions, so now it is about 5 minutes.
I imagine that many of us have changed over the years and not just in our maladies from aging. Personally, I am happily married to my one and only wife and have 2 wonderful children and 2 wonderful grandchildren.
At Kewanee, I was a Pirate fan and still recall Johnny Spear's singing "For I am a Pirate fan,"¯ I was a Steeler fan, which my wife and I still are, despite the drubbing we received last Sunday at the hands of the Patriots. But foremost now I am a Baltimore Orioles fan and a Baltimore Ravens fan, but I still love the Pittsburgh teams from the early days. My wife, incidentally, won't watch the Ravens, except out of loyalty to me.
I still play tennis the same deplorable way, but I no longer win many sets.
Yes, Kamp Kewanee made most of us competitive life-long, and that great kamp has had effects on me throughout my life.
In fact, I owe a tremendous amount to Kewanee, especially my years as a kamper.
My days as a kamper were almost ideal.. My first year I had Roy David as a kounselor, one of the neatest guys I ever met.
My other favorite kounselor was George Koval, and I with Bobby Wertheimer worshipped him…so neaat and cool and an adult at an early age.
Foster Goldman was my Kounselor in the ensuing year, and he was always getting into squabbles due to his urbane humor and the lack of such in one or two of the other kounselors. There was a counselor whose name some of you will recall, but I don't, nicknamed "Tarzan."¯ We had a swim meet and Tarzon started shrieking at Foster that his – Tarzon's – rules would prevail in tn the competition of ten year-olds. Tarzon, who could beat up 99.99% of the earth's inhabitants, prevailed, as Foster said, "O.K., we'll do it your way."¯ Tarzan, however, did not return to Kamp Kewanee.
One of Foster's persuasive strength's was that he was related to the owner, and that seemed to resolve a lot of problems, just not immediately.
I learned from that situation that it was good to be close to those with power. I was very close to the Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007, and I taught the wife of the next one, Martin O'Malley, and I am sort-of buds with the current one, Gov. Hogan and have had him speak in my class and his Lieutenant Governor is speaking in my class in a couple of weeks.
Some of you know that I am a political conservative, and yet Nancy Pelosi spoke in my class last October, and she was great,
I have, as a result of Joe Ludgate and Dave Sechrist's performances, a love of Gilbert and Sullivan, always loved Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore and Trial by Jury. I still sing songs at home that I learned from Johnny Spear. My wife, once a professional singer, cautions me that he ain't no Enrico Caruso, whoever that was.
There was Jimmy Samter – one day I was walking to my tent, and there was a dozen kampers surrounding Jimmy. He announces that he could blow smoke out of his mouth without smoking. He did so, but to this day I don't know if medical science can explain it.
Due to him and the late, great Bobby Siegel, or Soggy Bagel as I believe he was then known, I have never smoked. One day in his tent when I was about 12, I said that I admired his smoking and was ready to try it myself. He said, O.K., here is a cigarette; take a puff. I sort of did and Bobby said, that's not how you smoke; inhale the smoke!"¯ I did so, and after recovering 5 days later I knew that I would never smoke again.
I adored Sam Strauss (Sa-am – and I confess I do not know the originator of that pronunciation of his name or why the entire kamp uttered it when technology broke down in the lodge) who ran the Kewanee Theater Guild for a while and one of my other absolute favorite counselors was Mike Courson, although Bobby Wertheimer and I argued whether he or George Koval was a better counselor. I should at this point always make the argument that I adored Henry Mosler who convinced me as a ten-year-old that when I called Sam Snead "Damn Sneeze,"¯ I was making a hilarious joke.
My adulthood has benefitted from other Kewanneans, such as the late Bruce Kaufman and especially, perhaps, Robert Cohen who when I told him I was writing a book on Persuasion -- which book came out a years ago, by the way -- told me he had done a play on Machiavelli. B.S. Cohen on Machiavelli? Never would have guessed it.
I was told repeatedly that Breezie Stein was the coolest guy ever. I talked with him at length last night, and he still is the coolest guy ever. Trippy looked half his age at kamp and still does.
Dave Rutstein's photographic memory is still on display, as of this morning.
There are so many other people as well to whom I admired additionally to the ones I have named, people who simply made Kewanee a great happy and enjoyable experience, such as Steve Moses, Gordy Lawrence, Lou Moskowitz, Steve Klein, Nehru, Johnny Samuels and some others here today. There were so many just wonderful additional people that it would take forever to name them all.
All in all, Kamp Kewanee produced so many seminal memories, memories which have helped me in every aspect of life; I shall never forget you, or at least many of you.
Richard E. Vatz, Ph.D.
