Greetings one and all for a special, spring serving of Bean Soup, sponsored by the Pemi Archives. We found a remarkable photograph capturing four boys outside of a Junior Cabin who are clearly witnessing something unique. We have no official documentation on file, so, in true Bean Soup fashion, we asked members of the Pemi community to create their own back-story. Here, now, are some inventive responses from our Alumni and current campers. Feel free to respond in the comments with your own version of the story. And, as they say…on with the Soup!
Campers look on from the shores of Lower Baker Pond during Tecumseh Day 1975 as athletes competed in the first and last “cinder block lake walk” competition used to break the day’s 10-10 tie. As the expression on the boy second from the right shows, this photo captures the precise moment the competitors hit the water after stepping off the Junior float.
–Alumnus Brad Saffer
These boys are probably looking at something interesting and out of no-where; maybe a rare bird, or possibly even a moose in the distance. Or they could possibly be mesmerized by an ice cream truck pulling into camp, with a sign that says free ice-cream, and candy!
–Camper Ollie O.
Based on historical research, Pemi is now giving considerable thought to bringing back long forgotten occupations. First hour “Dead Man’s Hill Monitoring” was, in its day, absolutely thrilling.
–Alumnus Karl See
Five boys are walking to their cabin… Just then they notice a strange glow and one of the boys: Bill (who is not in the picture) gets sucked up into the air by aliens! Then the aliens fly away in their saucer, leaving the boys endlessly staring at the sky wondering if the aliens will come back for more.
–Camper Teddy S.
In 1946 the bikini was invented. Unfortunately, it was still 1941 and the most exciting thing around was the Velcro on camp’s life-jackets. Bikinis did find their way to the shores of Lower Baker several years later during a G & S production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” but much to the boys’ dismay, it was donned by a hairy-chested counselor.
–Current Bean Soup Editor Ben Walsh
They see a Sasquatch waterskiing across the lake being chased by the Loch Ness Monster.
–Camper Tom N.
“Man, I wish you all wouldn’t have put superglue on my binoculars” Billy said, trying to pry them from his eyeballs.
“Relax Billy, its only temporary. 72 hours tops.” Will said, as he nudged him, “And keep your voice down. It’ll hear us…”
“Guys, what is that thing? And why did it have to eat my shoes? Those were my favorite pair of shoes…” Henry whispered out.
“I don’t know Henry” said Will, “But if it tries to eat my shoes, it’ll be sorry. My shoes smell funnnnnn-keeeeee.”
–Alumnus Dwight Dunston
Four campers find themselves mesmerized on the shore of junior camp. Across the lake they see some sort of dolphin-like fish cruising through the distance swim path. The boy on the left says, “No, it couldn’t be…Robert Cecil!” exclaims the Junior on the right. They nod still staring and come to agreement that yes, indeed it is Robert Cecil flying through Lower Baker.
–Camper Mac H.
That moment when a young Charlie Malcolm, a younger Danny Kerr, a blonde Ron Weasley, and Jack Bierwirth discovered they could see Merriwood from their back porch. #closerthanrussia #youdontknowjack #instasoup
–Alumnus Conor Shaw
Four Pemi campers are playing a game of tag and are looking out for the ‘tager’. They don’t realize that he is sneaking up from behind them. One, unlucky one of them, will have to be it!
–Camper Henry S.
Finding the decent in indecent exposure on the Public Beach.
–Alumnus Sky Fauver
The four campers stared in awe as two wild animals were jumping about in the night. One the pagoda panda. Two A WILD ROSIE. They were shocked because they did not know what was happening.
–Camper Jamie A
And that’s why the Lowers are sent away on Lochearn Day.
–Alumnus Tip Apter
People often ask me “hey Ben, what were the 70s like?” “Ha ha,” I reply, “very funny: you know I’m not nearly old enough to remember. Now get off my lawn.”
I am old enough, unfortunately, to remember the actual origins of this photo. No funny, made-up backstory for you here, just straight, sobering truth I’m afraid. Still, as disturbing as it may be, I firmly believe it’s better to remember the terrors of the past than forget, lest we be doomed to relive them.
I bet, as you gaze into the faces of these four slack-jawed boys, each looking half-horrified, half-fascinated by the sight of their own impending demise arriving from across Lower Baker, you’re probably asking yourself “oh no! What is about to befall these four Juniors or perhaps Lower-Lowers?”
