The Kennebec Camps
We thought you would appreciate a copy of Buddy Meyer’e updated “Camper” sermon which, in addition to Skip Steiner’s musical review and Gary Davis’s song presentation, was one of the hits of the Saturday night performance, June 25th, of the 1977 Kennebec 70th reunion.
As Buddy indicates, the updatd sermon was addressed to the ssenile segment of the alumni and designed to be accompanied by the soothing strains of that old favorite, “Joshua Fit De Bottle of Geritol”. The stages of life, he noted parenthetically, are, unlike Shakespeare’s, three – not seven – in number, namely: Youth Middle age and “You’re looking very well”.
The sermon itself as amended to suit the debilitated audience, and with apologies to Charles Fox, reads:
C. This stands for Chutzpah, the plaintive and pathetic expecttion tha at your age you may still hit a softball over Watson Hall. This condition generally occurs during the last few nights of June prior to setting out for North Belgrade. “C” also stands for cortical atrophy which has been known to reinforce the above mentioned Chutzpah by facilitating some loss of clear thinking and judgement.
A. This is for Ambivalence, that momentary hesitation whether to heed the worry and/or ridicule of one’s wife, family and friends who shout in unison, “Don’t be a damned fool. What! At your age — a camp reunion yet!. Either get your head examined or stay home and look at TV (like your contemporaies from Winnebago).” “A” also stands for amnesia, a common condition — not complaint, I regret to say — among the senior members of the reunion. Amnesia is to be distinguished from magnesia in that when afflicted by the former condition you don’t know where you are going.
M. Mishuga. This refers to the obstinate defiance of the wise counsel allude to under “A”. It also stands for Mumzer, a pejorative term which applies to the bastard who luckily succeeded in hitting a soft ball as far as the pitcher’s box, where it was caught by some kid of fifty. Purists may designate this stage as the “menopause that refreshes”.
P. Refers to Prostatic Hypertrophy, a condition that is responsible for the merciful installation of certain necessities in the Alumni cabin, causes a sudden inability to take one’s long sought for (by oneself, that is) turn at bat, and then paradoxically sabotages the prompt utilization of the aforementioned facilities in the Alumni cabin once they have been laboriously reached.
E. Aside from Emphysema, which manifests itself in a state of breathlessness even after receiving a heaven-sent base-on-balls and tottering to first, and to Echolia, the inane repetition of what’s been said by you or by your senescent contemporaries (whose names you have somehow forgoten). “E” refers to certain post-reunion phenomena -Exhaustion, and more particularly the Exaggerations and Elaborations with which you ornament your undistinguished accomplishments when seeking to thrill youe unimpressed family after your arrival home on a litter.
R. stands for Reminiscenes of the splendid Reunion, for which, shared by all, we thank you, and which we will Remember as long as the afore-mentioned disabilities permit. The sad fact remains:
Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be.