Knowing your Square Roots
from David Breitborde.
I recalled that I had a song to the tune of Mickey Mouse:
S-Q-U-A-R-E R_Oh Oh T
Square root toot toot
Square root toot toot
and all I ever do is my square roots.
Come along and sing the song and join the jamboree
S-Q-U-A-R-E R_Oh Oh T
It also a 2 hand claps was followed by Square Root
and then a 2 finger snaps was followed by toot toot.
This was the "stupid thing" that I did in the summers of 1962 & 1963.
Editor's note (there was also a version where the SQUARE ROOT was replaced by BILLIE FINER and then STEVIE FINER. Anyone remember those words?
Going up to BBC
Before Rachel Carson, before the modern environmental movement and before Earth Day there was Austin "Pop" Welch and a band of hearty counselors (many World War II combat veterans) and some pretty rough campers, most of whom were city kids from places like the South End of Boston, Danbury, Connecticut and other assorted "slums" in those far off days before political correctness allowed for dignifying the working poor.
Pop had been a "settlement house worker" in the 1920s and '30s, leading Harvard undergraduates like Lawrence Rockefeller to pitch in an lend a hand for those less fortunate. In the 1940s Pop found a fair-sized piece of land in East Otis, Massachusetts and there with the help of Tony Balski, Phil Savva and others (both returned from the "War,") created an eco-friendly wilderness wonderland for those "less fortunate" city kids (and a few middle-class refugees like me and Mike Green) to participate in a soul-healing, character building, all-around fun time called "Going up to BBC.
For those familiar with the work of Gifford Pinchot, the father of the modern forestry resources movement and the genesis of the Civilian Conservation Core (The "CCC Boys") during the Great Depression, as well as good adolescent psychology and therapeutic practice, BBC would have been instantly recognizable as a combination wilderness work camp and healing experience. Us kids (I came up for my first summer in 1952, boiling with anger and beyond redemption, despite Tony's best efforts.) however, viewed the collection of adventurously name bunkhouses, the Mess Hall, the springhouse, surrounding wilderness and ubiquitous "biffys" as no more or less than the experience of a lifetime.
A half century later, it still stands the test of time, as do the memories of kids like the Matarano and Macanerney Brothers, Johnny Veremy, Bruce Carrol, Carl Yood, Peter Lavotie, Langley Gatling, Rich Kenniston, Jimmy Platz, Billy Mahoney, Rich Charm, Wally Goldsmith, Denny McDevitt, Butchie Margoshian, Jimmy Arslanian (long gone and much missed) and scores more whose memory, if no less dear, has been erased by time and lack of contact.
So does the memory of "Little Red," the eponymously named workhorse pickup truck that made the daily garbage run to the landfill of choice ‚€œup the road a piece‚€ past Tom Cook's place toward Lucy's.
But most of all it was the counselors, sterling young men like Gene Hays, Tex, Clarence Knockwood (a full blooded MicMac Indian, no less), Phil Savva, George (Alowishious) Curtin, Barry Adams (Badams), Joe Campos, The Webbers (administrative staff), but whose kids Steve and Rosemary came along for the summer) and scores more, many from Boston College, who made the BBC experience so challenging, thrilling and in the end fulfilling. BBC was to summer camp as the Army Special Forces are to the Boy and Girl Scouts. It was industrial strength adventure, whether on the ground for a 20 mile hike up Mt. Greylock or high in the air at the summit of Spruce Hill on an observation tower. Long before Outward Bound, BBC was teaching wilderness survival skills and teamwork and we loved every minute of it.
Among other things, we sang, shot rifles, hiked, camped, swam, rowed, built rafts, put out forest fires, and played ball. Singing alone was a major endeavor, but of all the songs we sang, none resonated more than the Boston College fight song. Most of us thought it was the national anthem until at a certain age we put two and two together and realized some of the counselors had a somewhat biased attitude to music based on their college of choice.
Peter Golden - September 23, 2007 (BBC: 1952 to 1960)
|I remember being involved with Dramatics. We were tired of doing a play every Saturday, so for this week we decided that we were going to do a puppet show. Things were progressing nicely. We had a plot (a take-off of the Lone Ranger - "Lone Leaf"). The puppets were all tree related. After a few days of this things took a turn for the worse. Somewhere around Friday, the participants could be heard wandering around camp exclaiming: "The puppets are dead! The puppets are dead!". The puppet show did not go on! - Aaron Clevenson, 9-23-2007|
|Another Dramatics memory... Every year since I first became a camper, the Drama folks would recreate (and I use that term loosely) the battle between the British and the Americans on the 4th of July. We would dig a trench on each side of the beach and throw firecrackers at each other across the beach. The evening would conclude with someone from Archery shooting a flaming arrow into one of the rowboats that was anchored in the lake, filled with straw, and containing a bomb made in the Science Lab. Then the campers could light-off their fireworks on the beach. - Aaron Clevenson, 9-23-2007|