Towson Distinguished Professor
WFIL December 23, 2019 18:07:39 (EDT)
Linda Goldman sends this pic of Foster, Bob Shoenberg, and me (WFIL) at the September reunion.
WFIL December 21, 2019 18:33:53 (EDT)
Sandy Jo December 15, 2019 18:51:37 (EDT)
Thanks , I am now living in Southbury Ct, Heritage Village, and one of the people I have met went to Dallas High School and mentioned that the Football Coach there had just reach 103 years old, that would be Bob Dolbear, will tell her the connections to Bob and Frank and Kewanee, hopefully he has all his memories of times gone by. Thanks Again
WFIL December 13, 2019 17:20:03 (EDT)
Sandy Jo - I think it was Robert (Bob) Dolbear, Frank's brother, who taught at Dallas High. Last I heard, Bob is still with us at age 103, living at the Village at Greenbriar in Dallas Township. The article goes on to say, Bob Dolbear was principal of Dallas High School and is credited with starting the old shoe football game between rivals Dallas and Lake Lehman. See also news of his 102nd birthday. Bob was a kounselor in 1938 and 1939, and again in 1954.
Sandy Jo December 7, 2019 19:20:32 (EDT)
Does anyone from the 50's era remember if HC - Frank Dolbear was a football coach at Dallas High School? If I remember right he had a son Trenny(?) who was at Kamp.
Sandy Jo December 5, 2019 20:57:22 (EDT)
HAPPY HOLIDAY TO ALL KAMPERS AND THEIR FAMILY
Steve Buch October 17, 2019 20:16:05 (EDT)
Sorry I missed the reunion. Just too much going on. Downsizing at age 70 is not easy! Anyway I came across three LP records. I think they came from my cousin Michael "Harrisburg" Coleman. One has a yellow label that just has Kamp Kewanee printed on it and "Bob Stephens" written in script. The other two are from the 1953 Marionette Show, Once Upon a Legend. They look pretty rough, and I have no way to play them. If anyone wants them, let me know at email@example.com. I'll be happy to send them. Kee-Kee-Wah!
Hank Mosler October 2, 2019 17:52:53 (EDT)
Hello to everyone. What a great reunion, reconnecting with so many fellow kampers. Thanks to the organizers and speakers for the many amusing stories from our past. And Happy New Year to all. Please stay healthy so we can all see each other at the next reunion.
Jerry Adler September 25, 2019 01:48:44 (EDT)
While the marionetteer in my video is not me (could be Gordy), Lew cast me as Dorothy and that sparked my career in entertainment (35 years). He also mentored my teaching (29 years so far).Thanks,Lew and Kamp Kewanee!
Gordon Lawrence September 15, 2019 08:25:17 (EDT)
Thanks to all who made yesterday's reunion such a success. Special Thanks to Steve Klein for constant efforts. Fun seeing everyone!
Bob Sprafkin September 6, 2019 07:29:04 (EDT)
I just caught up with the KK Knocker. So sad to hear of Pete Freidman’s passing. My condolences, Steve. Also, the video of Doc Klein’s memorial was a great tribute to him.
Sorry that I won’t be able to make the reunion - will be in Shanghai.
ALEX "BREEZIE" STEIN September 3, 2019 18:00:07 (EDT)
THE NEWS ABOUT THE PASSING OF PETE FRIEDMAN IS TRULY SAD. HE WAS A GOOD GUY AND I WILL MISS HIS PRESENCE AT THE REUNION.
Hank Mosler August 29, 2019 14:08:52 (EDT)
Just watched the one minute video sent by Jerry Adler. What a joy. See you all at the reunion.
WFIL August 29, 2019 09:44:41 (EDT)
I've received sad news from Steve Friedman '55 that his brother, Pete "the Bull" Friedman, passed away on June 30 in Chicago. Pete was a kamper, and then a kounselor, from 1952-1961, and was a two-time Honor Plaque winner. He attended every reunion. Our condolences to the Friedman family.
WFIL July 29, 2019 20:14:28 (EDT)
Jerry Adler sent in this 1-minute video. Thanks, Jerry.
Sarah Lowengard July 29, 2019 10:56:04 (EDT)
I am the daughter of (the late) Jerry Lowengard, dedicated Kewanee Kamper in the '40s and sister of Henry and Ben, more notorious than dedicated in the '70s, I believe.
As I am sorting through family papers I have come across a number of things relating to Kamp Kewanee. Is there an archive that collects such things? Another dedicated former camper who would like them? I would hate to toss them if they might have meaning or someone.
WFIL Klein July 25, 2019 18:01:20 (EDT)
Thanks, Tiger. We played the 1962 recording of "When the Moon Shines" at Dad's memorial. Click to watch a memorial video made by his Temple U. students.
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