No, friends: the boys pictured were Assistant Counselors at the time. Please do not judge their unmanly appearance though, as Lochearn Day was hard on us all. I saw better men than me reduced to nothing in a flash. Let’s continue to keep Pemi safe for our ACs’ egos and promise each other we’ll never again repeat these terrible mistakes of our past.
–Alumnus Ben Olding
They’re looking at the Merriwood dance.
–Camper Weston D.
A young Donald Trump, Lower 4-Pemi 1957 (fiction), looks on with his fellow cabin mates at the 25 metre high fence they had built to keep Mexicans out from Lower Baker pond.
–Alumnus Justin Thompson-Glover
Campers look on as contestants gather at the public beach for Wentworth’s annual “Garbage man’s Daughter” contest, later purchased and franchised by Donald Trump.
–Alumnus Brad Saffer Part Duex
The four boys suddenly turned their heads. “Oh my gosh…” one said, his jaw almost to the ground. One pulled out his binoculars and said, “It can’t be!…” The other two just looked out in amazement. What they saw was the man himself, Mr. Tom Reed Jr., water skiing. The boys were taken aback. They couldn’t believe that TRJR was actually up on the skies and succeeding. They couldn’t wait to go back to tell their friends what they had seen.
–Camper Grady B.
This photo shows a trio of junior campers in the summer of 1968, watching a rare event involving the three then-directors, J. H. Nichols, Al Fauver, and Tom Reed, attempting a “human triangle” behind the ski boat. Unfortunately, Doc Nick, who insisted on being the top man, kept letting go of his rope in order to, as he said, “make the trick worth doing.” He repeatedly tumbled backwards off Al and Tom’s shoulders, necessitating attempt after attempt. On one of these, Nick’s bouncing handle stuck Al Fauver in the mouth, knocking out the diamond studded gold tooth that used to be a main feature of Al’s smile. On another, the handle struck Tom in the knee, leading him to say “Damme” and totally lose the respect of that year’s staff. Eventually, Nick’s place was taken by the One-Armed Brakeman, who managed to stay on Al and Tom’s shoulders all the way around the lake. At that point he fell and was last seen swimming lustily in a large circle, owing to his physical handicap. At what particular portion of the debacle the boys are looking, we don’t know. The boy on the right, with the binoculars, is the young Stephen Hawking, who was never a camper but was with us for a weekend scouting for Larry Davis, who was contemplating taking a job at Pemi.
–Alumnus Tom Reed
The boys are looking into the distance because they were looking at a hawk that was flying above Lower Baker Pond. The hawk flew right over them and around a few of the cabins on Intermediate Camp. This caught the attention of a kid reading on the porch (who then called his friends to have a look at it with binoculars).
This picture is from the 1970’s. These Upper Intermediate camp residents are conducting a “bird-watching” survey, as evidenced by the scout with the binoculars, and his colleagues are in various states of awe and curiosity as they receive detailed information from their technologist-friend. The occasion is the seasonal return of the maidens from Camp Ogontz, or perhaps Camp Quinnibeck, to the shores of Lower Baker for the summer’s exchange of co-educational hospitality for the Senior Cabin stalwarts. The day included friendly athletic contests, such as mixed doubles on the tennis courts, nature study on the “Tree Walk”, supper, and finally, an abbreviated session of dancing on the disco floor of the Senior Lodge. This photo captures the fascination of young teens as they study their elders’ efforts, in this case maybe a boy and his assigned “date” paddling a canoe on the lake, in the frenzied attempt to compress the urges accumulated during eight weeks of social isolation into eight hours of accelerated romance. A challenge indeed!
–Alumnus Jack Price
They’re looking at Mikado!
–Camper Lucas B.
Campers line the shores of Lower Baker in 1975 to witness the filming of the “Happy Days” episode where Fonzi “jumps the shark.” For authenticity purposes, the show had a live great white shark placed into Lower Baker. This photo captures the precise first (and unsuccessful) take where Henry Winkler missed the ramp and ended up in the water. He later made the jump successfully after the production crew welded on his prosthetic legs.
–Alumnus Brad Saffer Part III!
Special Bean Soup patches to the above authors for their renditions, and remember, you can always turn in a Bean Soup article to be included in the printed (and then digitally saved) version. We welcome your version in the comments section!