Dear Keith Johnson, 7/11/09
Your Stand up and Cheer Newsletter made me put on my memory cap. I was glad to see one old-timer, Bud Olson (‘42-’43) just after my (‘38-’41) still keeps in touch
I wonder how many remember the wonderful old days with Art Huey, Col. Ransom, Skipper Beals and many others. How can I forget CT as co-captain of the Green team with Emmett Bedford followed by Counselor with the Earlybirds. How many remember the cedar block walks throughout the camp area. I worked with Col. Ransom many hours mixing cement, grading the walk and setting the blocks.
Do many remember the Upper Peninsula trip with two station wagon loads of campers, counselors and equipment. Carlos Kotilla had us stop in Calumet City to visit his relatives. There we were treated to an authentic Finnish Sauna complete with the cedar bows to stimulate the skin and ice-cold water tossed at us upon emerging. Up to Fort Wilkins, Copper Harbor followed by a trip to see Red Lake emptying into Lake Superior.
Col. Ransom then took us to visit an old crony, we referred to him as Old Man Rockendorf, whose farm was about twenty miles from Gladstone. That was a most memorable experience as he and the Col. hugged and jumped around like a couple of kids. When we entered his home, he had a rack of guns near the doorway. He took one out and went to the door and fired away. He then looked us and said “Boys, every gun in this rack is loaded, do not play with them.” Needless to say it was a lesson.
Do any old-timers ever remember having to visit the Skipper in his little cabin? Ralph Meeker and I did. We had made a no-no and were promptly chastised. As for remembering the Skippers words I will have to beg off. All I remember is we were properly admonished and did not again waver off the route. That was a serious, intense but loving experience from a master with words.
Does anyone remember the quartet that went to the Cherry Festival in Traverse City to sing Ragtime Cowboy Joe? What a thrill that had been.
These are rambling memories and thought I would pass them along from a guy that loved every minute of his life at Leelanau. In those days, I was best known as Doc Faust. That may spur a few recollections. My sister Joan Lee Faust followed me after a few years attending Kohahna. I think she has been back for a few visits. Her life work was as Garden Editor for the New York Times and now lives in Riverside, Conn.