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I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

* Oh, the Horror of It All! :Camp Desoto

Greer (far left); Me (with OVERNIGHT bag)
Picture courtesy of S.A. Johnson

As you know, I do not like the heat, the sun or the Good Ole Summertime. The only thing worse is being shipped off to summer camp IN the heat, UNDER the sun, IN the Good Ole Summertime. My parents decided that I was a wimp and needed to be toughened up, so they saved up and sent me packing to Mentone, Alabama to Camp Desoto for a month. (Oh, I know I am horrifying all you Campies who went there, but frankly, it was thirty days of pure unadulterated misery for me.) I begged not to go, but Mother & Daddy were determined. So off I trudged with a footlocker stuffed with matching madras shorts sets, my family's picture, an autograph book and all the bug spray my bag could hold.

My friend, Greer and I were roommates with about twelve other "fortunate" girls. We had a counselor who kept the fan aimed directly on her. My bed was the farthest from the fan..of course. Let me explain about Greer. She had (and still has) the loveliest, thickest, waviest hair. Her mother and grandmother kept it in perfect condition, and it was the envy of everybody. My hair, on the other hand, was exactly as it is now, very fine, straight as a board and thin. Greer's mother made sure she had a bag full of hair rollers to take to camp. When I saw those rollers, I melted. I NEEDED those rollers. My mother said I'd be fine with just washing my hair and letting it go "natural" for a month.

One night I asked Greer (who had decided if "natural" was good enough for me, it was good enough for her) if I could use the rollers. My hair, by this time, looked like a newborn duck's. She said, "Sure. I don't need them." Those were her exact words, I remember them like yesterday. So every night I carefully rolled my hair. Every morning I'd brush and comb mine and I must say, I looked pretty good for "roughing it" in the backwoods of Alabama.

At the end of two weeks, parents could come visit their camper and take them "to town" for the weekend. I had dreamed nightly of this for 14 days. Greer's parents were coming to get her, and they were taking me, too! Air conditioning, real food, a bath tub...I could make it with this "carrot" dangling in front of me. I crossed off the calendar every day...waiting, waiting. My parents couldn't afford the trip with two other children. Greer was an only child. I was one of three. (Side note: Three of my best friends were only children. I was the only one with siblings. When we all married, all three of them had more than one child, I had one.) But I digress...the day of the parental visit finally came. I was up early, curling, combing, dressing in my matching madras short set, I couldn't wait!! When Mr. and Mrs. B got out of the car it was like a slow mo movie...me, running toward them, their arms stretched outward, but just before I reached them, a look of horror crossed Mrs. B's face and she looked like she might faint. "Greer!" she shrieked, " Your hair! What on earth have you done to it?" I looked back over my shoulder, to see Greer walking down the driveway with the most unusual hairstyle I've ever seen. She looked like a little alien with a cloud of dark brown moss surrounding her head. It was the most out of control hair I'd ever seen. I'm not sure she had combed or brushed it properly in 14 days. I knew she hadn't rolled it..because I had her rollers!

The horror continued. We went to the office to "check out" and "Oh, wait, there's a problem. You have to have written permission to take Angela with you." WHAT?! WRITTEN permission? I couldn't go? Mrs. B began to cry, I began to cry. Greer offered to stay at camp and said I could go in her place. I will remember it always, that scene. Me standing at the gates, perfectly coiffured, dressed in my madras, big tears running down my face waving good bye. When they returned from the weekend, Greer's hair was back to normal and they brought me a present. (I think it was a bag of new rollers.)

Lessons to be learned:

1. Make sure your hairstyle can withstand the temperatures of your camping destination.
2. Don't send sensitive children to month long camps without hair styling supplies.
3. Once a wimp, in a lot of ways, always a wimp.
Coming Tomorrow: Grandchildren ...

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny, funny. Somehow I escaped having to go to camp -- that week at Girl's State was as close as I would have wanted to come to going to camp. Mentone is less than an hour's drive from here -- and up on top of the mountain. I think if you were to come take a look at it now, you would think it is a pretty place. Julie

Angela McInnis said...

Anonymous, You are probably right, but I'd like to look at it from the balcony of a hotel, NOT up close and personal!! And you are right, Girls' State was pretty rough..thought I'd suffocate in Helen White Dorm..think they've torn her down now..should have done it long ago.
It's bad when you've outlived a dorm...

Donna said...

Loved this story -- and the photo!! Made me smile all over!!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely love this horror story! Move over Stephen King! I am having flashbacks of Camp Cedar Point. I hated it ... went home after one week ... had worked myself into a high fever! Some of us were just not "campers" ... we excelled at indoor activities! Enjoyed the photo - can name all but one. Thanks for including MR and me on Greer's day!

Greer said...

Yes--this ia the afore mentioned Greer--who remembers that day like it was yesterday--all true!! I could have cared less what my hair looked like--I was a tomboy!! Angela was the femme fatale. And I will always in my mind see her standing there when we left--broke my heart. I wish my parents were still with us so that they could read this. By the way--my hair was perfect when Mama and Daddy came back at the end of camp to get us!!

Angela McInnis said...

Ah, ha! Confirmation of the events of that dastardly month! You read it here, folks! My "roomie" said it's all true!!

Lillyputt said...

I loved this, Angela. My idea of roughing it is like yours. Mine is "slow room service at the Peabody."


Lillian

wifey singer said...

good grief...LOVE this post! wonderful story, love that you share these fantastic memories with us. keep it up!! what a hoot!

Angela McInnis said...

You are quite welcome, wifey singer and Lillyputt, I completely agree! (Or maybe the Alluvian in Greenwood!)

Anonymous said...

you just make me smile...:)...you were very Blessed to have wonderful and loving parents..some are not that Blessed..I am one of the unlucky ones..
But you still make me laugh and smile with your stories..just keep them coming..love u..

Angela McInnis said...

Dear Anonymous, Everyday I realize that fact more. Parenting is a great challenge, some people seem to be able to rise to that challenge better than others. My parents weren't perfect, but they did the best they could. I hope my experiences bring you some chuckles and make your day a little brighter.That is my intent...thank you for sharing.